My excitement this month with our team in the Dominican Republic was greater than ever! Seventy one of us were ready to arrive in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in local bateys (villages). Beginning at 4:15am in the morning the team, divided into four traveling groups, began checking bags at our airport to make the journey. As one group met up with another during layovers, it was a joy to see the seventy one different personalities and gifts coming together for an amazing week of ministry impact.
Beginning on Monday, our team stepped into the lives of families in each of three bateys in the Dominican Republic. Each batey is different, but all had excited families ready to receive and respond to the love Christ. Santa Alicia and El Cea, had the 25 Project weekday Feeding Program in progress which the team was blessed to see. The children were filled with locally made bread and other sides to fill them for the activities of our VBS program. Keegan and other students lead out the day with music in both Spanish and English for the kids. Lord I Lift Your Name on High and other songs that included motions filled the bateys as the children sang full of joy! At first the motions were new to many of them but by Thursday the kids knew the words and motions by heart. Motions to songs are so exciting to see because they reveal the heart, so that the team can witness the message of Jesus Christ outwardly.
Skits, games, crafts and Bible stories impacted the children each day of the VBS. A particularly joyful part, was to see Caleb and other students act out the Bible stories like the Good Samaritan, so the children would fully understand and remember them. The stories of the Bible came to life and the students made the application of each story as they sat in small groups all around the church. I loved taking pictures of the students and children sitting side by side in a circle sharing the story of a Savior who died that they might have eternal life.
The Jesus Film was played each night in all three bateys and the response of the children and their families was evident. At the end of the film, a prayer was read and the families would individually say the prayer of salvation themselves in response to the Gospel presented before them. After the film each night, hundreds of people heard from batey pastors Chile and Bona. Students would see one child after another point to their hearts, speak Spanish words of faith in Jesus, and communicate that they too wanted to make Jesus their Lord and Savior. God was not only working in bateys, but all around the team throughout the week. Even Guillermo and another bus driver from the city, transporting the team each day, made a profession of faith in Jesus during the Jesus Film!
Please join us in praying and asking God to do big things in the Dominican Republic and through the leadership of Pastor Bona, Pastor Chile and all the leaders there. Would you consider becoming a Name Changer and sponsor a child today for just $36/month, or could it be that you would consider joining a future 25 Project team by contacting Nathan Bogue (nathan at 25project.org) today?