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Archive for July, 2016

As the sun comes up over Santo Domingo, our group is beginning to stir.  The first two days have been amazing but today, the fatigue will begin to set in.  The first day of a mission trip is filled with the excitement and adrenaline of being in a new place and a person runs off of the energy that is created by the thought of doing something significant.

By day two, reality begins to creep in and one realizes this is hard work and the heat is nearly unbearable – but – we are doing good work and making a difference.  But in my experience, day three is a turning point for most people.  By day three, the glamour of spiritual tourism has worn off and one is faced with a decision.  It is at this point in the trip that one must decide – “am I here to serve or be served.”

Ultimately, most decide to die to self and give all they have to serve God and others.  God gives us that choice.  But really, is it any different at home?

Our group is doing well.  The unity has grown immensely over the first two work days (as well as the day of travel).  In fact, last night we had a game night.  The evening is designed to give the missionaries some downtime but also bring in local kids to play games.  As I watched the interaction, I was reminded of how we aren’t so different – Dominicans and Americans.  It was a beautiful picture of heaven – except for the noise – my vision of heaven is less loud.

Continue to pray for our group.  Pray that today they will fully die to self and commit to live for others this day.  That could be the prayer for each of us each day.

Be blessed.

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Day 2

The devotion today for our group here in the DR dealt with flexibility.  I find it a bit ironic that I wrote that devotion a couple of weeks ago to be published in a booklet for our group to use on this trip and then when I arrived, I found no internet connection.  So today is the first time I have been able to post – God is teaching me to be flexible.

It has been an amazing journey so far.  God’s timing is humbling.  Our partner church here in the DR has been working for several months on a musical presentation to be presented at the National Theatre.  It is an evangelistic musical telling the story of early Christian persecution and how God guided people of faith.  Last night was the only presentation they will make of this wonderful musical and we were here to attend and experience it.  What a blessing.

We have been blessed with great attitudes as we have begun to learn to work together.  God is teaching us to be humble and flexible, and he is blessing us as he blesses our work.  Construction is ahead of schedule and our first day of VBS was great.

I am always amazed how God can take a group of 20 individuals – some of whom did not know each other 3 days ago and make a beautiful team!

Thank you for your prayers.

Now that I have found “secret” wifi, I will be able to post more frequently.

Follow along!

#fbc2dominican

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Front of mission shirtAnd we are off!  20 people from our church are on the way to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  We will be working with churches and schools in and around that city serving in a multitude of ways from construction to Vacation Bible Schools and sports camps to sewing projects and school teacher training.

It is an awesome group made up of folks ranging in age from 17 to . . . well, more experienced than me.  It was pointed out this morning that the millennials made it through security fine – it was the seniors that were the trouble makers.  It is going to be a fun and exciting journey.  One of the things I really love about trips like this is the way God grows relationships between those on the trip through the week.  I am excited to see how God is going to work through us AND among us over the coming seven days.

Once in country, I should have internet service in the mornings and so I plan on trying to journal some of our experiences here.  So be sure to check back each day to fBack of Missions shirtollow along.  You can also follow us on Twitter (@jbrianhill) and on Instagram – watch for the hashtag #fbc2dominican to stay up to date.
One request I have is to ask for prayer for safe travels and for God to grow our group in compassion, flexibility and service.

Stay tuned!

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KidsWe wrap up Vacation Bible School today.  It has been a wonderful week full of activity, laughter and showing the love of Christ to children.  I am so blessed to be part of a family of believers that values the spiritual progression of kids!

The best testimony I heard this week was overheard.  I was entering our recreation center and a mom was leading her young son out of the building toward the parking lot and I overheard her say to her son – “I’m glad you’ve had so much fun you don’t want to leave, but we have to go.”

A child should want to be in church.  Somehow, we have focused so much of our attention on making sure the adults are getting what they need that we often forget that the experience of church and the need for community is just as real for kids.

Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  (Luke 18:16)

Jesus sees value in a child.

So should we.

Be a blessing today!

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