More than Enough

7 Jul

More than Enough – By Luke

Remember the good old days of your childhood? Times filled with hot wheels, Barbie’s, Lego’s, and many other toys that we used to play with. The joy in a child is easily seen as he or she plays with their toys. A smile lights up instantly across their face.

This time on the DR trip I got to meet the sponsor child that Megan and I sponsor. His name is Fredely and he is eight years old and very handsome. He was also very shy and didn’t say much to us at first. Megan and I decided to give him his gifts first in hopes that he would open up a bit. We gave him the backpack with gifts and his face lit up in happiness and disbelief. After a while he said something that really struck me. He said “Finally I have toys.” Wait… What??? Doesn’t every kid have toys to play with? Some form of cars or Lego’s or action figures that I always had access to as a kid? Unimaginable. It’s hard to think that I have played with more toys for one day and then thrown them aside, than he has had in his entire life. It simply blew my mind.

In America, most of us have more than enough. More than we need even in hard times. However this is not a story to make you feel ashamed or guilty. Instead it’s one to inspire you to do something great for someone else. These two trips to the DR have given me a passion not to throw away all my stuff out of guilt but to use my opportunities to bless others. I want to work hard and earn money to help others, to sponsor more kids and use it to show the love of God. Money is very powerful. We all hear about the evil and corruption it can cause. However it can also do many great things for people. It can be used to bless people in tough situations. I don’t know how Fredely usually feels, living at home with five brothers and sisters and only one grandmother to provide. However for one day I got to see such happiness and joy in him while playing with him in the pool. I also may never know all the pains and trials that he will go through, I do know however that by sponsoring him I can give him a taste of God’s love and joy in a situation where it may be hard sometimes to find.

As I end this note my challenge to everyone is to live to help others. Here in America we have incredible opportunities to use the blessings that God has provided us to bless other people in our communities, our country and across the world. Maybe your passion isn’t sponsoring kids and that’s ok. However do not take for granted your situation, instead use it to do incredible things for the glory of God and for his children.

Proverbs 11:24  One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;  another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. 25  Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,  and one who waters will himself be watered.

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Desires of My Heart

6 Jul

When I first found out that we were going to be able to make a home visit to Kara’s sponsor child (Delcia) in the Dominican Republic, I was so excited!  God began to give me a burden for the whole family.  I wanted to be able to communicate that God loves them very much, and that He wants to be personally involved in their lives.  Then little by little God began to give me the desires of my heart.

He reminded me that years ago (when I worked with international students at Portland State), the gift that the women treasured most from me was a simple cross-stitch which contained a verse from the Bible.  Kara and I readily agreed upon the verse “Let not your heart be troubled; trust in God, trust also in Me.”  John 14:1 which is a quote from Jesus.  Using Kara’s Spanish Bible we translated and designed a cross-stitch which read:  No se augustien.  Confíen en Dios, y confíen también en Mí.”  Juan 14:1   For some strange reason it was difficult for me to determine the predicted dimensions of the cross-stitch.  When we realized what the final dimensions of the cross-stitch would be, I was disheartened.  I knew that a 5 x 7 frame was too small, but was horrified to find out that an 8 x 10 frame was too large.  I believed that the Lord wanted me to make the cross-stitch, so I was confused why this one was so difficult.  I could not afford to have this project custom-framed, so I worried that the cross-stitch would not look very nice.  Gloomily I went shopping to find an 8 x 10 frame which would be “okay”.  I was absolutely astonished to find two stores which had an 8 x 8 frame.  I never saw an 8 x 8 frame in the stores before, nor did I even know that they existed!  However, the Lord knew.  And this year when I needed it, the Lord provided the perfect size frame!  I was simply overjoyed and my heart was full of thankfulness to the Lord.

It was not, however, until a few days before the trip that I began to understand what the Lord wanted me to learn.  In my devotional that morning I was again reminded of the verse that I had cross-stitched (John 14:1).  This time the Lord brought fuller meaning of the verse to me and taught me that this verse was for me also!  You see, I always worry.  I worry so much,  I even worry if my cross-stitch has the right frame!  God just wants me to trust Him with every little detail of my life.  He cares for each of us and always provides what we need.  This was exactly what I wanted to communicate to Delcia’s family, and now God had given me a story to help them understand.

The afternoon of the home visit finally came.  I was very nervous, not knowing how we would be received by the family.  Inside the home, I started thinking thoughts like:  “Perhaps I shouldn’t tell her the story of the frame.  She will think that it is a silly story.  She won’t want to hear the story.  She will think that it is not important.  She has greater worries than that.  My story is so trivial.”  However, the Lord provided the perfect translator.  His name was Marcel; he was very easy to understand and had no problem understanding me.  His calm character actually calmed my heart throughout the whole visit.  Delcia opened all of her gifts first.  Then her mom Maria opened the gifts for the whole family.  The last gift that she unwrapped was the cross-stitch.  By this time I was greatly encouraged by her smile when she opened the other gifts, and the Lord had calmed my fears.  I began to tell Maria that this was one of my favorite verses, and that this gift had a story.  After I told her the story, I was amazed.  She started to choke up and cry.  She said that she needed this; that when she prayed, God answered; and that this was an answer to prayer.  We hugged each other and I reiterated, “Yes, that is exactly who God is and what He does.  God loves you very much.  And He wants to be involved in every detail of your life.”

