2 08 2012


Yes it is time for our annual journey to San Marcos of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic.  This year I will be taking along a Team of 22 individuals made up of a few adults but mostly courageous young people who are not satisfied in just wasting their summer- but they are longing to invest it into what will equate into eternal dividends!  In the heat of the heart of August, we sojourn to a land that may be impoverished when it comes to material things- but they are very rich in those wonderful intangibles like contagious faith and genuine joy and an enviable gift of gracious hospitality!  Why do those who have so little always seem to be so ready to share so much more than those who already have?   

As you read this, we will already be there and jumping right in to our missions venture from August 2nd through the 8th!  We have been going to the same area since 2003 when The Lighthouse Church made a connection with some wonderful people who lived in a tiny neighborhood, off the beaten resort path, that just ached with a hunger for the Lord and a place for them to gather to worship.  We bought land and built a church and saw it as a privilege and an honor to come alongside Pastor Jose and Maritza Pena.  Together we are still in the process of building a school and to be totally candid, we on this side have received way more than we have given by doing home makeovers in the barrio for those who attend the church and even those who don’t!  We have provided strategic water tanks in the area so that safer “agua” is there to drink and above all else- we have become family with “hermanos y hermanas” that we would never have known if we didn’t go beyond the boundaries of our own backyard!

It really is all about the relationships.  This venture is so much more than some impersonal good deed that we nice rich Americans do!  For me- it is a family reunion!  I love hanging with my San Marcos Flock!  We all dive in right into the culture.  We eat what they eat!  I am already anticipating and salivating over my avocado- straight from the tree- sandwich! And yes, we may give up all the comforts of home for a week and sweat it out in some steamy temperatures that will wreak havoc with my body- but it does make us all realize how much we do have and how little of that we do share when we are home here in the States!  Little things do mean a lot but we humans normally don’t appreciate what we have until we don’t have it anymore!  Maybe now would be a good time to pause and say a prayer of ‘Thanks!” for something that you have been taking for granted lately!  

I purposely lead the Youth Trip because I love the willingness and openness of these awesome kids to do whatever it takes to make some lasting lifetime memories.  Let’s face facts- us older adults tend to do lots more grumbling than we should!  “It’s too hot! The shower has only cold water and there was a rat and a giant spider in there with me!  There is no computer or television or soft mattresses or air conditioning!”  Right from the time that our airplane lands- there is little complaining and lots of contributing amongst the teens!  We want to get to the neighborhood!  We can’t wait to play with the kids!  These precious children with their smiles and their need to be loved and held- how can you not be moved by that?  I love leading the group in some jamming for Jesus singing!  I show off my aging baseball skills with the other men in a neighborhood tournament!  I preach and share with several “iglesias” my passionate love for the word of God!  Love in any language is a heart to heart way of communication anyway.  I may fumble my way through my high school remembrance of the little that I learned in my Spanish classes, but I know that we will speak volumes in the very same lingo when it comes to expressing acts of kindness via our behavior on behalf of our Savior!  I know that even here in our own country, churches would do a whole lot better with a little less talk and a lot more action!  Who can you surprise with a random act of kindness today?

The theme for this year’s adventure is “Todo Poderoso!” When you translate that into English, it means “Total Power!”  Our verse for the week is from Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  It is not by our own efforts that we are going to do what we do but by our availability to becoming instruments for God to do what He wants to do in us and through us.

I would hope and pray that every one of my readers gets a chance to go on a Missions Trip some time in their life.  It is necessary for us to get out of our own comfort zones and be able to view a much bigger God doing a much grander thing in a much more gigantic way than we sometimes give Him credit for!  God is not an American.  God is not a republican or a democrat!  God speaks a language that includes every tongue of every tribe in every nation in every color, shape and size and economic class!  I sometimes think that what we here in this country call blessings actually may be the very obstacles that block the real true heavenly blessings from coming our way!  Using things and loving people- that’s the way it’s got to be.       

So please say a prayer for us this week.  I will share with you all when I return!  Let me close with some powerful lyrics in “Espanol!” The name of this song is the very same words of our theme:

“Todo Poderoso!” “La unica razon de mi adoracion… Eres tu mi Jesus… Mi unico motivo para vivir…  Eres tu mi señor… Mi unica verdad…  Esta en ti…  Tu eres mi luz y mi salvacion… Mi unico amor…  Eres tu señor…  Y por siempre  te alabare… Tu eres todo poderoso…  Eres grande y majestuoso…  Eres fuerte, invensible y no hay nadie como tu…”







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