Carly M., a junior at Texas A&M University, recently travelled with us to the Dominican Republic. Below are her insights from one of the most impactful days of her trip.
It’s taken me days to come up with an intellectual, clever word/phrase to describe day three on my mission trip. A word that would thrill the audience and capture your attention. But, God revealed to me a sweet truth this week. He doesn’t need me to convince you that my trip was incredible and life-changing. He doesn’t need my eloquent words, because it’s the Spirit’s power who works in you to reveal these truths (1 Cor. 2). So, in the words of Rend Collective, “I am coming in simplicity” to explain January 5, 2015…
This is the perfect word to describe the environment at the Transitional Home in Santo Domingo. And quite frankly, if you asked any of the kids, I am sure they would say the same. The Transitional Home consists of three homes—a girl’s home, a boy’s home, and an HIV/AIDS home. Each child comes to the home with a unique story. Each have experienced too much hurt and pain for their age. Some have watched their family die of HIV/AIDS, others have been abandoned by their family, many of the kids live with physical disabilities, and the list goes on.
The first thing I noticed when we walked through the gates of the home (besides the brightly colored houses) were the smiles on the children’s faces! And once we began to play with the kids there was an intriguing sense of joy. How can this be? I have a healthy body and family, yet it’s hard for me to find joy some days. And, this is when God began to reveal His Sovereignty to me like never before…
These kids are loved so well by the staff at the Transitional Home. Many of the staff grew up at the home and have continued to help into adulthood. The reason: this is their family. The kids eat, play, sleep, go to school, and do chores together. The older kids take care of the younger kids just as siblings do. And they argue… as siblings do. But, at the end of the day, there is a strong bond of love that holds this family together. A love that is expressed through the staff, then displayed in the kids’ interactions. It is a Romans 8:38-39 kinda love. It is Jesus’ love.
The love of Jesus overcomes rejection, physical illness, and earthly hardships. The love of Jesus plucks rejected kids off the street, binds them together, and calls them family. The love of Jesus provides medicine to fight against HIV (and praise God, one child is completely healed of the virus). The love of Jesus is alive and powerful—and nothing in all creation can separate us from that love. The love of Jesus is fully in this Transitional Home.
Prayers for the home:
– For the kids to experience healing (physically, spiritually, and emotionally) from pain, trauma, and sickness.
– For the kids to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and allow His love to transform their lives.
– For the volunteers to rely on the Lord to sustain them and to experience God’s power working through them.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39