I apologize for not writing any blog posts while we were in the Dominican Republic. I like to do that as often as I can but this journey had very long days for me and my blog writing brain was out of order by the point in the day when I had the time.
Rest assured, God showed up in a BIG way.
I traveled down before the team since we had never been there as a ministry. My goal was to build some relationship with Carlos (the main person we’d be working with) and make sure all of the logistics were in order. We quickly realized that Carlos and I were cut from the same cloth. We were able to have some awesome discussions about what it would take to fulfill the great commission and how we could actively be a part of that together! We are now praying hard that the Lord allows us to partner in the years to come.
Our small (and young) team arrived and we hit the ground running. We had three people on our team under the age of 20 and our oldest was just barely over 30. Every person on the team stepped up and set aside any fear and uncertainty to share the gospel and train disciples to make disciples. It was AWESOME to watch as individuals made the choice to make the most of every opportunity.
Once we entered the community to share the gospel, we quickly found that almost everyone said, “yes, I believe in Jesus but don’t want to follow Him.” Many people were even willing to accept Jesus as “their savior” but not as “Lord of their lives.”
We had a choice to make.
We could’ve easily chosen at that moment to “make decisions” and not “make disciples.” We could’ve lead hundreds of people in empty prayers of repentance and continued on to the next home with another faux notch in our belt. I’m proud to say that each of our team chose the road of making disciples. They invested much time in explaining the truth of the gospel and the storyline of scripture that points to God’s redemption of people. They focused their attention on training the translators and church members that joined us in the community in gospel conversations and disciple-making tools.
At the end of the week, we had only a handful of true decisions to follow Jesus (which we can still praise the Lord!), but we had trained at least 50 people who immediately put into practice the tools they had learned.
A common phrase for the week was “too much at stake.” We decided as a team that in light of God’s redemptive plan for all people, His call on us to make disciples, and the eternal destiny of each individual, that there was too much at stake to make the easy choice. Too much at stake to let people think that just “believing in Jesus” was enough. Too much at stake to just let pastors and missionaries focus on making disciples.
It was a true honor to join God in making disciples in the Dominican Republic on this missionary journey!
If you would like more information about joining God on a missionary journey, visit gonlgm.org.