So thankful and EXCITED! to have Mark Klinker & Bruce and Peggy Anne Klinker from New Hampshire with us for some time of ministry and friendship! 😆
This was a project I’ve had on my “TO DO” list since last Fall when we found this poster. I was excited to do it but didn’t realize how encouraged I’d feel once it was done! It’s an incredible blessing to get a tangible view of those God has brought beside us as faithful supporters on this journey on the Island of Hispaniola.
Many, many appreciative thanks. XO
We arrived back in the states for a time of fundraising, partner visits and holidays with family towards the end of Fall 2015. We were blessed beyond measure by our loved ones as the first day of Winter went floating by and we waited with anticipation for the arrival of our precious Adelina Joy. Now Spring is in full bloom, warm days are upon us, our baby girl is almost 9 weeks old and our lives are forever sweeter. Seasons. Seasons of life, nature, physical and spiritual growth. Sometimes painful, beautiful, confusing and profound…God uses it all!
As I look back over this year it’s amazing where God has taken us and what He’s done, and although it all seems very real and tangible, it also seems like a dream and hard to believe. Exactly one year ago, March 31, 2015, we made our official move to the Dominican Republic to serve on the mission field with GO Ministries and here I sit today, in the same place in my Father-in-laws home in Southern California, preparing to make the same journey in just a few days back to our DR home with our little girl. In all honesty there’s much about our situation that feels redundant and a bit like we’ve taken 4 steps back to take 1 step forward, but we also see how God has blessed this “backward” season of our lives with new life and new hope for tomorrow.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34
One day at a time is my prayer for this year for each of us so we will not miss a sliver of what our heavenly Father has in mind for us!
Please keep us in your prayers this weekend as we travel back to the DR Saturday and Sunday! We look forward to seeing those of you who will be coming to serve with GO this summer on your church’s partnership development team trip!!!
God bless whatever season you find yourself in and remember that God is never wasteful with our lives. Much love and thanks,
Jessica, Torre & Adelina Joy!
On behalf of all of the DR based GO Ministries staff and local leaders we want to say GRACIAS! for your partnerships in working together to
REDEEM People, RENEW Communities and RESTORE Creation,
in the name of Jesus, on the Island of Hispaniola! By empowering us you empower each and every person we serve along side in this mission and thousands more who we are able to serve and share the love and salvation of Jesus Christ with.
Thank you for your sacrifice and faithfulness!
Jess & Torre
Taco night with the Oaks & the Vargas family!
We had the pleasure of hosting our first visitors this summer, Nate and Danielle Oaks, on their way through from South America! They have been faithful partners on this journey and encouraging friends! One of the things Danielle did during their visit was an interview with us about our new life here on the mission field. So not used to this kinda stuff but it was a fun way to continue to tell our story! Thanks so much, Nate and Danielle, for this great blog post, for your continued support in MANY ways and for sharing our story!
Read more about our interview at oaksandcompass.com.
Share the Love. Join the Journey.
Two weeks ago I spent a week in the Bateys, Dominican Republic, which is a series of small villages on the border of Haiti. Thank you for all of your much-needed prayers! That week was spent leading a group of 42 first year medical students from University of Pikeville, KY, and facilitating mobile medical clinics for some of the villages around the GO churches in that area.
Pastor William Decena is the Pastor in Batey Nueve and one of GO’s local leaders in the Dominican Republic. His church hosted our team and he utilized his knowledge of the communities to strategically plan where the mobile clinics were most needed.
We opened six temporary mobile clinic over a three-day period in Batey Nueve, Batey Cuchillo, Batey Cinco, Batey Seis, and facilitated a house call program in Batey Nueve and Batey Cuatro in which we went house to house providing medical care, medications and pray for individuals and their families who were unable to leave their houses. In total we were able to care for about 1,000 people medically and were able to share the love of Christ with them.
We saw a very large number of amebic cases, which is an intestinal infection, likely due to consuming dirty sources of water because of the drought they’ve been having this year. The drought is so significant that our dormitories ran out of water the first night we were there. We were fortunate enough to have access to a small well though, previously dug by GO Teams who have come to serve in this area, and we were able to use this well water to flush toilets and for bucket bathing. This well water is not drinkable. All of the water and other supplies needed for the team was brought with us from Santiago.
There was one specific day when I facilitated a team in Batey Cinco that your prayers were especially appreciated. Batey Cinco is one of the rougher Bateys as it has a very high prevalence of Voodoo still. That day the people who came for medical care were rowdy, arguing and fighting over getting into the clinic. When we first arrived I had to part the crowd to create a path to allow us to get into the building to set the clinic up. The morning went pretty well but the afternoon became more dangerous. At one point I asked the medical students to wait in another part of the building for their safety while myself and the local physician there attempted to quite the crowd down while bringing in the elderly and pregnant patients so they wouldn’t get lost in the crowd. The local doctor and the local church in the area were helping with crowd control but they wouldn’t even listen to them. There was a moment in which I decided to shut down the clinic, at least temporarily, and took time to pray as a group with the students and the Pastor’s wife from Batey Nueve. After a short while we finished distributing the tickets to get into the clinic and re-opened. (We have a ticket system that helps us keep track of the number of patients we can see based on the supplies available.) The afternoon improved even though there were still some rowdy individuals in the crowd. We finished the clinic that afternoon having seen record numbers for that day.
