Mission Possible XII
Day One

Greetings from Higuey! The team of 42 missionaries all arrived today and are eager and ready for a full week of work. The group arrived via three different flights and all landed with a desire to do good work in service to the Lord and those most in need.

Things have changed some in our community. Thanks to an aggressive presidential election (which took place in the third week of May) tons and tons of asphalt were spread through the city. This took away the terrible dirt road that lead to our community on Calle 19. The challenge is that now that the election has come and gone chances are there is very little money left for any other projections in the country until the next election – four more years! Probably not very different for our experience in the USA. And while some of the road conditions have improved, some of the work conditions have also improved some. More of our adults are working manual labor for a meager wage….but they are working. Praise God.

We have an aggressive set of projects for the week:

…We will build two proto-type houses in the current community. Hopefully this will be the same house we will perfect and build sixty more of on the new land.

…We will complete the renovation of the original community center that will become a nursery/child care center. With more working parents….this is a great need.

…We will paint the building that we constructed in early January that will become the Kindergarten building for the school as they now need more space for more students.

…We are hosting Quantum Learning for a Three Day Super Camp that will enrich the students greatly. This is amazing opportunity to bring ‘the best’ enrichment program to the poorest of the poor. What a blessing.

Concurrent with these projects, Jake and I are working on the new land to begin construction of a community center that when complete (in three phases) will become a Church for the region. We were able to move the large container of our supplies to the new land today (what an event) and begin the process of clearing a roadway into the land and creating a staging area for construction. Our goal is to build phase one (30 ft x 60 ft x 14 ft tall) in the next six days…..watch for details. We are working as hard as possible to make the most of the resources and funds we have to do the most possible for those in such great need. You can see the difference we are making.

The theme for this Mission is: He is Calling YOU. A constant reminder that every day…in so many ways…God is calling out to each of us. When I met the group on the bus, I had them all start talking as loud as possible….then asked them what they heard….nothing. So often….we are immersed in the noise and chatter of phone, email, texting, BBM, and so much more that we can barely hear anything…let alone God. The most extraordinary part of this week will be for each of us….especially our mission team….to allow themselves NOT to text, call, email….so God can call out and speak to each of us/each of them….this will be what is most extraordinary and life changing. I would invite you…in solidarity with the mission team….to take time today…..to step out of the noise…and allow yourself to hear the call of God…..who is calling you and me to peace, to mercy, to light, to hope, to service. God who is calling each of us…every day…to use our very lives to transform the world in the name of Jesus Christ.

One thought to close….today we were trying to move the container. We had already staked out the foundation for the new houses….and then with the crane (bucket truck turned into crane) the string was in the way. Not surprising to you, I was getting ready to cut it…so it would be out of the way quickly for the crame/truck. I was abruptly stopped because cutting the string (at 1.29 for 500 ft) would limit its use for the future….and I watched Lorenzo slowly and methodically weave in and out of tires and trees to salvage the string and maintain its integrity and longevity. A different world view….it was string…it was tangled up….and slowly he unraveled and carefully collected the string…while I used this time….and this day to unravel some of the noise and collect some of my thoughts to realize how richly blessed I am by a very good God who has called each of our mission team here by name….to speak to each of us…without distraction….focusing on the Lord and what matters most.

In the busyness of this first day and throughout this week, know how grateful I am to God for you and the support and encouragement you give to me and our mission team so we can give this time and do this work for those most in need. Know that what you do…and what you have shared….makes a real difference.

One final funny thought…..today some of the locals were worried that we did not have a plan for the new buildlings…on my pant legs are now sketched very detail drawings…..that I think will actually work. Why….because when we lack the plan….God always provides.

God bless. More tomorrow. Pray for the team.