domingo, 26 de septiembre de 2010

The late night ramblings of a missionary...

So, I'm up, so I might as well take advantage of the time and write :) lol

Let's see...let me write down interesting things that have happened to us thus far/things we have noticed particularly about the Dominican Republic...

1. The missionary diet: ...basically I would call this the involuntary fasting one! The 5 of us in one month, because of all of the changes and lack of food availability at first, lost a combined 25 pounds. Now things are getting normal.

2. So...I thank all of you who pray protection over me and our group. In the first week of being here, one day in particular we were riding in a taxi (2 in front and 4 in back... cramped, but normal here). It was raining and the taxi driver wasn't really paying attention as we were coming up to an intersection. The light said green but the police officer in the middle of the street was signaling to stop...and we stopped alright. Inches away from the bumper of another car. Not two minutes later as we were strategically moving through the next intersection, a car from the right comes to a screeching stop, inches away from the right door of the taxi. (Wipe sweat from forehead...okay that I can handle) What freaked me out was the following: The next day, I'm walking to a store. Okay, let's look both ways, I do. Clear. As I take my first step into the street looking off into the left where traffic flow should be coming from, I turn my head back to the front and realize that now there literally is a taxi RIGHT in front of me...his right back tire was an inch from my right foot. Confused??? OH YEAH... my mind could not comprehend just how that happened. Within seconds, I'm standing there, aware that I could have just been ran over, and my reaction? I hit the car with my right fist to make sure he knows that there is a person he almost crushed and for him to not move anymore. What had happened is the taxi was parked on the street, and the driver just decided to randomly back up at an accelerated rate without looking. Totally a miracle that I wasn't hurt at all.

3. One of the girl team members had an encounter with a stingray yesterday. Don't worry ladies and gents, I now know what to do if someone ever gets painfully(understatement) stung by one of these things. If you want to read in detail about's the link to her blog:  She provides a detailed/throughly entertaining description of yesterday's events at the beach.

4. One of the harder things for me to deal with here is with unwanted attention on the street. To this day, one of my team members has been followed from a restaurant, myself and other team member followed as we were running (yep, they were running too...and laughing.. for them maybe it was funny), I'm hoping I don't have any more of those crazy stories just yet. I just know that out of all of the places I've been to yet (Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Nicaragua) I have never seen such bold, borderline harassment (if not harassment) actions from guys before.

and yet....we are here for a purpose :)

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3: 12-14

martes, 21 de septiembre de 2010

"So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow." 1 Corinthians 3:7 

 This is the team's second week evangelizing. Last week we went out specifically on three occasions to share the gospel with different students. Let me say, WOW. It has been harder than I've expected for various reasons. First of all, for the longest time my relationship with God was a personal thing. I didn't grow up with the mentality of "let me tell others about this change that's been going on inside of me" since naturally certain things I keep to myself. Second, I think I also have the mentality of "give me time to fix my life and then let me go out and tell others about God." Lol...which I know is totally not Biblical, but I have caught myself in that mentality, in the thought process of "Am I enough?" To be totally honest, it has been a struggle.

I came across this Bible verse a couple of days ago (1 Corinthians 3:7) and it was very comforting. Comforting to know that it is all up to God. It is all up to God to touch the people's hearts, it is all up to God since He's called me to this work that I am now in, even though I'm feeling completely insufficient and not capable...but yet, He has called me to it. He doesn't call us to things that necessary we feel we are able to do. There is always going to be some sort of abyss that one will have to jump over, jump by faith, and trust that he'll reach the other side. 

Right now I'm jumping...I'm mid-air and I feel like fire is beneath me and in a way consuming me. I am being refined right now, which is honestly a painful process. 

I could say a lot of things right now, but I am being entirely honest. I need all of the prayer I can get...not because I am regretful of this decision. On the contrary, I KNOW God has me here for a reason and I would not change that in ANY way. I say this so those who read it will pray. 

I need His presence more than ever. I need His grace more than ever. It is not a suggestion for Him to show is a NECESSITY. 

God is working here. One of the first people we shared with received Christ as His Lord. My first experience was an amazing one. Words came out that I was like...where did that come from? And after that you know how I felt??? Completely humbled. Truly I am spreading seed and if I for some reason see it sprout, the credit goes to Him who makes it grow.  

There are so many little miracles that have happened here or there that because I didn't start this blog in the beginning have not been written down, but I look forward to in the future make those known. 

Truly we are all here for His glory. The more we die to ourselves the brighter He shines... :) 

jueves, 16 de septiembre de 2010

The basics (continued)

What/Where? okay, so a lot of people know why I am here in the Dominican Republic, but I'm just going to write it again to make it clear. I am working with Campus Crusade for Christ. CCC, works on college campuses throughout the world (even in the US) establishing college ministries on campuses in order to reach students for Christ.

In Spanish speaking countries this weekly or bi-weekly meeting is called Vida Estudiantil. My group and I are working on the campus of La Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (La UASD.) This university is highly respected and VERY large!! (Around 160,000 students) Classes run from Monday thru Saturday 7am-10pm.

We are working on the campus in order to grow Vida Estudiantil and to spread the gospel to the students. We have huge goals for the group over this next year. We are wanting Vida Estudiantil to be completely student-run, which means lifting up leaders right now in order to take charge. Very soon the group and I will be leading discipleship groups in order to make sure these future leaders are well equipped and growing in their relationship with Christ.

When? We will be here until July of next year, and NO we cannot go home, so come visit!! :) The only thing is we will be working throughout the year and if you come it would make me VERY happy but you would probably just have to tag along with the ministry we are doing on the campus.

Why? Why am I here? For many reasons. I was teaching high school Spanish for the past couple years. Even though I loved the students in my classes, I had such a desire in order to share my complete life with students in an authentic way. I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was a sophomore in high school. I always believed there was a God, but it was only until then that I decided I was tired of living my life for me. Since that time, God has changed my life in so many ways. I have experienced what it is to have true intimacy with the one true God.

For that reason I am here. I may be going against what society tells me to do, but I know that I must tell others about this joy that I have found. I've waited for too long in order to do this. Now is my time. This is my new beginning :)

Alright, so that is the background info you get :) Anymore needed, just ask.

miércoles, 15 de septiembre de 2010

The basics

Alright, so just to lay things out. It's September 15th. My team and I got here the 19th of August. Even though it is ALMOST a month, it really doesn't seem like that to me! There is A LOT to catch you guys up on... a lot would be an understatement, but I will try :) So, let me just answer the basic questions first and if anything else comes to mind I'll elaborate on that later.

Who? For those of you who do not know I am working with Campus Crusade for Christ in the Dominican Republic. Campus Crusade has sent a team of 5 from the states in order to work alongside the two nationals who have been working with the organization for the past 5 years. The two nationals are Próspero and Leyla (excluding last names on purpose).

Leyla has been working full time on the ministry for the past 5 or so years, while Próspero, her husband, has been helping her on and off. More recently Próspero has quit his job as a lawyer in order to dedicate himself full time to the ministry.

Okay, so now the introduction to the team. There are five of us, including myself. Three of the five of from Arizona (Jimmy, Rob, and Jessica) and the fourth person, Natasha, is from Texas. We have all been together since the 13th of August, and I must say have grown together pretty fast. You'll hear more about them later on :)  

(left to right: myself, Natasha, Leyla, Jimmy, Próspero, Jessica, and Rob)

Okay...I have much left to type, but I will probably not get to it tonight. I'll pick up where I left off tomorrow!

What is still left to explain: what? where? when? why? how?