Friday, February 18, 2011

Hello from the Dominican Republic!
We have not had access to the internet during the week. Today was the last day of the clinic and it was a huge success! We served 5 communities and approximately 3500 people! We will post more but here are a few pictures from the week. Thank you for your continued prayer and support!

Waiting as early as 5am to visit the clinic

Peeking in the Pharmacy

Waiting to see the Dentist

Our Dominican Doctors

Saturday, January 29, 2011

2 weeks out!

We are just 2 weeks from departure to the Dominican Republic! Our supplies have been shipped and safely arrived in Puerto Plata this week. Huge answered prayer! Now we concentrate on getting ourselves personally packed and ready (physically and spiritually).

Please continue to pray for our team as we prepare ourselves for this mission trip.

We would also like to thank you all for supporting our team with the Flapjack Fundraisers! However, as it stands today, our team is still short on funds needed for this trip. If you haven't done so already, would you prayerfully consider supporting our team?

Blessing to you all-
February 2011 DR Team

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Medicine Sorting!

Part of what makes this mission trip unique is that a lot of preparation is required months before we actually leave the States. We just had a "medicine sorting" day at Forest Hill where we recruited friends and co-workers to help us out.

Nick, JP and Michael determined what we needed to have a well- stocked pharmacy. Orders were placed and the medicines arrived! We separated the types of medicines and then dosed them out into baggies. This saves us valuable time when we actually arrive in the DR.

(The hardest worker I know...with a smile on her face too!)

(This is only a portion of what we started with at 8:30 am)

Thanks SO much to all who came by to help!
We are extremely grateful!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

By Faith: Sure and Certain

Hebrews 11:1-2 (NIV) Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.”

Wow! The Dominican Republic, a medical/dental mission and me: a housewife with a glorified writing hobby. HUH? Even the questions on the mission application screamed at my lack of contributory skills. Do you speak any other languages? No. Have you done any other international travel? Well, if you count flying to Aruba, The Bahamas and Jamaica to lie on the beach experience give this girl one positive mark in the box. I really started to doubt myself until the application turned to questions like describe your relationship with God and when did you become a Christian. It served as a gentle reminder that God was doing the directing of this spiritual journey and who was I to question what He had planned.

I wish I could say the doubting stopped there, but it didn’t. I started questioning whether or not I was truly hearing God’s call when I spent an entire day trying to figure out how to go about getting my insurance to cover the required immunizations. More questioning surfaced when I stumbled miserably through asking my Mom to fly to North Carolina to help my husband with our four children during the trip. And then there was some fear. The cholera epidemic in Haiti was the first thing everyone asked about when I shared my news about the D.R. My father shared his own less than pleasant experience with the typhoid shot and that sent a shiver down my spine. The biggest fear, asking people for money. I found myself wondering if all of these obstacles and fears were proof that I was not supposed to go at all. I thought all of this until last Sunday when God sent a message through a sweet little fellow by the name of Jack. *

Full of spunk and ready to wrestle, Jack walked into Forest Hill’s Art Studio, where all of the 3-5 year-old Sunday school classes meet to learn that week’s Bible lesson through art and music. Jack immediately shot to the back and began to cartwheel across the room. After two laps, I “invited” him to sit by me. Following some initial untangling of Jack and another classmate’s limbs we settled into a lesson from the life of Isaiah.

The Children’s Ministry Leader, Cindy, started to tell the story how God had sent ravens to feed Isaiah while he fled his enemies. She motioned to a jet black raven puppet that sat perched behind her as she asked the group of 50 or more children if they had ever been fed by a bird, or even heard of anyone being fed by a bird. Her tone seemed to scoff at the absurdity of such a notion. A tummy -tickled chorus of laughter erupted from the kids as they recognized the improbability of a bird feeding anyone. “No!” the majority yelled, shaking their heads while laughing in a joyful unison of silliness. Cindy turned very solemn and said to them, “But I tell you this is what truly happened. The Bible says God sent the raven to feed Isaiah.”

The room grew quiet. “I believe you!” yelled a child’s voice; sweet rambunctious Jack was in that moment sure and certain. His eyes were serious and his face lit up with conviction. It caught all of the adults in attendance a little off guard.

I thought of Jack later that evening as I worked on my own Bible study. My group is knee-deep in Genesis studying Abraham’s calling by God to leave his homeland to live in a strange land. He obeyed in faith. The Bible does not say but I wonder if Abraham shook his head at first, thinking God’s request made no sense. Did he ask himself why God picked him? God gave him no detailed explanation as to why he had been chosen to move but He did make some amazing promises. Promises that only God could give credibility.

Stepping out in faith may not always follow the human path of logic. God’s involvement will often transcend our ability to foresee factors that mitigate situations or change circumstances. There are mysteries that God has chosen not to reveal. Hebrews 11:1 states that two words describe faith, sure and certain. My hang up initially was that I did not feel sure and certain about my ability to make a difference in the Dominican Republic. However, this verse does not refer to our ability, instead, it refers to faith in God’s ability. We rest assured that our Father in Heaven is who He says He is and we rest certain that He stands firm on fulfilling His promises.

When God speaks, how do you respond? I want to be like Jack—with a child-like faith, without hesitation, “I believe you God!” More like Abraham, by faith immediately obedient. I may not understand why God picked me to go on this trip to the Dominican Republic but by faith I believe God has a plan for me and has promised blessings through the experience and upon my obedience.

To God be the glory!

In Him, Jess

* name changed

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Whom shall I send?

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
"Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
Isaiah 6:8

Hello friends!

Welcome to our blog! I am so excited to be leading this trip to the Dominican Republic in February, 2011! Our team will host a medical, dental and eye clinic in Puerto Plata. We will be working with Dominican doctors and/or students. Our team will take the initial medical information from the patients, check blood pressure, and run a pharmacy. We will also assist in the dental and eye clinics. Last year we saw over 4000 people and are hoping to serve as many this year.

There is much to do in preparing for our trip. Medicines need to be ordered, flights arranged, donation letters sent and much more.

As we are becoming busy with the task at hand, I am reminded of what we truly need to prepare first...our hearts. We are going to serve our God -- to be the hands and feet of Jesus -- to be the salt and light as we share our faith.

I ask that you pray for us! Pray that we will go with pure hearts. Let us be willing to step out of our comfort zone and into a place that can stretch us and impact others while sharing God's love.

By saying "Here I am. Send me" we are the ones that will truly be blessed.

Thank you for your support and prayers.