Overall God showed me what true joy looks like and how it can only come from serving and abiding in him. When you set all other idols or distractions aside and truly lean on God to be your provider and guider there is joy. I saw that through working with Ina, who really was consumed with joy, and also in some of the women in Cercadillo who follow Jesus and whose smiles said it all. Our team also experienced the joy of the lord when we served, loved, and sought God's plan. Maddie
Through my experience I learned that through God himself everything is possible and that coming out of your comfortable zone to really use your talent and let your light shine is all that God wants us to do. I also learned how to serve others just like how Jesus did. An example of that is when Jesus washed the disciples feet. I had the opportunity to do that in the Dominican Republic by washing the women's feet and to hear the women say they saw Christ through me on the last day was tear dropping. Also to hear many women say that they want to serve others through Christ was just as amazing. Jennifer
What God taught me during this Quest experience is that God made us the way we are for a reason. He set us apart to be different, and as much as we strive to live our lives without him and fill our hearts with others things, there is no greater joy than Gods love for us. And because of this speaking about him and spreading his word to others is a privilege we have and we shouldn't be ashamed of Him but instead be excited to share his great love to others. Jullie
While in the DR on mission I felt that God taught me most about humility.
I experienced humility through how we served the women in the village, kneeling by them washing their feet as Christ washed the disciple's feet, humbling ourselves before them. I also experienced that, kneeling and washing the feet of my own team members at the end of the week, serving them completely.
I experienced humility while witnessing the immense poverty throughout the city and villages. I realized how much I have been blessed with, but more importantly, God showed me that even if you have no material things, having Christ fulfills all your needs. All the believers in the village who struggled finding food and clothes still had smiles on their faces. I learned no matter what language you speak, where you live, or what you do, having God in you fulfills any necessity in life. God made it clear to me that life is temporary and we are not guaranteed tomorrow, and the materialistic things in this World will fade, but God's love for us is eternal and powerful.
This mission trip showed me that I need to humble myself before God and others. It showed me that God always loves me and I don't always have to be strong because God knows what we go through and that He can be strong for us. Being in a foreign country, not knowing the language or the people well brought me so much closer to God in the way I was able to fully rust Him with my life. Every minute of the trip I could hear God easily and see Him clearly and feel Him completely. It was an experience that taught me that God is always with me, and it's me that blocks Him out, but God is calling me to be humble and in that humility I can find Him everyday and experience those same things I felt in the DR anywhere in the World because God is everywhere. God opened my eyes to a World that has darkness, but showed me how I can bring light to that darkness anywhere because God is with me and God is good all the time. Charlotte
Quest 18 shared and celebrated today! Thankful for all each team experienced. Time to rest, reflect and apply.
Hello USA! After a long night, without much sleep, the DR team arrived in Boston this morning. We are all safe and well, headed out to the BCNE to rest. Can't wait for our friends to arrive later today and share our experiences. Looking forward to seeing our families, too.
Wednesday: Finish Well
What a great last day! We went to the Bible study in Cercadillo. In the morning, the women were given an opportunity to get their hair done. Immediately, the women jumped in and helped one another. The women were also given an opportunity to paint a keep sake box. Our ladies were at each station helping out.
"She asked if they were painting the boxes to sell. I told her it was for her to keep. She was so excited because everything she makes is to sell. Her smile just radiated that morning."
Our ladies shared their cardboard testimonies. We also had some of the women join with their own transformation. During this time, it was also a blessing to hear what the women learned and how they saw Jesus through our actions.
"We can serve one another like these ladies served us." ~ a woman from Cercadillo
We said our goodbyes. And went out to eat at a restaurant by the sea for dinner.
Thursday: More than Fun!
Today, is our fun day. We bought souvenirs and sat on the beach this afternoon. We reflected, relaxed, and played cards. On our drive we saw some of the oldest building in the Americas. So much history and different cultural influences.
Our adventure is no where near over. We may be getting ready to leave in several hours, but it's not over yet!
The flight will take off at 4am tomorrow morning. Looking forward to the celebration on Saturday. We are leaving with full hearts.
Parents, mark your calendar for our Quest Celebration, Saturday, February 25, at the BCNE building in Northborough, MA. We will have a light lunch and time of sharing about the trip. We will meet from 11:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Students will leave with their families following the Celebration. Please RSVP to Quest@bcne.net the number of your immediate family who will attend. Space is limited to immediate family, mentors, youth leader and pastor.
Think of a time when you listened to someone tell a story and that person just came to life as they told you. Today, we heard more about Ina's story. Wow! Wow! We were so amazed about what God has done in her life to get her to where she is now.
Not only did she share her story, but she also mentioned key insights as she spoke. There is just a light about her and so much we have soaked up from Ina. From encouragement to excitement. We are so thankful for being able to partner with her throughout her journey.
#1: Find people to have fellowship with who speak your language. Whether you are in the states or overseas we need the body. Like we read today, "...speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love." - Ephesians 4:15-16
We need the body, we need to be fed as we are spending ourselves.
G. Guide, no one guides better than God. We try to guide ourselves and get over worked about the directions instead of trusting in our Guide.
A. Abide. I need to stay in the middle of these two by abiding in God. Resting in who He is. Not focusing on guiding and providing for myself.
P. Provider, God provides for our needs better than we could provide. He gives us what we need and more than we need. I could never provide for myself more than He does. He may not provide what I want, when I want it but He will come through.
#3: When we pray: are we praying for God's will and the next step? Or are we praying and seeking our relationship with Him?
You could see the excitement. We couldn't help being excited for what God is doing in Cercadillo He is working and it is evident!!! We are learning to be a body and be united. Both our devotion and Ina reminded us.
The weather today was beautiful. There was a breeze that would knock all the leaves down. Therefore, the painting was challenging. We also had a chance tonight to buy items that women who are apart of Café y Coser con Cristo (Coffee and Sewing with Christ) made. Some of these women we met over the week and we had a chance to support them!
Sunday: We are the church
In the morning we attended the church of our new dear leader Ina. She is inspiring many of us. The message flowed into the theme of this trip and into our lives for when we return home. "The church and I". Are we living as the church? What is our attitude for the church? Do we really realize our need for the church? Now, I do not mean the building or the activities. We, the people, are the church.
Our ladies reflected that no matter where we are, together, we make up the church. Specifically, our team, the village, and even our new roommates from a Christian school in Iowa.
Wait there is more!
After, we went to the village! Our ladies ran the service. Those in the village came as they heard the music. Okay, now imagine this ( or look at the photo for some help), kids and mothers lined the benches. Our ladies sang in spanish. The kids joined in, singing out to the Lord. Talk about a glimpse of heaven before our eyes.
We ended the service with our ladies sharing their card board testimonies.
Monday : Paint that Pops
Today, we painted the tables and benches that are used for the little ones in the village.
Our ladies took up the brushes and rollers and painted in the wicked hot sun. You see this may seem small compared to other stories we share. Yet, these tables revealed a couple things.
The tables are used for learning, games and more with the children. By painting these tables we are seeing a glimpse into the future when there will be a school in the village, that has the best education in the country. Our ultimate hope is that Christ would work in each child who sits at these tables. We are thankful to be part of the vision.
#2 "Think about the tables. They were dull, used, and dirty. Now they pop!"
"Wow! Wow! Wow! Look at those tables! Oh I am so excited!"
How does our own faith and walk with God look? Painting these tables directed us to question if our faith and relationship with God pops or is dull. It is exciting to see God working like we saw these tables dry.
Hot beautiful day! Did I mention we got ice cream? Continuing to grow as sisters (the church) in Christ. Please pray for guiding wisdom for Ina.