In August, the last “Missionary Summer, All Hands on Deck” trip was held in the Dominican Republic. Over the span of four months and during five different mission opportunities, volunteers from Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica participated together with Work and Witness (W&W) teams from different U.S. states.
Global Missions leaders from the Mesoamerica Central Field collaborated with W&W leaders in the host country to offer a wonderful cross-cultural experience to each of the participants. They received some of the following testimonies in the days after.
Samuel Senica: As Work and Witness Coordinator here in the Dominican Republic, working alongside the Global Missions team this summer was a very meaningful experience. We were able to participate in activities that we normally would not have had the opportunity to do. Because of this opportunity, both the US teams that came and the other participants who are experiencing a call to missions not only worked together in construction, but also participated in evangelism and compassion. Through all the activities (building, compassion, evangelism, and more), the entire group was able to experience and see God at work and people coming to Jesus.
I am grateful for the leadership of the Global Missions team here in the D.R. Their activities and presence brought a new dynamic to the Work & Witness mission trip, and the feedback I have received from the teams is all positive. This intercultural experience is one that the teams will never forget when they come to the Dominican Republic and when they return to their home country.
Others testified to hearing God speak through each encounter:
Karina Castillo, participant from D.R.: During the missionary summer I was able to notice God’s support at every moment. God challenged me in some areas like FAITH and FEAR. He taught me what it really is to deny myself and live for him.
Construction, compassion, and salvation formed the three-fold focus of this initiative, and they were fulfilled in huge ways despite the obstacles.
Ariel Gómez, participant from Costa Rica: Ever since they told me about this activity in another country, God put in my heart the desire to be part of it. And from that moment he began to accommodate everything, from permissions at work to the finances. The time spent on construction at the seminary was wonderful. Seeing the joy of the children and the desire of the people to maintain the relationships formed with us during the activities in the communities made me want to stay longer. God is good, and he allowed us to make an impact in the lives of those people.
Today there is evidence of lives that have been transformed: young people with a new passion for serving in their local churches and a growing love for missions.
Eliani Pérez, 15-year-old participant from the D.R.: This time was important and valuable for me. I was able to learn that – no matter our abilities or age – we must start serving people. And, above all, it is a privilege to serve as Jesus did, expecting nothing in return. I don’t know the Lord’s plans, but I want to stick to them because I know that his plans are perfect and better than mine.
Pastors Eduardo and Keila Pérez: It was a very beautiful experience. Apart from the fact that we had never participated in something like this, we saw how to serve in the community, with the children, doing construction, etc. Everyone worked so hard as a team regardless of age, race, or language. We all shared the same longing, and although we were tired, every day our strength was renewed like eagles.
A huge impact was witnessed this summer: churches and communities influenced, young people confirming their missionary call, and families transformed. All glory be to God for helping each participant to develop the gifts and talents that He has placed in their hands.