On the way back home. Our first group left here very early this morning (4:15am) and is more than likely already back on the ground in Atlanta by now. The remainder of our group has just finished packing and will head to the airport in an hour or so.
Was this mission succesful? Absolutely! We were led here to serve both the physical and spiritual needs of the Dominican people. However, this trip was SO much about the work that God wanted to do in the hearts of all those who have been obedient to come. The game of baseball was the "hook" that God used to get all of us together over here for His true purpose. Change of pace + change of place = change of perspective. Over the course of these past ten days, we have had 15 members of our group accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord & Savior. Five other people have publically professed their commitment to be fully devoted followers of Christ. Through out our travels as we shared the gospel on baseball fields, softball fields, sugarcane villages and orphanages, we have witnessed well over 200 people receive Christ as their Lord & Savior and given away close to 700 Spanish version Bibles.
On a personal note, God has impressed upon my heart the great need for Christian male leadership here on the island. In my opinion, drastic change here will only come through consistant evangelism and dicipleship of young males. As FCA Baseball & Softball continues to go forward with the mission here in the Dominican republic, this will be the area where we will focus the attention of our resources.
In regard to the "fire" and the perspective change that God has given all of us while we were here, I pray that each of us will be very intentional in keeping the fire stoked as we return to the lives that we have been away from for the past week-ten days. We must all remain intentional in anchoring ourselves in our identity...who we are "in Christ". We must walk in confidence, knowing that our time here on earth is temporary and fleeting. We must remain intentional and consistent in our prayer life, with our time in Gods word and recognize that the people we surround ourselves with will determine the direction and quality of our lives. We must realize that it is not us who is in control of our lives, but God and that He has an incredible plan for us. Remaining "in Him" and walking with Him daily...in all areas of our lives... will enable us to recognize His leading and direction for us and He will be glorified as we "bear fruit" for Him. Again, it's not what we do for God, but what He has already done FOR us that we need to anchor in. God will show us the activity that He wants for us.
To all of you who have followed this blog or have heard about our mission here over the past couple of years and may be thinking "wow..I would love to be a part of that mission", I encourage you to reach out to me. It just may be that God wants you to be a part of His work here. God Bless you!