Monday, July 31, 2017

So We Go -- Dominican Republic Mission Trip Day 1

This is the first of nine daily blog posts from our Diocesan Mission trip to Santiago, Dominican Republic from July 21-29.  I'm posting one a day now that we have returned to the states.  A daily bog from others of our team can be found on our Diocesan blog:

July 21
We got up at 3:00am today to fly to Santiago, Dominican Republic, on a mission trip.  Eleven people – six adults and five youth – are spending eight days with the church of Christo Salvador to help them with a Bible school, run an eyeglass clinic, and do whatever else seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us.  So far, we’ve met Father Hipólito and a handful of other people who have been making the necessary arrangements for us.  Tomorrow we’ll sightsee a bit, on Sunday we’ll worship and set up, and on Monday morning the programs begin.
Our Team and Fr. Hipolito 

In this quiet moment before dinner, I am thinking about what it means to be on a mission trip like this.  I think we spend valuable resources traveling to different places because Jesus tells us to.  Jesus says, “Go,” so we go.  Certainly, we have important work to do at home, and we are often more effective there.  Research also shows that many mission trips aren’t all that helpful to those “being helped”, especially when trips are designed to maximize the experience for participating Americans.  (Gratefully, Pastor Melinda has worked hard to ensure that our Diocesan trips follow best practices.)  Yet we can’t stay, because Jesus says “Go.” 

When we go, in obedience to Jesus, even for a short time, we open doors for things happen.  One experienced missionary friend says, “Obedience brings anointing.”  When we set aside time in our lives to offer it to God, amazing things follow.  Divine appointments happen.  Connections are made.  Angels are met unawares.  The different parts of the Body of Christ remember that we are all one and we need each other.  

Setting aside these eight days for God, we can be confident that God is going to show up all over the place: in our relationships with the other members of the team; in our relationships with those we have come to work with at Christo Salvador; in our relationships with shopkeepers and others unexpected people God puts in our path; in the frustrations and challenges and miscommunications that will creep up from time to time; in the ministry we do because when we allow God to work through us, fruit is always born, whether we see it or not; and, in our richer, fuller awareness of the one in whom we really do live and move and have our being.

I do not know what is going to happen this week.  But God is going to show up, and I can’t wait to see how. 

No comments:

Post a Comment