It was so apparent even before our team left for this trip that God planned for us to work together far before we even knew we would. The unity in our group is clearly God given!
The local sister church that we are working alongside here, Iglesia Cristiana San Pedro de Macoris (ICSPM), prayed and fasted for weeks before our arrival and have truly invited us in with open arms!
I have had the great privilege of getting to train the local congregation with tools to be effective in reaching in lost! With an interpreter and sometimes even in Spanish!
This culture is missing a lot of the luxuries found in the United States and the illusion of security that comes from those things. People know they need help here, but they have been falsely indoctrinated to believe that they have to somehow earn it.In just over a week, we have prayed for and shared the gospel with close to 200 people. We have seen close to 30 people make the decision to follow and trust in Jesus!
The Dominicans are open and honest. They will literally sit with you at work and listen to the gospel and then invite you back. People here invite prayer like I have never witnessed before, they invite you in there homes almost before you can get the word “prayer” out of your mouth. Out of the first 15-20 people I talked to, I only had 2 say they weren’t able or interested in talking! Our numbers in sharing have decreased each day for good reason. We are getting the chance to keep returning to these people where they work and live to continue talking and sharing the love of God with them, they want you to come back! When reading the book of Acts (Hechos) you see that Paul shared everywhere, in the synagogue, before the court, in the marketplace and everywhere in between. He modeled a life lived for the gospel and here in the DR, God has shown me that He wants me to have that very same lifestyle and is giving such great opportunities to do so!
One of the many encouraging stories from my time here is about a women named Noemi that I met at her and her husband’s store just down the street from the church. Noemi had a bible when we met her and she mostly understood the gospel, but she still thought her salvation was dependent on how clean she could keep herself. What’s so encouraging about her is how receptive and enthusiastic she is about us missionaries. After meeting her the first time, she told us we had to come back so we could meet her husband and share the gospel with him, because he needed to hear it! She always tries to give us things to snack on from her store when we come in. On one of our recent times visiting her, she said she wanted to invite her friends and neighbors so we could share with them as well, she ended up having six people join! We aren’t sure she is saved yet and are praying for her to get saved, have assurance of salvation, for her family to be saved as well and for us to be able to train her to be an influencer for Christ to others!