The trip was a success and we are now safely in the Dominican Republic. However, as with any travel, there were many times throughout the day that could have turned my excitement and anticipation into frustration. But I didn’t let it!
The day started at DFW airport. I got there at 3:45am and Delta didn’t open until 4:30 so we all stood there in line for quite a while. The frustration that was beginning to mount among the other people in line was obvious. It reminded me that we hurry through life waiting to get to the next part, to get to where we are going, to get to where we would rather be, and potentially miss opportunities to show God’s love and serve others.
I joined the rest of the mission group at the Atlanta airport. The flight over the Caribbean islands was amazing. To see the brilliant colors of the water and magnificence of God’s creation made me consider what God thinks and sees when he looks at the world he made.
When we arrived in the Dominican Republic, I had pictured in my mind a small, un-air-conditioned bus traveling down bumpy dirt roads for four hours. I’m not sure why that was my expectation, but I quickly realized that, as Americans, sometimes we think of other countries as “less fortunate” or “poor”. And while, yes, there is poverty here in the DR, we should really change our definition of “wealth”. In the world I live in we measure wealth by the stuff we have, the money we make, the appearance of our living and less in the joy of life, the creation God made, and the love God has for ALL of his children.
We travelled four hours to Barahona on an bus. On our journey we went through many towns and saw people selling everything from produce to chickens on the side of the road. There is a lot of trash everywhere… not sure why that’s the case yet. And the buildings don’t seem to be well kept from the outside. There are a lot of dogs, goats, and chickens running around. Beautiful greenery, flowers, fruit and vegetables line the streets. It really is a beautiful place!
We were warmly welcomed by the locals when we reached the HMM compound. The little boys ran behind the truck yelling “Americanos, Americanos” and then a cute little boy came up behind me and rubbed my white legs! The HMM compound is great with awesome views of the island. The pace of life here is slow and relaxed which is a nice welcome to the fast paced world we live in.
We are preparing to leave this morning to go into the community. My devotion was about how God is “I AM”. When we worry we aren’t enough… God says I AM enough. When we think we won’t have the words to share… God says I AM the words.
So, we are leaving, after preparing rice and beans, and I will trust that God is I AM today and every day!
To learn more about Hispaniola Mountain Ministries (HMM), go to www.gohmm.org. It’s a wonderful organization and a great place to go on a mission trip!