How has this trip changed your heart? In what ways has it strengthened your faith? Has your experience caused you to redefine the meaning of poor? Rich? How has your being here brought glory to God?
Soul-searching questions to ponder as the FBC Allen family group and the West University Baptist Church (WUBC) college group from Rice University celebrated the end of their time in the Dominican Republic with a banquet, packed their suitcases, and loaded onto the buses traveling to the airports. One group left for the Las Americas airport in Santo Domingo, and the other traveled to the Punta Cana airport the next morning.
In response to the questions presented at the banquet some shared an observation of what appeared to be an oxymoron—people poor in material things, but who were rich in joy and love. Another learned that his faith grew when he let go of control, and trusted God to work in His own time. Others reported, “I came thinking I was sacrificing to bless others and found that I received so much more than I gave.”
The two groups on this trip were comprised of both individuals and families, young and old.
“I brought my family so that my children would experience the priority of living out our faith,” a father shared.
Another man stated, “I have renewed my hope for the future of our country and our churches by sharing this trip with the college students from Rice University.”
Many commented that their faith was energized by the experience of evangelizing as they went door to door sharing their faith.
“I will be bolder in my witness for Christ when I return to my world,” reported many.
They were able to share their faith and pray with over 57 individuals during their time in the Dominican Republic. Ten of the individuals that the group met with responded by praying to accept Christ, while another eight people promised to visit the Quisqueyana church.
The trip also included the FBC Allen group building a playground for the school in Monte Plata where the orphanage children attend. At the same time, the WUBC group built bunk beds for the boys in the Betesda Home in La Romana and worked on the upstairs safety railings of the Villa Altagracia School. The two groups’ ministry efforts made an eternal difference for many, and the projects will bless schools and children’s homes long after the trip. But more than the projects, the value of a mission trip is the impact on the hearts and minds of the participants.