1The sound of a rooster crowing is not the normal wake up I’m used to.  However, here in the DR it is the norm.  The cacophony of sounds which slowly wake me up, the smell of coffee teasing through the door, and the light of day breaching the window tells me it is time to start my day.  We start with a breakfast set for a king, share in a daily devotional, and then we clamor over each other to get into our seats on the shuttle.  There is no time to lazily move around, Cesar is lurking around the corner making sure our “boots are on the ground.”

3The morning ride is uneventful. I run things through my mind as to how I anticipate the day will unfold.  Of course, our motto is to “be fluid”.  We reach the job site and the line is forming in front of the registration room for the medical, dental and vision clinics.  The doctors, nurses and pharmacy teams scramble out of the shuttles and to their post for the day.  The rest of the team go off to their job assignments – today they are priming a new house for paint.

2For me, I run around making sure everyone is good to go, checking with Cesar for last minute details.  Personally I long to be in a clinic, painting, playing with children–all over the place. But loving on children… This is where the heart beat of this mission team is. Providing to the needs of the people in El Carrizal is the visible aspect.  What we don’t see is how our compassion, love, care, laughter and joy affects each of the people we interact with.  Our most important task is to make sure that our actions and words reflect our love for Jesus. For one split second what we do will plant that seed in one persons’ life.

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There are so many stories to share throughout the day, but I can’t deny that the cherry on the sundae was when we presented a family with a custom built wagon (with special sides that drop to make a bed.) Why do you ask is this so important?  Because the recipient of this wagon is a special child of God.  A young man who is unable to walk, to sit up, to move his arms or legs.  He has Cerebral Palsy as extensive as I’ve ever seen.  However, one thing he can do exceptionally well, despite his circumstances, is smile.

Carlos 1

He smiles through his eyes which sparkle like a 4th of July sparkler.  I know the sounds he utters are saying “thank you.”  I know that he will be sleeping well tonight. Angels will surround him and the blanket of the Holy Spirit will protect him.  His parents may sit and watch him…I don’t know, but I do pray that they are at least taking a deep breath of relief.  With his new bed, he will now be able to go outside and enjoy the sunshine, go to church, and even watch the nearby baseball game!

Carlos 2

Thank you Lord for putting me here in this country with these most awesome team mates, for teaching me to obey you, honor you, trust you and most importantly thank you for your son Jesus Christ who washed away my sins with his blood.  (PS that is the message we are teaching the children this week!)

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