As a writer of one of the last blogs on this trip, I have the opportunity to share what I’ve experienced in the past two weeks but I’m still taking it all in. Although there’s been many, one of the most moving spiritual experiences I have been apart of was singing praises in two languages simultaneously; it is an indescribable feeling. There’s way too much to share on this here blog so I’m looking forward to coming home and telling some stories!
This experience has been marked by a relationship with a boy from La Cuesta Arena named Juancito. I met him last year when I was here and from the first day he has been special to me. This trip has been different as we have been able to experience new things together. The past four days we have spent time in prayer and reading the Bible together. It was an incredible blessing to be able to connect with him spiritually despite the language barrier. I was also able to have a conversation with him translated through Aubrey, which was so awesome to break through the surface level. So excited for tomorrow as Juancito and his Uncle Guillermo join us for our trip to the beach. He doesn’t know how to swim, so that should be a fun learning experience. Juancito has become so much more than just a kid I met last year, but I consider him like a son.
I came down here wanting to help, to teach about God, and teach people how to work and praise the Lord. However, I definitely learned way more than I could’ve ever taught. I learned so much about the blessings we have, the power of Christ, and the universal language of love. I definitely was taught a lot about construction, when I wasn’t being laughed at by the Dominicans for working so slow. And there’s no doubt that these people, in our group and in this city, have given me an entire new perception of praising God. I did, in fact, get attached to one kid, Alex. I told myself I wouldn’t, but I did. Whenever I’m complaining or angry or ungrateful, these kids’ faces are going to appear in my head. They love and give so freely and we can learn so much from them. And they praise God so passionately without a care and without fear. They have so little, but they give so much to God, more than me and I live comfortably in a prosperous country. They live in concrete blocks or wooden shacks, yet give so much, whether it be money, time, words, etc. I’ve learned so much and I can’t wait to use what I’ve learned when I get home.
I could probably fill pages and pages with amazing stories of God’s provision, kids we have gotten to meet, and funny tales of how smelly everyone on our team is by now.
As I attempt to cypher through all these stories and more, for the blog, I’m terribly distracted by the kids in our lil’ living room here…it dawns on me! They are the story! I truly believe God has purposed each and every one of these kids uniquely and specifically with gifts, and it’s been a blessing to watch them freely share them here over the last two weeks. Again, sitting here in the common space trying to finish this blog, I watch them now dancing to Chuck Berry, and making fart jokes, I can see how God has used them, whether through reading with a child, telling them they are loved, praying over the sick or slingin’ bricks on the roof of a school in the middle of the DR. Proud, is probably the best word I would use to describe how I feel regarding these young guns. I truly look forward to seeing what God has in store for them in the years to come.