Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hello from the warm Dominican Republic!

Well as the snow falls in Grand Rapids back home, there is a warm breeze blowing on a beautiful night in the DR...we made it safely and had a perfect travel time...we go settled in the camp location where we are staying and had a chance to spend some time walking the community where Unto, our ministry partner is serving and providing hope and healing in the name of Jesus in amazing ways...

The majority of the people in the community are dealing with significant poverty and have real physical needs...it is always a bit of a shock to see a different world and it creates what I'd call a healthy and uncomfortable tension as you think about what you have been blessed with and what most of the people in the world are dealing with each day...we had a chance to see several homes that have been built by teams for families that local churches have communicated have very serious needs...there is also a beautiful Christian school complex and satellite sites that is now bringing education to the children of the area with an academic quality and Christian focus...there is also a feeding program and vocational training center in addition to a thriving clean water program that Unto is helping to resource...it's exciting to see all that is happening to bring transformation of lives in the name of Jesus in this place...

Everyone is doing well and we are headed to bed fairly early after only grabbing some sleep on buses and planes in the last 36 hours...we enjoyed a good dinner on an outside patio area and even snuck in a quick game of basketball to stretch our legs...

Tomorrow we will be working hard to help build the walls of a new weigth room facility that will serve the school and the community...there is a growing substance abuse struggle among the young adults in the community and creating places like a gym to work out serve to keep them off the streets and connect them to people who care about them and often introduce them to the person and presence of Jesus...

We will then be playing in a tournament against some Dominican soccer teams on Saturday and spending time holding clinics for children next week in addition to working on other building projects including laying the foundation for a new family home...it promises to be hot and rewarding week ahead for us...

Each morning we will be up spending time alone with God studying Scripture dealing with issues like Imago Dei, compassion, justice, mission, and serving in love...we will conclude each night with a time of debrief and sharing as we seek to build a framework of experiences and ideas that will change us and allow us to live differently when we return...

It really is a joy to be with a group of young men who enjoy each other and are seeking to serve Christ with their best this week...we appreciate your prayers and will be thinking of you in the snow as we doze off tonight...

I'll have some stories to share from our work day tomorrow night...

With our Love and Prayers from the DR,

CHIP and the CU Soccer Crew

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chip - thanks for the blog for keeping track of the soccer team's ministry. And how about bringing back some of that warm DR weather when you return?

You'll be in our prayers here at home. Can you post any pics either here, or on a Flickr account or something?

Andy Smith

Catherine said...

Thanks so much Chip for the update! It means a lot to a wife and 2 sons :)!! Tell Coach Bell we love him and are thinking of him. We are praying for you all daily! In Him, Catherine Mueller-Bell (Coach Bells' Wife)

Layne said...

Chip,

I want a hat-trick out of your and coach bell on Saturday. No hiding behind Herdsman :)