Dominican Republic: The honeymoon I never had! Stage 2

Stage 2:
Here I am Lord! Send me!

The Peace of the Lord is a quiet trust that the Word, which lives deep inside of you, will speak joy into the center of sorrow, confidence into uncertainty and will make the impossible into reality. It is contrary to human nature to accept that surrender and submission to someone else’s plan can be a position of power. Even if that person is God. At least it was that way for me. But I was wrong.

In the months that followed my attention would turn to raising the necessary funds. There was a fee to World Vision to cover my travel, room and board etc. Then there was the cost of shots & vaccines and my passport. Don’t forget the cost of lost wages from missing a week of work and also having a little spending money. Add it all up and what do you get? Way more money than I had. I had believed from the beginning that this trip was a divine appointment. If God wanted me there, He would make a way for it to happen. What is it that thing I learned in one of my Bible studies? “If He leads you to it, He’ll lead you through it!” I grabbed onto that little gem and took it with me! I had His promise that He had “plans to prosper and not harm me, plans to give me hope and a future” from the Prophet Jeremiah. Took that one too. With those two promises securely hidden in my heart, I began to look at the reality of my scarce resources and I asked the Lord to show me what I needed to do to make the impossible real.

About 11 years ago the Lord gave me a gift. A talent I never had. He gave me the spiritual gift of  sand blasting. I know. I know. It’s in the newer translations, in the fine print. It’s right up there with discernment, administration, encouragement and hospitality. Actually it’s everywhere throughout the Bible. When it says things are engraved in stone or on the palms of His hand – that’s it. I carve rocks and glass and maybe in Heaven that’s my job, inscribing things on the palm of His hand. Who knew? So for 11 years I’ve had this business I’ve done from home so that I can remain flexible enough to care for my children and still have an income. It hasn’t always been enough to live on, so I usually have to do something else too, financially speaking. But spiritually speaking, when I etch, I talk to God and He talks back. I did some work with this gift and it paid my initial down payment. Thanks Jesus.

Let me tell you about my church. Mesilla Park Community Church. What a blessing. They have helped me through a lot of really hard times. In addition to that, they have supported World Vision projects and programs and included me as a Child Ambassador in various activities. Last year our SonTown Children’s Ministry VBS, raised over $1200 for a World Vision water project in Zambia called ZWASH. The money was collected by little kids, over the course of a week, in mostly pocket change. I talked to kids in the missions workshop about World Visions work to improve the life of kids all over the world- and these children answered the call to serve the poor with a resounding Yes Lord! Or how about the Driven Youth Ministry which runs a snack bar and holds movie nights to pay for their sponsorship of 2 World Vision children. Don’t forget the Titus Women, and how at our women’s ministry retreat not only did I get to set up a table and 2 children were sponsored, but they made blankets and gave them to me to donate through World Vision- 35 of them. I applied for “missions funds” from the church and was awarded enough to cover my shots and passport. Wow. I am in awe of how God works through this church. I am forever blessed and humbled by their generosity.

Our small group is my loving family in Christ. They wanted to support me in this leap of faith and decided to have a garage sale. We had a little bit of stuff to sell, but not very much. In light of that my friend suggested we pray that God would multiply what came in to be enough. We decided to ask the church for donations of any items for the sale to add to our personal things and we would have the sale in the commons area on Saturday morning. By Friday afternoon, the commons area was FILLED with table after table of really good merchandise. Most of our items were priced at 25cents or maybe a dollar or two. My cousins and niece and friends also brought items for me to sell and my kids cleaned out things from their closets. We ran one ad in a local newspaper and I listed it on Craig’s list. Between 8am and 12 noon, with my entire small group working so hard, we made $1400. Seriously. My pastor and fellow Dallas Cowboy fan, cleaned out the books from his extensive library and donated all of the funds from the books to my trip. I had other friends who felt called to donate to my trip, and did so out of love. By the end of the week, my entire trip, all extra expenses and my lost wage amount, had been paid for in full. God is really good at that sort of thing, making something big out of the little that we give Him to work with.

What still amazes me MOST is that I received the blessing before any of the money came in. That people would find value in my desire to serve Christ with my whole life, and that they would give of themselves to help me achieve my full potential has overwhelmed me. It is so NOT about the money. I can’t really even begin to express what that was like when it hit my heart. Except to say that maybe, this, is as close as I will ever get to knowing what it must feel like to be a sponsored child.

Ask Yourself this Question (AYTQ): Am I grateful to God for being my sponsor?

To be continued…

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4 thoughts on “Dominican Republic: The honeymoon I never had! Stage 2

  1. You inspire me. I’m going to start praying about going to S Africa to meet one of my two WV children, Monyane. I pray that God will provide enough for me to go and take my 25 year old son as my photographer. That has been on my heart for several months and your blog inspired me to put out the fleece and see what God says.

    1. Yay Brenda! God can make that happen! Stay tuned to each piece of this story because it just gets better and better! So many ways God showed me His beauty and riches in the face of the children and the work of the World Vision staff. The next post will be up Monday. Thanks for coming along. Send this link to anyone you know who might be inspired by reading it. Thanks so much for finding value in it. That re-encourages me! 🙂

  2. Deana, I cannot tell you how I feel when I read your stories. You are amazing. I am so thankful for you and the work you do. I know that the Lord will continue to bless you…how exciting for us that get to witness it..
    Love you,
    Joyce

    1. awww Joyce! Thanks for those words. I bawled the entire time I was in the DR and couldn’t function the week after I got back because God had me on my face and was ministering to my heart as I was writing this blog. World Vision was supposed to publish excerpts from it on their website, but that hasn’t happened yet. I really believe this story was intended to be read in its entirety. We serve an amazing God. I’m grateful to know that it is moving you! That moves me!

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