Another day goes by on the island. Heading home from working at our nutrition center, looking carefully all around my car as I drive slowly through the community of San Pablo. Home to our Project Mañana nutrition center, school and our partner community church, Iglesia Evangelica Punto Central. It’s very common that most days in the community, alongside my car will be either children, dogs or chickens. Windows are rolled down because of my broken air conditioner, sweat beading down my skin and music playing in the background at the local colmados ( picture a mini Dominican 711).
Even though for my family, it’s just a typical day, this summer does seem a little more strange than normal for our kids in the community and most of our staff. Summer with Project Mañana in each passing week, is giving reminders that this summer of 2020 is different. Right now our ministry would have been involved with hosting multiple teams of friends, loved ones and most importantly, sponsors for the children in our program. Mission trips. Packed full of friends and partners extending the love that Project Mañana carries. Quite possibly carrying it even better as they help to provide more hands and feet.
Dance camps, vacation bible school, baseball camp, teen girls conference, volleyball camp, construction work upgrades, water distributions and on and on and on it goes. But that’s the thing, its not. It’s different this year. Things are different all around the world. New interns were supposed to start, my family and the many other families that work for Project Mañana were preparing for one of our busiest summers yet and my heart was saddened just a little more as our 11 yr old son Colin mentioned what he thought he was supposed to experience this summer. “Yeah, my friend told me how the summer was going to be so much fun mom.” Yup. My posture sunk a tad in that moment. The memories, the new memories to be made. Spending time with friends from HOME, we continue to wait.
That’s when we can remember, we have to remember…
We have a hope. A promise. And His name is Jesus.
We can keep rising with the sun and forever rise with the Son of God. All around us, every day, we are given blessings continuously from our heavenly Father. Can you see them? Can you hear them? Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes the pressure of this broken world can certainly weigh down our necks and keep our eyes down. But an interesting study in creation recently, we can look at it like this. We were created much different than any other creature. Our posture is up, towards the heavens. We were made to look up at our creator. We can wallow in self-pity or we can choose to remember who created us, who is constantly calling us and who we have to remember to glorify and to bring Him all the glory.
We know it can be hard. Challenges are real. Life is broken.
We can surround ourselves to those that know Him. Those that know Him well. They have a relationship with Jesus, our Savior. God will bring these people to you. The church is available. Fellowship. Brothers and sisters in Christ who were made to love Him and made to love you. When you find them, hold on to them tight. If you start to lose your grip, let go, get up and reach out to them again. If you feel they’re letting go of you, go to Him and I promise, He will remove the lie, heal your heart and someone in love, will come along.
God never lets go. His love never fails. And on and on and on it goes. He has everything we are in, in complete control. A great encouragement from a fellow missionary friend encouraged us…
“Jesus looks to the future and warns his disciples to be alert to Gods will and ways. He speaks of coming events, some of them happening very soon (Mark 13:2 occurred in AD 70), while others would be in the distant future. Christians today should be careful in speculating about specific future events. It is more important to be alert to the essential mission of discipleship, ready to suffer and confident in God’s power to overcome all evil.“
So we will go. We will continue and press forward. Through hurt, through fear, through sadness, and whatever else will come along. His death on the cross prevailed and so will we, in the great work for Him! As we work, His work will be revealed. We remember our surroundings may be different but different isn’t always bad. He will show Himself to you and for you. Trust in Him but in His timing. Remembering that He is God, when we are not. He continues to have great, new things planned ahead.
We will continue in our effort to learn the language here. We trust His gift of assurance will be revealed someday. Having a language unknown now, yet one day experiencing the ability of sharing the gospel completely in Spanish!? Friends, a man was raised from the dead. An entire people walked through a sea split in two. A man ready to sacrifice his son, blade lifted, was instead, gracefully given a lamb at the very last minute. Our family is living in the Dominican Republic!?
God will give us Jesus again, at just the right moment. He knows the exact, perfect moment. Until then, as the sun rises, let us rise with it. In love for Him, for others. Especially those that don’t have a relationship with Him. Let them see Him, through you.
And as the sun sets, because it does, let that remind us to pray. In humility, in forgiveness, in our failings that will come. Our need for Him. In that ongoing relationship with Him. He’ll set His hand to lift our heads, our hearts and on and on and on it goes…in faith, hope and love in Him.
Lift up your eyes to see, the sun is rising.