Brittany Richard: June 18, 2012

Hola todos! In English, that is Hello everyone. 🙂 After being here for 7 days, it’s pretty impossible not to pick up a lot of Spanish. I’ve really enjoyed relearning the language; I took 3 years of it in high school but forgot most of it until I got here. The kids have been so helpful and understanding of our lack of Espanol, and have been helping us along. I got very excited today because for the first time, I was able to understand most of what the pastor was saying to the children during VBS. As a result, I’m sure I’ll be trying not to speak Spanish to everyone when I get home. But I love this language. It just reminds me that the Lord created language not to create barriers between His people, but to increase understanding and cooperation so that we can all work together, regardless of language barriers. It’s just another aspect of the united Church. I feel like that has become the theme of our trip here; the unity of the Bride of Christ. While working in Cuesta Arena, the church members, people of the community, all the kids, and the missionaries have managed to work together effectively and without too much difficulty. Also, when we went to the church yesterday, Iglesia Evangelica Dominicana, the people were so welcoming and kind to all of us. Since it was my birthday, the pastor had the church sing Feliz Cumpleanos for me, and one of the ladies even prayed for me. And then the Haitian choir sang a song in Spanish, English, and French Creole. It was just such a representation of the Church in its truest form, a group of people coming together to praise the Lord regardless of language and culture. The way church was run was recognizant of the purpose and mission of this church here in Santiago. The pastor has made it her mission to reach all the peoples of Dominicana; because they cannot come to Santiago for church, we go to them! That is why we did VBS in 4 different villages and are working to establish relations with more. The Church is growing, and not by expecting people to come to us. Just like Jesus and His disciples did, we have the opportunity to bring the Good News to people that may have never heard it before and have no access to a church. The work that is being done here is not temporary, it will touch lives throughout many generations. And to get to be a part of that is more of a privilege and blessing than I could express. And we are giving the Gospel through love and teaching. For the past few days, we have realized the need for education, especially for the young girls. So in Cuesta Arena we’ve been intentionally devoting time to reading with the children. There is such a need for education in these kids. Today I spent time with a girl who had no idea how to read, and it took a few hours to convince her to let me read to her. But it was just fear. Once we finally sat down, she worked so hard to sound out the words, and she managed to do it pretty well. However, she was about 10 years old and wasn’t able to say simple words unless she repeated after me. But I felt such pride in her for being willing to try so hard. I can’t wait to read with her again tomorrow. Just please be praying for these kids and that they could have a desire and capability to learn and be taught. That’s why the school we’re building in Cuesta Arena is so incredibly important. Please remain in prayer for this city, they desperately need people to be willing to bring them the Gospel.
We’re about to start worshipping together at the pastor’s house, so that is all for today! For those of you that have taken the time to read this, I thank you.
Love from the Dominican Republic.

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