Just a couple quick thoughts on a warm Saturday morning before we head out to San Juan, a different community in another part of the Dominican Republic to play two basketball games, tonight and tomorrow before lots of folks!
As we were talking about the first sights and sounds in the world here, the guys were reflecting that even in the midst of seeing some of the most significant poverty they have ever seen, there was a sense of joy and hope that surprised them...we talked about how so often in our own worlds and lives, we define happiness as the accumulation of possessions and material resources...and yet when you enter into a community in other cultures, that definition changes...in many ways, there is a freedom and a contentment that cannot be found just in having enough...or even more than enough...the guys talked about the conversations, the community that they saw and felt in the neighborhood here...
This morning's devotion time focused on the notion of Imago Dei, the biblical truth that we are all created in the image of a magnificent God and we literally bear His character and qualities...as we build relationships here and interact with people whose lives may look so different than our own, we see and recognize the truth that each of us, no matter what we own or have, bears the image of our Creator and has incredible value, even to the point of having Christ love and die for each of us...we are excited about the chance we've been blessed with to share that truth with those we play against, work with, and get to know this week...and we are also praying that God would in the midst of being away from many of the things that typically define our lives, we will be reminded of how much God loves us, has grand plans for our lives, and how much He longs for us to care deeply about all who have been made by Him and to tangibly communicate the love of Jesus in what we do and how we view the people here in the DR...
We had a great and long night of sleep and look forward to using basketball as a ministry tool in the next 2 days here...pray for the opportunities we will have to talk with people here and for safety as we travel...below are some of the verses we are thinking about as we minister here today in the DR:
He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.'
Looking at his disciples, he said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”
We will see if I can get online over the next 2 days...we miss you and especially will miss all our MOMS tomorrow on Mother's Day...
With prayers and thanks for all God is and will teach us as we serve Him,