As I am writing I am sitting in the beautiful missions compound at Score International in Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic. This is my first ever Score missions trip and it has been a great first day.
Our day started yesterday morning at 2:30 in the morning as we met in the church parking lot to embark on our trip. We were all so thrilled to finally be leaving. The last few weeks our team has come against much opposition that it was great to finally get on the road. God had prepared our way for us and we had a wonderful day seeking Him and His opportunities that He put in our path.
Last night we recapped the day and I wanted to share with you the thoughts we had from the day.
The first thing that made a huge impression on everyone that saw it, was the beautiful sunrise. In our town it has rained for what has seemed like forever. The plane took off in the dreary rain, and quickly rose above the clouds into the most beautiful sunrise. It was a beautiful display of God's handiwork. We were reminded of the verse in Psalm 19:1 were it says, "the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." It was glorious.
The next thing that made a huge impression was a lady named Marybelle. We met her on our first flight. She was trying to communicate with the stewardess, but was failing because she couldn't speak any English. The flight attendant was very ill mannered and was a little huffy. She needed to check her bag in the cargo because there wasn't any room in the overhead compartment, but couldn't find out the final destination. As I was overhearing this whole situation I wanted to help but wasn't bold enough to use the small amount of Spanish I know...very small. So I got Lisa, our Spanish
speaking gal to come help out. It was a definite God thing because not only did she help Marybelle
we made a friend for the remaining of our trip to the D.R. When we were departing our separate ways we traded numbers with her and will hopefully contact her before the week is out. She is not a believer, but seeds were planted. We are excited to see what God is going to do in that situation.
One of our team members got a pat down during the security process at the airport and was not too excited about that. It was quite hilarious. One of our team members accidentally unknowingly lost their wallet first thing, but praise the Lord it was recovered very quickly and with everything in it.
We met so many neat people on the plane. It was so encouraging to hear of all the conversations that were had about the Lord. I was able to sit by an older Dominican couple. The man remembered the first evangelical church on the island. He remembered when the first Bible college came, and he also sang a hum to me in his language. It was really neat. I honestly didn't understand everything he said because his English wasn't very well spoken, but he made it known that he only preaches in his
language because he doesn't speak English well. There were also two other missions teams on the
same plane all ministering to the Dominican people this week.
There were a couple ladies on our team that were nervous about the flight, but God calmed all fears and gave each lady an overwhelming peace as we traveled. That was such a precious thing especially to those that really do not like flying. If you have these type of fears you know exactly what I am talking about. God was so good to us in every circumstance.
|The inside courtyard of the Score Hotel Compound|
The Dominican Republic is not much different than other islands in the Caribbean. As we traveled by bus to the compound we were met with lots of trash, crazy drivers, road side stands everywhere, and beautiful people. Many of the ladies have never been over seas before so they were taking in all of these things for the first time. We went through a town on the way to the compound that is known world wide for its drugs and prostitution. It was so sad hearing about the way the Dominicans make money. There is not any industry here so each person sells whatever they can find or do.
|Bedroom at the Score Hotel|
We went out on the beach last evening before dinner and saw very clearly the desperate need these people have for the Lord. The beach for me was the biggest eye opener. I had not seen anything like it before. I did find out later that evening that it was a holiday weekend and so the beach was very crowded. It was very crowded by many Dominicans who were very hungry for worldly things. The beach itself was not a beach like you might think on an island, but it was bowl shaped and collected a lot of seaweed and dirt.
|One of two security checkpoints at the Score Hotel Compound.|
Much love to you all,
Valerie and the Ladies Mission team