I am sitting at my dining table on a near perfect Minnesota summer day. Good music is playing on the stereo, the wind blows through the red maple out my window, and hummingbirds flit among the flowers in my yard. My thoughts, however, keep drifting to the people of LaCumbre, Dominican Republic and the team of servants who recently worked there.
Just 3 days ago Craig and I returned from leading a group of 25 servants in LaCumbre, so I guess it is no wonder my thoughts stray there. Having been there last summer, I know this is not a temporary occurrence. I will often go to LaCumbre in my thoughts and hear Craig teaching (quite a different experience doing it through an interpreter) and the entire group, Dominicans and Americans, singing “Here I Am To Worship” at Good Samaritan on the first night there.
Today, in my thoughts, I see the children gathered as the bus pulls up waiting for our team and marvel at the love shown by our team to those children and by the children to our team. I hear Rafael, Benjamin, and Chayo singing praise in Spanish as the walls rise – walls that will house a preschool for the children. The image of the team lined up passing cement block and buckets of cement to the workers on the walls is etched in my mind.
I feel Addy pressed tight against me just sitting for 20 minutes and Calli falling asleep in my lap. I hear Vicki and Shelly giving witness to their faith to a group of women gathered in Good Samaritan church and Ronald and Franklin translating to that room filled with women. I sense the excitement of the home visit teams that were able to pray with the people of LaCumbre and share the Gospel message one on one. The voices of the children singing Alleleu, Allelu, Allelu, Alleluia, Gloria Adios is still ringing in my ears. Their enthusiasm during Kid’s Club was infectious.
I see Kara and Jessica’s gentle smiles, Micah’s enthusiasm, Abi’s passion for the people, Brock’s conversation with many (his Spanish is very good), Dan’s passion for the lost, and Mama Flora flitting among the group hugging anyone who is not working at the moment. I think about all the men in our group, young and old, valuing the children with their time. Hannah’s excitement for ice cream and David’s appreciation for the history of the Dominican Republic on our day off was refreshing.
I can still hear Thelma saying (in English) “I love you very much!” The sweetness of the vine-ripened fruit is fresh in my mind and I taste the traditional Dominican food prepared for us by the members of Good Samaritan church on our last afternoon. My appreciation for the openness of the group as we gathered each night for worship and to talk about our day continues. Tony’s passion for the Lord as he translates is clear as is the love every girl in our group POURED out to the children of LaCumbre. As always happens on these trips, I see Craig moving throughout the group tending to needs and making people smile. I hear much laughter and smell SWEAT, both of which remind me of the work done and relationships forged.
Which brings me full circle and I am reminded that just as we arrived in LaCumbre using the World Servant’s model of entering a culture as Learners, Servants, and Storytellers, we return to the U.S. to do the same. We reminded the group on the last night that the mission field is all around us at home too. So as my thoughts drift to LaCumbre over the next months, I pray they nudge me to be a servant to everyone around me as I Ponder God and Proclaim Christ.
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