It is amazing how God works to help people understand how much He loves them.  I was twice blessed in helping a woman I just met with understanding the love of Christ, as well as, in being reminded once again how much God loves me and how he can use any one of us to fulfill His purposes.  Truly God gave me the desires of my heart on this short trip to the Dominican Republic.  I want to thank all of you who prayed for me and our team.  We could not have accomplished as much as we did without your prayers.  Thanks for partnering with our team to minister to the people in the Dominican Republic.

Difficulties of a Mission Trip

1 Jul

So you are all expecting me to say that this was an amazing trip but for me, but it was not amazing. I faced struggles and battles that I thought wouldn’t be possible for a mission trip.

To let you in on what’s going on. So for a while now I have been going through a spiritual battle. I’ve been questioning if God is real or if He cares about me or if I am even worthy of His love? Through this battle I have been trying to keep it to myself and by doing that I have been struggling with annoyance, hatred and many different things. Before the trip I asked God to show me what to do and what He wants for me on the trip. So I was going through this past week on this trip and was just not myself. I  felt it too. I really needed to do something about it, so I prayed to God to show me what he wanted me to learn and how he wanted me to grow on this trip…

One evening we were having dinner with the church leaders and I sat down with the pastor and his wife. I really saw his love and care for the community and I learned that he does this full time job as pastor for voluntary work. This really made me think again about how I wanted to become a pastor. This really inspires me to become a pastor even more now. The past year or so I threw this idea out because of finances, but now after watching this pastor choose to live in poverty because he wants to lead this church, tt really makes the financial obligation obsolete, because if God can provide for this guy and watch over him by following God then God will provide for me and watch over me when I follow Him.

God really answered my prayers within a couple of hours. This really washed ways all my doubts that I had against God. I know now that God is real and He loves and cares for me. I know that I will struggle and fall but now I know that God is watching over me and loves me. I just need to be sold out for God as much as possible. For me to be sold out for God I will need to change some things in my life. Some of those things are increase my spiritual disciplines, better the people that I surround myself with, better the way that I act around people and I want to better my health so I can be strong in the Lord then getting sick all the time.

So as one body under Christ I would like you the body to keep me accountable, but again I know that slip up here and there but I will try to not use this as an excuse, but I am so thankful for being able to let you into a little part of my trip and I hope it really touches some people’s hearts. I love you all!!! Thanks for reading.

 

-Tyler Rosu

 

Quick update

24 Jun

I wanted to give you a quick update while we have a little internet.  Sorry friends, our hotel is without internet so our access is very limited. But…….

WE ARE HAVING AN AMAZING TIME!

Yesterday we had some pretty intense home visits.  We were not able to stay as long as we wanted in the homes due to safety, but the Lord has been good to our team and given us time to share the love of Christ.  Kevin, Mari, Angie, Gloria, Kara and Tyler all visited homes of their sponsored children and the the rest of us tagged along. We also spent the morning with 275 kids doing crafts, basketball games and face painting!  It was quite fun.

This morning we attended church where the worship was amazing.  This church in Barahona loves to dance and sing, and we all found ourselves in a huge conga line dancing throughout the building unlike any other church service we have ever been to.  It’s hard to describe.

Amongst all the poverty, amongst the poor we danced with joy.

Tomorrow we hope to give a more extensive update, but continue to pray for our team, for all the work that is yet to be done, for this community that continues to suffer from many problems and for the hearts of those we are spending time with.

Our team sends love to all our family and friends!

 

Blessings,

Patricia

 

 

Safe and sound

23 Jun

We are safe and sound in Barahona! It was a long day of travel, but tonight we are resting in a beautiful little place by the ocean. Thanks for the prayers .

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One More Flight

22 Jun

One more flight to go and then we arrive!

The pilot welcomed the group from Compassion International, and we all cheered. Despite the red eye flight and the McDonald’s for breakfast, we all have energy.

Excited!

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What was I thinking?

21 Jun

By Mari

In 24 hours we will be boarding a plane for the DR! Yesterday I was feeling so anxious and fearful about the trip, and to be honest, wondering why I signed up for this. What if I get sick? What if I am unable to communicate with the people? What if we as a team don’t get along with each other? What was I thinking?!!

But God has called me, and all of us to go, and He knows why. He’s given me the desire to meet the people in the DR, to sponsor a child, and to love them. He has a plan for this trip, and for my life. And His perfect love casts out fear!

God reminded me to cast all my anxiety on Him, because He cares for me. (1 Peter 5:7)  So as I give my fears and anxieties to Him, He has also reminded me that He has not given me a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)  And I am excited to see what God has for me, and for each one of us as individuals and as a team. I think God might be excited, too!