We all gathered at the airport on-time, only to find that one member of our team had a medical emergency, and while hoping to join us later, is currently out of commission. We are praying that Dean will recover and heal in a manner that will allow him to join us. We arrived uneventfully in Santo Domingo and had pizza Dominican style at the airport for lunch (so yes, there was corn on the pizza). Packed up the busses, and headed to the orphanage. We packed up the hygiene kits and readied VBS supplies and had a lazy afternoon setting everything up. Reconnecting with the staff here is always great treat.
After dinner we donned our church clothes and got the opportunity to worship at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the water purification center we built over the last two years! It is always a different and unique experience worshiping outdoors with rigged equipment, and joint participation from a number of churches and the community at large. Lots of smiling faces on the kids, games, singing, hugs…just amazing.
Tonight we studied our theme verse. In our small group we discussed the things we are excited about and looking forward to, the things we’re worried about, and expectations. It was a good opportunity to get to know each other. Then we discussed what losing yourself, losing your life because you’re trying to safe it mean from both a temporal state, and in light of the gospel and eternity. So, here’s my boil-down: If we focus on ourselves on what we think we can control and save ourselves in and by…we’ve lost. Not only have we lost our life and opportunity here, but we will have lost our souls in eternity. To truly save yourself, you must be willing to give up control, give up yourself, and give of yourself sacrificially.