And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And He replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
– From “The Gate of the Year” by Minnie Louise Haskins
How many times have you and I stood at the “gate” of the unknown? “Lord, give me light and wisdom for the future.” Not so long ago we “stood” at the gate of our summer 2018 mission trips—myriads of details unknown. Great opportunities accompanied possible obstacles and concerns.
This summer many teams left the “known” for the “unknown” to spend the night closer to the orphanage sites—different food, different beds, sometimes no A/C. Building trust and sharing God’s love with traumatized children required more time invested. How would that work? By God’s grace…
- Teams consistently shared that the time spent with those children was the most rewarding.
Our teams had higher number of participants than ever before. Could our staff manage the additional pressures and sacrifices required?
- Additional Dominican translators were recruited, plus five American and Dominican interns.
- Staff enjoyed good health for the entire summer.
- Coordination between staff improved with additional staff meetings and the “WhatsApp” communication app.
- Teachers, seminar and leadership presenters were of the highest quality.
- Medical and dental personnel, accompanied by an unprecedented number of Dominican personnel, had their best clinics ever.
- Artistically gifted members on several teams painted beautiful murals at the Santiago orphanage to brighten the children’s play area.
- Experienced engineers, contractor, even an architect, were among our mission team volunteers.
- Young summer interns stepped up and gave 110%. Although not what they expected to do, they gave their best—a living sacrifice—to get the work done.
- Completed projects included playhouses at one orphanage, painting roofs and ceilings at another, and rebuilding four homes for our Samuel’s Fund children’s families, in addition to beds, tables, and more.
- 346 participants from 17 churches and organizations
- Over 450 prayed to receive Christ
- More than 1,136 children were reached through VBS classes
- 1,844 patients in our medical and dental clinics
- We spent 22 days with orphanage children, compared to 10 days in 2017
We give God all the glory for what He has done. We celebrate with you what can be accomplished through partnership between STCH Ministries and American and Dominican ministries.
Today the 2018 summer mission trips are behind us. Now we stand at another “gate” as we plan for 2019 in the DR and continue to explore the possibility of ministry expansion into Peru, Costa Rica, or wherever God leads. The future is unknown. God’s hand and your prayers, encouragement, and ministry support are “better than light, and safer than a known way.”