My wife, Cathy, had another great experience this summer in the Dominican Republic. Needless to say, God always reminds us what matters most when we need it most. Listen to her story:
“In April of this year, God began to call Mark and I on a new journey. This journey actually began over 8 years ago when we served on our first mission trip in the Dominican Republic. We didn’t know this was the beginning of our journey but God did. So when Matt Storer asked Mark to come be a part of the VisionTrust team we knew this was His plan. With new journeys there are always questions: Are we doing the right thing? Are we hearing God clearly? How is this going to work; and many more. I was no different then anyone else, these questions were going through my mind.
“Lord, please show me this is Your leading. Bring me a peace about this new journey,” I prayed as we were on the plane headed to the Dominican Republic for our 8th trip in June of this year. As we arrived in the village of Cotui the next day I felt as if I had arrived at a family reunion, familiar faces everywhere and shouts of joy. As I got off the bus tears filled my eyes as I hugged my friends. I heard my name coming from down the road. I looked up and it was Cheisy. Cheisy is one of our sponsor girls. She was 3 years old when we started sponsoring her and now she is 9 years old. As I ran to her and hugged her I remember praying, “Lord, thank you for how much she has grown and how healthy she looks. Thank you for taking care of all her needs. I pray for her to know you.” Cheisy and our family have a special connection. I remember the first time we meet her…no smile, scared and very shy. She didn’t want to have anything to do with us. Now she is always in my lap, holding hands with me everywhere I go, getting piggy back rides from our daughter, laughing and joking with Mark and our boys. It was a joy to be with her again.
On the last day of VBS we shared the gospel with all the children. Cheisy raised her hand to trust Jesus as her Savior. I went to her and asked if she wanted to talk more about it. As I sat down she crawled up in my lap and the translator began to help us communicate. Cheisy told me that she believed Jesus died on the cross for her sins and the He is the Son of God. She wanted Jesus to take her sin away. She wanted to pray with me and ask Jesus to be her Savior and to take away her sin. She prayed and trusted in Jesus. When we were done praying she looked up with tears in her eyes and gave me the biggest hug. I wanted to stay in that moment forever. Oh, our prayer for her had been answered and God allowed me to be with her during the most special moment in her life. I realized at that moment God was showing me this is EXACTLY how we are to serve Him. The relationships I have built in the Dominican Republic are a big part of my life. I know that God is allowing us to share this experience with other churches all over the United States so more of His people can experience helping children in poverty all over the world. Not only filling their stomachs, but filling their souls with the love of Christ!”
This is the only thing that matters. It is why I do what I do. Living for God and loving others SO THAT they too will know and live for Him. God is working around the world, what a privilege it is to be included in His work for His purpose.