Thursday, January 27, 2011

Left, Right, Center

Every year it seems we do something as a team to raise funds for a special cause...this year it's for Santa and her son, Sami. 

Below is information for Good Samaritan Clinic's December Newsletter:

Santa is a 41 year old resident of Batay 7 whobegan working in the clinic officially in 2003.  She has long been know in her community for her volunteer efforts to help those in need day and night. Her jobs in the clinic include coordinating patient care and dispensing medications. Those who have witnessed her work while on mission teams can attest to her loving and giving spirit as well as her abilities to make order out of chaos. God has definitely placed her there to fulfill His work through the Good Samariatan Clinic. 

This year has been especially challenging for Santa. Her 11 year old son Drenifer De La Cruz Cuevas “Sami” was diagnosed with chronic myelocytic leukemia in October of 2009.

This 6th grader has been receiving chemotherapy for one year. He actually attends school 3 weeks per month and travels to Santo Domingo for a 1 week stay in the hospital. He has been very intent on staying in Batey 7 with his family and friends and contuing as normal a life as possible. Dr. Jorge Volquez, the clinic doctor, says Sami maybe the most intelligent kid in the batey based on his grades and the way he thinks
and expresses himself. What follows is a letter from Sami to those of you who have helped with
his medical expenses during these difficult times.

Hope you are doing fine, and hope that you have a
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I want to
thank you all for every thing you have done for me.
I have nothing to give you back, but I can express
with my words how much I appreciate all the help
that has been given to me. Without God´s favor and
your help, I would have already been dead because
my mother had no resources to cover my
treatments. I hope that God blesses your health
and your economy. May God continue to touch
others through your helping hands. Hands that
helped me to keep the life that is in me. A life that I
so much need and want. Thank you all. SAMI

So, the team decided we'd play Left, Right, Center in to play was at least $20.00 love offering and we played with single pesos that would also go to Santa and Sami.  We had a wonderful outpouring of love and offering, had fun playing the game after dinner on Thursday and depending on the exchange rate...raised pretty close to $1000.00, which will be enough for 2 months of treatments in Santo Domingo. 

Praise God!!

If you gave me money prior to coming on this trip to use 'wherever it was needed' then it either went to help Sami or to the church in LaHoya.  Bethpage UMC...$120.00 of the money you sent was given for Sami & Santa.  Wende your donation went to Sami, Linda...your donation went to Sami.  Thank you for trusting us to judge where to give your monies.  God is so good!

It's our job!

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ,if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. Phillippins 2: 1-5


Earlier in the week, I was having a conversation with a team member.  Someone I call friend, and value his history in missions.  I don't remember exactly how the conversation went there...but we were talking about how the week made us feel...I made the statement, of how it refreshed me...enriched me.  How it gave me perspective.  Then he made a statement that was probably the most profound of the week for me.  He said coming here (to the Dominican) was his job.  At caught me off guard and I even questioned him...but after we talked a bit more and went our seperate directions...It hit me...While this week does give me perspective, renews my faith in manhood, grounds me in the material world...what goes on here and what I am here to do with my gifts and indeed 'my job.' 

Matthew 28:16-20 The Great Commission

 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew tells us that Jesus gave the go.  He doesn't say to go to foreign land...he doesn't say to just stay in your own home town...he just says "Go."  "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name...."
It is my job..our job.  To go home and share our gifts and talents just as we do here.  I've talked this but still find myself being 'too tired' or 'too busy' or 'too...whatever.'  I am called to share the wave to strangers just as I do share the "hello" greeting just as I do here, so share a "God Bless You" just as I do here to people I don't even know.  It's so easy here to say "Hola'", "Dios La Bendinga" as you don't feel  you'll be ridiculed or denied.  But why shouldn't we be denied...Christ himself was...still is.
So, M.B...I understand your committment and how it's the and there.  How it's our job to use the gifts, talents, education that God has blessed us with to help everyone...everywhere.  I love you friend for the example you are to me...for introducing me to this team 8 years ago and allowing me to see God through their eyes.  I appreciate your spirituality and your love of our Savior and your willingness to share it with everyone.  You taught me the difference in being a warrior and a worker.
Yes...what was said to me in this conversation was probably the most profound thing I heard...that I will take home with me and will strive every day to do my job.    As the week is coming to a close. 
My body is tired, muscles aches, not sleeping well with my left arm going to sleep due to my back being out.  I miss my family but already dread leaving this place.  The smell of something burning all the time, the sound of the Carribean Ocean pounding the shores just feet from our hotel door...riding in the red truck every day, sweating profusely all the can't possibly drink 'enough' ever, so we're all a bit dehydrated or a lot dehydrated.  Yet...tomorrow...being Friday, we'll wake with compassion for these sweet children of God and for each other.  We're all in it together sharing in this week...making His "joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind."
Dream Ministries Team 2011