As I write this, I am in a public car in North Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on my way to the airport to head home from our 2022 International vision trip. The trip was a tremendous opportunity for the group to see how God uses the willing to accomplish His purpose. The drive was a quiet one inside the car. Pedro spoke no English and my Spanish is less than adequate for conversation. But outside the car, the city was abuzz with activity. While the sun had yet to rise, it didn’t slow down motos and those selling items on the street trying to earn a living. As Pedro drives, many thoughts flood my mind about the trip and God’s protective grace. It was such a blessing to reconnect with our Dominican staff and their families. Our in-country team is really the heart and soul of our ministry there. They are all so dedicated to their call. My mind also recalls conversations with our partners, witnessing the growth of their ministries, and believing in what is to come in the future. What a blessing it is for STCH Ministries to be used to grow God’s work through these dedicated partnerships.
The trip participants were a great mix of folks from various parts of Texas and with varying connections to STCH Ministries. We all came together to make a trip during uncertain times with the Omicron variant running rampant. The group was able to see and participate in dental clinics, medical clinics, build and deliver much needed beds to a partner orphanage along with many other exciting activities. Most importantly the team was able to get to know each other, to better understand STCH Ministries and to also learn much about those with whom we choose to partner.
To even make this trip, we all had to put fear aside and move forward in faith. You see, fear is a normal emotion we feel because it typically keeps us safe. One of the most common fears documented is Acrophobia or the fear of heights. It is interesting to try and understand fears– many are very logical and others not so much. The typical reason someone might fear is due to a traumatic event connected with said fear. While in other cases like Acrophobia, it may be the result of a traumatic experience. One could reasonably say that this fear may have evolved as an adaptation to an environment in which a fall from heights posed a significant danger. In other words, if you are on top of a tall building and you fall off, you might harm yourself.
While fear is real and, in many situations, healthy, we must make choices that show we choose faith over our fear. Having faith in the face of fear and uncertainty is much like stepping off the ledge of a building and allowing God to grow our wings before we hit the ground. Hebrews 11 is an awesome chapter to study to see what scripture says about fear. The chapter begins by telling us in verse one that faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. If we put our trust in God, He will sustain us in the face of fear. I encourage us all to not allow fear to make our decisions for us, rather move forward in Faith!
New Life Version
6 A man cannot please God unless he has faith. Anyone who comes to God must believe that He is. That one must also know that God gives what is promised to the one who keeps on looking for Him.