May 12, 2020
Looking out the window at a beautiful morning here in the Dominican Republic. Just looking out one would never guess that the whole world is turned upside down. Economies are shut down and crashing, people are sick and dying, hunger is rampant, fighting, fears on every side. Yet as I look out this window with beautiful fan Palms waving in the wind and flowers blooming all around, birds chirping, sun flowers facing the sun and banana trees producing tons of bananas and the giggles of children playing next door. I realize that as much as there are scary changes, many things have not. God has not changed. He has not moved or varied even one inch. He still sits on His throne, His WORD is still TRUE, His Promises are in place and never change. His love has not changed even a tad.
Life here is different now. Curfews from 5 pm till 6 a.m. Wearing masks if you go out and gloves. (We have not be off the compound since all this started.) Here people are either power washed by Firemen on their trucks with their hoses if you congregate in the streets or you are arrested immediately. Stores are open but we are told there are long waits to get in. We are blessed to have workers who are willing to go out to buy groceries for us and bring them to us which are then sprayed with lysol.
Churches here are doing what churches everywhere are doing, online services, or very small groups social distancing. I wonder what God thinks as He commanded us to “NOT FORSAKING the assembling of ourselves together….”
Until COVID-19 we were busy leading mission teams that came here and teaching them multitudes of ways to do evangelism from puppet ministry, dramas, street evangelism, park evangelism, school evangelism, yes America here we are welcomed and desired to come into the schools to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ! We were doing hospital ministry, and visiting in the cancer hospital sharing the Gospel and praying with patients and staff. We were literally seeing hundreds and hundreds these past two years receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We have been building much needed Chapels for congregations that had no church, in fact when all this Covid started we were getting ready to start building two more. But all that is on hold. We refuse to stop though, we are building trusses now for the next chapel.
It is hard for us right now to not be able to be in homes discipling those who have been led to Jesus. It’s hard to see person after person, pastor after pastor coming to our gates, who are either hungry themselves, or have families they are pastoring that are hungry. Salaries here are very low and the vast majority have not been able to work. Everyday we are buy bulk loads of rice and beans and tomato sauce and cooking oil (staples here) and miscellaneous other things to feed the hungry. It hurts our hearts to see Pastors with furrowed brows from worry over their hungry parishioners, but such a delight to see their grateful smiles when we are able to load their vehicles with the much needed food.
We have literally seen people born again in front of our very eyes as we boldly share the gospel of Jesus Christ, EVERYWHERE! We are so grateful this Country affords us this freedom and encourages it. We go to the remotest places and turn away no one from help when we are able to help them. The prisons and jails here welcome us as when we leave the see such a change in the population there. Hospitals welcome us, schools, we are allowed to set up in parks, streets are sometimes closed off so we can do an outreach and evangelize.
Just before all this happened I had started helping Conrad teach English to young children. We are so blessed to be able to love on those that some consider unlovable, we are blessed to openly shared the WORD of GOD boldly in public places, schools, jails, hospitals, parks, stores, restaurants, wherever we go. We are so blessed to be called by God to be here and serve along side Tim and Trena Johnson and their ministry here and to serve along side of hard working dedicated Pastors and Chaplains, Educators and Business people all over this area.
Please pray for us that the Lord will continue to supply the funds we need for feeding the hungry. Pray we are soon able to get back out to evangelize and build chapels and disciple those we have led to the Lord. Please pray for the funds we need to build the chapels as they come up. Most of all pray that when all this ends and people get back to their lives, that they remember how God has provided for them when there seemed to be no way. How God did not forget them, their Pastors did not forget them. How everyone here shared and loved and prayed and cared for each other. May we never lose this special gift we were given to see what we would do in a terrible crisis, did we hoard for me and mine or did we give? I praise God that here I have seen even the least of these share and give. We are so honored to be called here and serve with dedicated Missionaries like Tim and Trena Johnson and their family. What a standard and example they have set. They set the bar high. But the Calling from GOD is HIGH. “Go ye into ALL the WORLD and PREACH the GOSPEL, baptizing them in the NAME OF THE FATHER, THE SON and THE HOLY SPIRIT. TEACHING THEM to OBEY whatsoever I have COMMANDED you and Lo I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS even unto the end of the age!
Praying for each of you our friends and family. May God be with you and watch over you and may you too make sure that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD of your life.