We are spending our last night in the community that we feel part of now here in the DR...we were back out in the sunshine this morning pouring cement for curbs and sidewalks to help prevent floods from reaching people's homes and helping students to walk to their local community school...
The guys have really put their sweat and hearts into helping the community here...and there has been a sweet satisfaction in being tired in doing God's work on behalf of the people here...
I loved seeing some of the guys walk through the neighborhood holding the hands of kids in their school uniforms and taking pictures with children on their shoulders...they have been ambassadors of God's love to people looking to receive love from the Father through them...
After another morning of work, we headed downtown to take on our final opponent at the University of Santo Domingo...it is a massive university that serves students from all over Latin America...the guys didn't have much energy but squeaked out a final win 64-62...they finished their Dominican Tour undefeated against some of the better players and teams in this country...and they shared the message of hope found in Jesus to hundreds and hundreds of players, coaches, and fans across the nation...using basketball as a ministry tool has been a privilege and pleasure, and athletics provides a platform for service and relationships and evangelism unlike few things that cross cultural boundaries...and it has been a fantastic week participating in God's Kingdom work in this part of the world...
I have to tell you personally this has been a fantastic trip...I've taken students all over the globe and I have loved these last days in the DR...what a joy to have the privilege to watch this team serve God with a heart that loves the people, cares for these kids, and is passionate about changing the future of a community that has needs God allowed us to help meet...in many ways, you see this generation of Christ-followers at its best...and tonite I praise God for what He is doing and will do...
Tomorrow morning we will head out of our camp here and visit the historical sites of Santo Domingo (there's lots of them due to explorers like Christopher Columbus) and a quick stop in a typical Dominican market...and we will close off the trip at a Dominican resort where we will get some rest, enjoy the beach, and hang out together...
We are getting excited to head home to share our stories with you all and appreciate your prayers as we share with one another how we will seek to live differently in light of our experiences and things God has allowed us to hear and experience here away from our normal lives...
I'll close tonight with some verses we've been studying and talking about in our devotional and sharing times together:
Isaiah 58:6-10 (New Living Translation)
6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
For the CU HOOPS team in the DR,