The heart and vision of GO ministries is ‘to empower passionate, Local Leaders serving inside their cultures to REDEEM people, RENEW communities and RESTORE creation by developing dynamic international partnerships in ministry that result in mutual transformation’, and this was one of those experiences! While a good amount of the medical students this year identified themselves as Christians, there were students of other faiths represented as well, like Mormon and Middle Eastern religions. One student was quoted as saying, ‘I have learned a lot about the Bible on this trip‘. Another medical student who identified himself as a Christian said, ‘The first thing I am going to do when I get back home is to find a church to be a part of‘.
It was a tiring week but in the end we accomplished what we set out to do, provide a transformational experience for the medical students while providing medical care in the name of Christ to the poorest of the poor in the Bateys.
REDEEM. RENEW. RESTORE.
Through GO’s partnership with Pastor William and the Bateys, more than 80 children are fed a hot meal each day who may otherwise starve, 1,000 people received medical care in three days who otherwise would have to suffer and many more have the opportunity to hear about Jesus and have a relationship with Him through the care and equipping of the local church. Learn more about partnering with a Local Leader and the work God is doing in the Dominican Republic here.
Empower 1. Changing Many. GO Ministries.
This morning I woke up thinking of freedom and the price, the sacrifice, that has been paid to obtain it. We are a people, a blessed Nation who has lost much to gain much. A Nation who’s founding father’s, as God fearing men, understood the cost of freedom. Not just physically, but spiritually.
As I think of the men and woman who gave their lives, skills, sons, everything for the hope and dream of freedom in the Revolutionary War, and many times before and currently, I was immediately reminded of a Father who willingly gave His son so that we may be free.
“So if the Son has set you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
As those who have chosen to be called sons and daughters of the most high God, by the grace, sacrifice and unfailing love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we have been set free from the yoke of sin and bondage and no longer live as slaves, but as heirs in the Kingdom of God! But there is a warning…”therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” We must choose daily to walk in the freedom we have received through Jesus Christ because the “yoke of slavery” (sin) and the enemy that we are continually waging war again (The Devil) is determined that you will continue to be a slave to sin and destruction.
George Washing once said, “The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves.”
The opportunity to choose freedom in Jesus Christ is the same for each of us and the time has come to choose. We can choose freedom and accept our right to become sons and daughters of God or we can choose slavery and a life of bondage to sin.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us (enslaves us), and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God...” Hebrews 12:1-2
Our sacrifices will always be different…the price we’ve been asked to pay and the price we are willing to pay for our Spiritual and physical freedom. Our desire is that our lives would continue to be surrendered to the call to be missionaries in the Dominican Republic, and that through the sacrifice of answering this call God would continue to use us to bring freedom and hope to the captives in the Name of Jesus Christ.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim FREEDOM for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed FREE.” Luke 4:18
God Bless America!
Share the Love. Join the Journey.
One of the challenges I face with blogging is that I’m the kind of person who feels that every blog needs to be AMAZING!…have a life changing storyline…be impressive! Well, the truth is, not everything in life on the mission field is amazing, life changing and impressive, but we do serve an amazing, life changing, impressive God who is always at work, even in the “every day”, so I’m going to work on sharing more of our “every day” AS WELL AS the amazing, life changing and impressive stuff God is doing in us and through GO Ministries!
May is a month of preparation here in the DR. It’s kinda the calm before the storm! It’s the last month of the year, until September, where things are fairly quite and each area of the ministry is working hard to prepare for the Summer rush of ministry and excitement. It’s actually been a pretty busy month of planning, projects, paperwork, and for us, still learning the process of our new roles and resting in God’s grace for what he desired to see done in and through us.
It’s really easy to get caught up in our needs isn’t it? Even in the midst of God’s undeniable provision our needs are often jumping up and down screaming and at top of their lunges, “Don’t forget about me!”. We have financial needs, needs for more people to answer the call to missions and join GO here on the Island of Hispaniola, the need to see more clearly what God is doing and how he desires us to join him/be with him in it, the need for rest, but mostly the need to keep God and our walk with him the #1 priority because just “being busy about our Father’s business” is very different than sitting at our Father’s feet and answering His call when there’s something He desires to use us for.
I’m naturally a “doer”… a Martha… always feeling the need to be “busy” so I feel I have done something to justify my time. I’m OFTEN reminded of the two sisters, Martha and Mary, in Luke 10. Jesus came to visit them with his disciples and as Martha was running about making preparations for their stay, Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus. Martha got all upset and complained to Jesus that her sister wasn’t helping her and this was Jesus’s reply, “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42) I want to choose what is better… to be more concerned about being with my Jesus than what I’m “doing” for Him. It’s only through my BEING with Him can I truly be successful in my “doing” anyways.
Just a few faithful ways God provided for us and the ministry this month:
~ The Communications team had a bit more on our plate this month than we could chew so God empowered us by providing extra help and someone to share our load!
~ One of GO’s US partners randomly sent a foot brace down to the GO Medical Clinic and it’s the exact brace the husband of one of our Dominican Nurse’s needs for after his surgery! It would’ve been extremely expensive if they had to buy it on their own.
~ GO Sports left last Tuesday for the first time ever with a missions team of GO baseball players to the States! God provided the Visas, passports and financial provisions for these boys to travel St. Louis to have the opportunity to serve others in the way they have been served! Read more about it here.
Share the Love. Join the Journey.
Many thanks to GO Ministries Partner Richard Hummel for his involvement in the donation of a new Portable Ultrasound Unit for the GO Medical Clinic! A patient was able to receive a free Ultrasound today at the GO Clinic for the first time! (Torre’s pretty stoked about it too!!!) This is a beautiful example of partnership and what it looks like to get excited about what God is doing in the DR. 😀
REDEEM. RENEW. RESTORE.