Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. James 2:15-18
It's hard to believe that our week in the Dominican Republic is over. I can't wait to return, Lord willing. Before we left, I knew that we were going to meet physical needs. To be blessed with 6 doctors was amazing and all of those with expertise in eyeglasses were such a gift from God. I also had heard testimony of people receiving Christ on the trips which was exciting. What I didn't plan on is how God used the presentation of his word to speak to me so powerfully and the fellowship with believers I experienced.
On our very first day within an hour of arriving in the village, Kim Costanza prayed with a young man to receive Christ. Wow! Glori a Dios (Glory to God)! There were great testimonies of how the Holy Spirit was working powerfully bringing people to faith in Christ all week. What an awesome God we serve. I was encouraged also by the heart of discipleship shown to those who had received Christ and were being ministered to by return visits. Nay, Enrique and others continue to do this work of follow up which is so critical. Continue to pray for intentional discipleship for those who are new in Christ.
The ministry of the word by Jim McDonald was so powerful. God really used Jim to hammer home the practical application of how important the Holy Spirit is to our spiritual success as well as the need to surrender to God. The admonition to start the day with God every morning was powerful and effective. One of our guys had his 14 year old girl ask if she and her father could get up a half hour early every day for devotions. That meant starting at 5am! Only the Lord could do this.
It was so encouraging to see the Lord build deeper bonds of fellowship among his children. I was in the men's break out group and we saw the conviction of the Holy Spirit at work freeing men from sin they were struggling with. The enemy desires that we hide sin from our brothers and sisters and thus remain captive to the enemies power. "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." James 5:16
The meeting of physical needs, salvation, discipleship and fellowship we experienced in the Dominican Republic isn't confined to the DR. It is our call and joy to keep the fire going in our present mission field in the Holy Spirit's power for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father! In el nombre de Padre y Hijos y Espirito Santo. Amen.