First of all, if you donated to my trip to the Dominican Republic, THANK YOU! I cannot express my gratitude towards the people who support me & steward their resources to allow me to chase my dreams. God bless you!
If you are unaware, I had the chance to travel to the Dominican Republic with Compassion International a couple of weeks ago. The trip was part of my summer internship with Compassion. I am blessed to serve as the IT Leadership Development Intern at Compassion, located in Colorado Springs.
The work I am doing this summer is related to leadership development within the organization itself (we have over 900 employees in Colorado Springs alone), but having the chance to travel to the Dominican Republic showed me the outflow of the ministry around the world, releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.
Now, where do I even begin?
I met up with the group of interns, some of our summer group and some interns from the spring semester, as well as two employees from Compassion in the Miami airport. Meeting up with more than 30 strangers, heading to a country I’ve never been… You could say my anxiety was through the roof. The situation was completely out of my comfort zone and I had no idea what to expect.
But, the Lord met me there, providing more peace than I could have ever asked for. I was blown away by the community that came alongside me to prepare me for this trip. Not only were people willing to financially contribute towards this adventure, but I received an overwhelming amount of love and support via text message, phone calls, and social media responses. If you were one of these people, know that I needed your prayers desperately and God truly used you to put me at ease in an overwhelming situation. Thank you.
Outside of my home community, I also found incredible community in the group of interns that went on the trip. It is absolutely unbelievable how God hand-picked us to come together and learn more about who He is. We come from all across the country, with different backgrounds and emerging from different seasons of life. I was amazed to hear the stories of people who love the Lord deeply, sought after Him, and ended up in the same place that I was, serving with such a fantastic organization. All throughout the week, God put people and stories in my path that I needed. Now, I get to call those people friends and explore Colorado with them throughout the summer.
So, what did we do on the trip?
If you aren’t familiar with Compassion, feel free to visit their website to learn more about their mission and the work they do around the world. Here’s a link to their website.
Compassion’s mission is to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name, as I alluded to earlier. They work with children of all ages, varying from pregnant mothers all the way until they are between 18 and 22, providing for the child’s physical needs, educational needs, and guiding them spiritually to be who Christ has made them to be. This is a holistic model carried out by the local church, avoiding Western paternalism and equipping those children to rise up and become leaders in their own communities.
If there is one thing I learned on this trip, it is that the local church is at work throughout the world.
It’s easy to sit in a cubicle in Colorado Springs and talk about releasing children from poverty. It makes us feel good, but at 5pm on a workday, all of the employees in Colorado Springs return to comfortable homes, running water, food, and probably a family that loves them.
I do not think this is something we should feel guilty about, because the Lord gives and distributes resources differently throughout the world. It is our job to steward them well. But, I think we have lessons to learn from the people we are trying to “help,” as they exercise more faith daily than I will in my entire lifetime. The true heroes of Compassion are the local pastors, tutors, and facilitators who wake up everyday with a heart to serve the children in their communities. That’s exhausting, grueling work, y’all. But the Lord is so in it and great will their reward be in heaven.
Lately, I have been frustrated with the church in North America. Not that we get it all wrong, but it is so easy to make Christianity about things the Lord never intended it to be about: accumulating stuff, gaining wealth, living comfortably, checking a box, preserving social status. The truth is that the church should be about Jesus, who is saving and rescuing people from poverty around the world. That is holistic: physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational poverty. We all need Him desperately and have a call to serve those around us. I saw this demonstrated in the Dominican Republic, which was a great pulse of hope regarding what my faith is all about.
I could go on and on about the lessons I learned on my trip to the DR, but I’ll summarize a few of the highlights:
- On a home visit, we presented the gospel to this woman, as she was new to Compassion. She decided to accept Christ as her Savior that day. Praise God!
- I had the opportunity complete four home visits, providing food, prayer, and participating in household chores. We even built a bathroom at one of the homes. It was great to be in community with brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world. If you contributed financially to my trip, then you helped pay for food and provide construction supplies for these families in the DR. Again, thank you!
- We were able to have discussions with teenage girls in both San Juan and Santo Domingo about purity, as teenage pregnancy is a major issue in the developing world. In some cases, they inspired me to be a better, stronger woman! Regardless, it was incredible to see our unity regardless of cross-cultural differences.
- We also put on a VBS for the children at Los Montacitos, providing crafts, music, sports, and bible teaching. So much fun!
- Finally, here’s a couple more photos from the trip. I cannot explain how insanely beautiful the DR is!
I feel incredibly lucky to have been apart of such a great experience. Not to mention, I came straight to Colorado Springs afterwards to start my dream internship in a dreamy city. More to come on my adventures here, I am working hard to relaunch my blog. 🙂
After a few difficult seasons, I feel like the Lord is lavishing me with good gifts. It’s drawing me nearer to Him in such a sweet way and filling me with such joy! I pray you feel encouraged by the work the Lord is doing around the world and that you press into Him to understand how to be a better advocate for those in poverty.
Sponsoring a child through Compassion could be a great place to start.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15: 13