One part of my work with VisionTrust International that I really enjoy, is watching people with little or no missions experience come to work in one of our projects, and then see the total transformation that takes place in their lives when God begins to use them.
This week I witnessed this firsthand in the Dominican Republic. Gary, a man who came on his first missions trip, started out a little skeptical. He wondered if it was really wise to come so far, not knowing the language, wondering if he had anything to really contribute.
In the morning he worked hard in the hot sun on our new Learning Center, helping us pour 14 columns that were 20 feet tall, for the roof of the courtyard, make pavers and continue the stucco work on the front of the building. In the afternoon he worked hard in the outreach ministry. Slowly he began to build friendships with some of the adult men and some of the children. A highlight came when he and his son, a former heroin addict, shared their story of restoration and God’s love for the first time anywhere with the men of Cotui. They tearfully shared the joy of knowing God’s forgiveness. It was a very moving moment.
That night in devotions I shared what it meant to be an advocate. Gary said, “I want in.” The next day Gary and his son got to meet their sponsored child, a boy with few clothes, living in a shack on the side of an irrigation ditch.
Thanks to Gary’s sponsorship, this boy will receive nutritious meals, help with schooling, vitamins, medical exams, and encouragement. But most importantly, he will hear about Jesus, the one who sends people like Gary and his transformed son halfway around the world to be His hands and feet, showing His love and the free gift of salvation Jesus wants to give.
(The picture above is of Gary meeting his sponsored child for the first time.)