Wednesday, June 24, 2015


This is a cross post from my brother, Kris. A reflection of his time in the DR. It really sums up the feels I always leave with. I would ask you to simply pray about how you can be a part of what the Lord is doing in the DR. 


As we board an early flight this morning here in Santo Domingo, I have so many different thoughts. It's a bittersweet departure, as I really miss my family but feel I am leaving new family. I'm reminded of a few truths that grant clarity and freedom from these opposing thoughts. 

The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.  - Psalm 97:6

The most amazing truth that's been revealed to me during my time working with the beautiful Haitians of SA was the Glory displayed to all people. On Sunday, our team had the opportunity to worship in a small batay church. Pastor B reminded us that the Church of Jesus is not separated by land, sea or language. As we sang and cried out to the Lord, our differences didn't matter. We gathered together to proclaim his righteousness and Jesus' name was glorified. This community that was displayed during that time was a shadow of the day coming when every tribe and tongue will stand declaring the Glory of the Lamb. 

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, - Revelation 7:9

The second truth washing through my mind is our new established partnership in the gospel. For a few years I have listened to my brother, Zach, share of two amazing people living a life worthy of the Gospel. You see, Julio and Mercy don't view their lives as radical, but obedient to the call placed on all who follow Jesus. They simply love people, seek justice and share hope with all they encounter. They open their home to all who will come and partner with them in the work Christ has placed in their path. The love and patience they showed our team was so special. Their desire for the people of the Dominican impacted me greatly. I found myself praising the Lord as I listened to Mercy describe the culture of the island. Her passion was so evident that the Spirit used it to grow and stretch me in ways I could have never imagined. Julio shared big gospel centered dreams of stopping injustice facing the people. They shared the beautiful story that the Lord is leading them through and invited us to partner. Partnership! This is the truth that allows me to leave my new friends. Our call as followers of Christ is to lock arms and partner with other believers. The Church is so large and reaching it can't be separated by land or sea. Our partnership with our new friends is permanent. Will you join in this partnership? Will you pray for these dear people? Will you send teams to serve alongside them? Will you be obedient and go?

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. - Philippians 1:3-5

This trip has left me forever changed. The obedience of two precious people has sanctified and humbled me. I thank my God in all my remembrance of them, praising the Spirit for the work He is doing in their lives. I commit to locking arms with them and "holding the rope" as they dive deeper into their journey. 


Friday, June 19, 2015

Day 3 - Santa Alicia part 2

The truth is that I structure my life in such a way that I spend very little time doing things that are am not ultimately confident in my ability to do. What I mean is that I fill up my days doing things I'm very comfortable with. They are the things that partially make me who I am.

One of the things I love most about coming to the DR is how often I find myself in the middle of something that makes me completely uncomfortable. At times it's trying to communicate with someone who does not speak the same language as I do. Other times it's setting out to accomplish something I've never done before. Today was a perfect microcosm of that struggle.

We returned to Santa Alicia today to continue the work on the new church building. I spent a lot of time shoveling concrete and pushing a wheel barrow. I've never mixed concrete before, at least not in the sheer amount that we mixed it today. We mixed up two different piles of concrete today. One included 8 bags of cement mix and the other included 13 bags of mix (each bag of mix was 95 lbs). This was a BIG pile of cement. It was very intimidating trying to get this stuff transformed into something that could be used in the floor of this church. There was one guy out there with us who really seemed to know what he was doing and how he wanted it done...however, he could not tell us what he wanted us to do and HOW he wanted it done. So we watch and mimicked the best we could. When we were not doing it the right way, we were gently corrected (by someone coming and taking our shovel or pick ax away from us). I'm not sure how that guy was able to be so patient with us while he was working but he deserves a medal for it.

At the end of our work day we had moved about 2,000 lbs of concrete and while we did not get the job done completely it was so neat to see the church continuing to come together. I'm so grateful that the Lord has provided this church to these sweet people. And incredible humbled to be a small part of the process.
(The team with Pastor Bona and Bernardo)

Oh, I also had the opportunity to reconnect with my little friend Ariel. Cannot believe how big he is getting. It always blesses my heart so much when he says that he remembers my face (whether he really does or not, I'm not concerned with).

Better Than I Deserve,

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Day 2 - Santa Alicia

So much fun being able to reconnect with the people of Santa Alicia today.

We spent our morning shoveling and carrying concrete, and crushing rocks at the new church building that the people of Santa Alicia are building. The work was really hard, hot work but it brings me so much joy working along side my Haitian friends.

It's truly exciting to think about the impact this new building can have. We were able to pray over the space asking God to make it a place of hope for the people of Santa Alicia and the surrounding area.

We "tamped" down the rock floor and finished up the concrete work on the pulpit/stage area of the church this morning. We will return early tomorrow to do the floor in the sanctuary. It has also been a real joy working with the group from the Branch Community Church. Great folks with BIG hearts for the Gospel.

I ask that you would join us in praying for the church in  Santa Alicia that Christ would use it and Pastor Bona and Pastor Bernardo in incredible ways.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Day 1 - Away we go...well kinda

Really excited about getting to travel back to the DR and serving alongside my brother and some very kind folks from his church. 

First lesson: traveling internationally...especially with a group...especially when you're flying American Airlines...will be a problem. 

When we boarded our plane in Dallas there was a constant, high pitched, ringing. As we sat there for TWO HOURS (yes with the constant, high pitched ringing the entire time) it became clear that we would not make our connection in Miami. We anticipated the possibility of a delayed flight but we were thinking it may have something to do with "Bill"...not a faulty PA system. 

So here we sit in Miami. Hoping to catch a standby on the 6:56 flight but booked on the 9:40. 

The best part has been the incredible positive attitudes of the people I'm traveling with. Not one person has complained even one time. Positive, upbeat, adventurous people. 

It's going to be a great week. 
Stay tuned.