Hello from the Dominican Republic!
We all arrived safely, and have settled in at the home of Tom and Dee Jacinto, founders of the Red del Camino Network. 13 of us are very happy and comfortable in their home.
Upon arriving for Sunday morning services at Visión Celestial, we were greeted with the warmth of being close friends. Pastor Ernesto introduced us to the congregation, and Pastor Jeff delivered the sermon with Alberto translating. After the service, there were smiles all around as we greeted and hugged each other as one community in Christ.
Lunch was served in the "upper room" (a multi-purpose room), with Pastor Ernesto and his wife Altagracia and their staff, and the team. It was a wonderful time of sharing about who we are and what we do in our churches.
On Sunday evening, we attended a church in the Network, Iglesias Communidad Christiano, or Christian Community Church. This church is held in what looks like a theatre where the worship music rises to the heavens. Pastor Raphael and his congregation are passionate about serving their neighborhood in this dense city, including the homeless and forgotten.
Up and at it, the men plus Jessica went over to the bakery to check out the building behind the bakery that will become a storage place. They cleaned out the space of stuff and heavy 150 lb. bags of sand. Wednesday is planned as an "intense" work day. Pastor Ernesto has extraordinary vision for seeing this bakery as much more than it is. An incredible man working tirelessly for Christ.
The other women stayed at the Compassion site at the church, preparing and then creating decorated crosses with 3 classes of children - 3 to 8 years old. It was chaotic and so, so much fun!! These kids are adorable and precious.
After dinner, we gathered up on the balcony patio for song, reflection, words from God, more song, and prayer. It is also a time to share a bit and tell stories, a time to laugh and sing.
I was thinking tonight of a verse: Matt. 6: 33 -- Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all shall be given on to you . . When we seek the kingdom of God, He will send us anywhere, in His time. It is amazing grace that He has brought our churches and the Red Del Camino Network together, and the caring people of Endeavor. We were greeted, loved and hugged by strangers yesterday and today, knowing they are family. It's amazing when we seek Him first, the wonders that appear in our lives.