We came here last year, and as I look back, most of my memories are bits and pieces of the whirlwind that was our eight days.
Wonderful memories, but jumbled, nonetheless.
So, a year later, we’ve come back to the land of warm sun, warm sand, warm smiles…
and have made more wonderful memories.
It’s different coming to this beautiful country, called the Dominican Republic, a second time. I find myself listening to conversations and picking out the minuscule Spanish that I understand. My eyes wander less trying to take it all in, and I observe more. I see things I didn’t see last year and understand words I didn’t even know that I knew. I’m learning to recognize the students at the school by their names, remember the staff members’ names, and realize the costs of living in a second culture.
It’s been a blessing to be my sister’s house guests again…
yet, I’ve laid awake wondering why I am here.
My man is amazing. He comes, lends his medical expertise, assists El Doctor, and when he isn’t doing that, he blesses the missionaries by fixing their vehicles. Last year, he repaired four vehicles. This year, he’s currently working on a 6th vehicle. What he does not only saves the missionaries money, it typically saves them time as well. Vehicle repair is his ministry, and he’s really good at it. For some of the missionaries, it’s a huge blessing.
Before we left the States, I prayed for a ministry and asked a few close friends to pray with me that God would provide something for me to do as well. Some unusual something that would be a huge blessing for someone else.
I can’t say that I’ve done anything of the sort. And, until yesterday, I was bothered by this. Bothered by the fact that I’m here, taking up space and marking time, with nothing apparent to show for it.
And, then, my friend, Kari, sends me this text:
May God’s love and grace pour from you!
Wise words from my wise friend and good reminder of what ministry truly is.
Ministry is more of who we are and how we act than it is what we do and when we do it.
It’s great that Chad packed tools and is using his gift of mechanics to fix vehicles but maybe that isn’t truly why he is here. Maybe he is really here to show love to the clerk at the auto parts store as he tried to communicate in very limited Spanish his need of a truck part.
Here’s the thing… laying awake those nights, I had it all wrong. Ministry isn’t like choosing candy from the grocery store shelf. You don’t always get to pick the flavor you like, nor do you always get to eat it right away.
Instead, I am here simply to represent Christ. Anything else that happens is up to Him.