Pull out of the dusty, crowded streets of Esperanza, heading south and you'll soon come to some breath-taking views of fields, mountains, plátanos (plantains) and gorgeous sunsets (this is where Celia took pictures of the sunset we placed on facebook). Though beautiful, it is a foreign looking land-something out of Jurassic Park. Every time we pass this way, I have expect to see a T-Rex jump out from behind a palm tree and start chasing us. Eventually (15 minutes), you will come to a small town called Amina. This is where we plan on doing VBS this summer.
The road will dead-end, and you take a left to head to Boruco. Not even ten minutes later, you'll be there. One of our VBS success stories, is the one we did at Boruco. I remember seeing a picture-shortly after we left there that summer (the summer that Celia and I felt called to missions here)- of José and five people or so sitting on cinder blocks worshiping God with their Bibles open- due to everyone's efforts in that town. Shortly after, there were 50, then over 100. The growth had a lot to do with a man by the name of Freddy (maybe its Fredi), opening up his home and yard for a place to worship.
|Looking down from where I often pray in Boruco. Freddy's home is the red and grey tin roof|
|Freddy saying a few words|
I soon learned that Freddy was taking it upon himself to visit families-inviting them to church, praying for them, and just loving on them. I also heard that he had been given money as a demonstration of thanks for his work. He used it to buy food and refreshments for the church. This is the kind of man Freddy is. Another time, he was offered a good paying job, in which he turned down because it would have prohibited him from serving God as much as he does. A good paying job is a rare, and coveted thing here. We are making plans to begin discipling Freddy soon. I am hopeful that he could one day pastor the church at Boruco. This will not be for some time, and has not been discussed too much as of yet, so keep him in your prayers, as well as us for wisdom in this area.
Like Freddy, there are quite a few others there who seem hungry. I am teaching a class on the attributes of God, and I give out homework. Many do it faithfully. Throughout the week, Freddy and Teresa go to different homes to help those who need it complete their homework. That being said, there is still a great lack of knowledge of the Word. I'm just starting to get used to this. Its so different than back home. Sometimes, questions are asked and comments made that reveal profound misunderstandings-even regarding issues that we've covered many times. For sure, everything we do here will be a process. While that may be viewed as a downside, there are upsides as well. Imagine teaching on the Passover, or the bronze serpent, or some of the parables of Jesus (these come to mind), and having people hear them for the first time. Seeing them understand the connection of OT events and Christ, and the teachings of Jesus becoming clear. It's fabulous. I'm smiling as I write this.
But as I alluded to, there are concerns. The attendance has dropped of late (I think a few were coming for a while because it was the only thing in town to do), it is hard to know just how much is being learned and applied yet, and we still have to (and perhaps will always) struggle with helping people overcome behaviors that seem to be normal to them, but are a sin against God. For example, a gentleman, who seems to be eager in learning, came to me just the other day and asked me if I would help him tell an American girl that he "likes" her. I asked if she was a Christian, and he said matter of factually, "no." I then told him hat I would not help him say that because he should not be involved with her. He just smiled and be-bopped down the road like nothing happened. My initial thought was, "What is he thinking asking a missionary that?" But, as I reflected, I thanked God because it revealed to me just how far we still have to go. Like I mentioned- a process, a marathon.
Please join us in praying for the church at Boruco. Please pray that the hunger and thirst of those exhibiting it, rubs off on others. Pray that their spark starts a fire. Pray that God would give them a spirit of wisdom and revelation, having the eyes of their hearts enlightened to know Him more (Eph. 1:17-18). Also, pray for Freddy, Teresa, and their kids. They are a target for Satan. He wants to destroy them, and hates them for their work and love for Christ. Reach across the United States, the Caribbean, and into the D.R. to a little mountain with your prayers. Lift them up with these prayers so that they might learn that He Who is in them, is greater than he who is in the world (1 Jn. 4:4).
Thank you and God bless. Next time, we will talk about the church in Piedra Gorda.