Mission Trips 2019 began in January with the First Baptist mission team from Allen, Texas. Their main focus was evangelism. Villa Altagracia is a village where STCHM mission teams have built a two-story school building. Rodney and Nilsia lead the school, but recently the IBQ church under the leadership of Pastor Rudy have commissioned this couple to begin a church in the school facilities. They have also pledged some monthly support to help them plant this church.
The Allen group partnered with the ministry in Villa Altagracia for a significant part of their activities. They traveled to Villa Altagracia for children’s meetings in the afternoon. After that activity they divided into groups of 4-5 and walked the streets of Villa Altagracia sharing their testimonies and the Gospel. They also invited the community to attend evangelistic services on two nights at the school. Rented chairs, and a make-shift canvas tent hoped to shield a few people from the expected rain. But God held back the rain!
God also performed another miracle that first night. Directly outside of the school a crew of men and a huge rented machine were digging a well. Boom! Boom! Boom! All through the children’s Bible classes the noise was deafening. Surely, we asked, they would stop when night came? Wrong! The machine was rented per day at a very high cost, and they planned to dig through the night until the job was done. Now what to do? It was one thing to tolerate that noise over 100 noisy children, but an evening church service and a message to adults? We asked Russell, “What do we do now?” O ye of little faith. Russell’s answer? “Don’t worry. All Satan has is a machine. We have God on our side!” At exactly 7 pm, the men paused their machine for one hour and we held our evangelistic service!! An even greater miracle was the 3 adults who accepted Christ as a result of these efforts.
As an integral part of evangelism, the Bible was highlighted through Bible memory competitions, the purchase and gifting of Bibles in the Spanish language, and a training for leaders of Bible classes for children. How can you motivate children (and adults) to memorize Scriptures? The Allen group demonstrated some unique methods through drills, competitions and games. Even the boys at the Betesda Home joined in the competition to find books of the Bible with the new Bible that the team had given them.
Through the efforts of this mission team, God’s Spirit pushed back the darkness in the Villa Altagracia village, and especially in the lives of the many individuals who heard the Gospel, those that accepted Christ, and many more who received Bibles. As the Allen trip ended, they knew that the Word of God that they left behind would continue to be alive and active, sharper than a two-edged sword, and penetrating to the soul and spirit. (From Hebrews 4:12)