I'm here! In the Dominican Republic on a mission trip with an organisation called Mission Direct, I have less than fifthteen minutes to squeeze this into so its got to be quick.
The plane was delayed 5 hours so Saturday turned out to be a very, very long day. I still feel rather exhausted from that, I promise to tell you ALL at some point but for now I want to tell you just how AMAZING it is out here.
We were met, quite literally, by a wall of heat, and I simply had no clue as to what to expect. On Sunday we visited an American Church and I was totally blown away by them, it was like being at home but I was on the other side of the world, it was all rather surreal. In the afternoon we visited the villages that The Samaritan Foundation have built, this is a charity that Mission Direct is partnered with.
The work they have done is truly incredible, I think the total is 1400 houses now, but what touched me the most is the individual people we met as we looked around a couple of the 10 villages, these people are so, so beautiful, and I did wonder how any of them found God in their situation, but they do.
I saw this today, we did a JUICE programme, which means we sang some songs and did a drama for some kids and then gave out juice and gifts. These kids were so, so lovely, they were completely happy to be with us, and their love for God was completely remarkable.
Claire: What's the best present you can get?
One of the kids: The Word of God.
Food for thought, most certainly.
I am loving working on the building site, everything about it is so incredible, the work, the children, Isachar and Ermis. It's just so, so great! And Dad, if you're reading this, they say I am a very strong girl, and Ermis was particularly impressed by my wheelbarrowing skills. I have not lifted anything I can't manage. I am just simply having the most incredible time.
I find it hard to put into words what an amazing time I am having, God is here in the most powerful way, even in amongst all the poverty and the struggle, He is here, and He is beautiful. He's here in the smiling faces of the kids, He's in Isachar, one of our translators, I have never seen anyone as good as him at interacting with kids, they all know him, and they all absolutely love him.
God is here, and He is beautiful.
So very, very beautiful.
Something I have written for a future blog..."As we flew higher and higher I could see England's patchwork of fields disappearing into tiny, tiny, little squares I was in awe of how great God is. My chases for the moon always feel so big, they always feel so, so important, yet the truth of the matter is that they are tiny, I am tiny. I felt humbled by my small-ness, I had never quite realised before how insignificant and how little my life could matter, but the truth is, it does matter, God says that i matter, God knows me by name, little, tiny, tiny me, He loves me unconditionally, and even when He can see that my chases for the moon are a lot smaller than I seem to think, they do matter to Him, they matter to Him even more than they matter to me. He laughs with affection as I admire His beauty, He lovingly ruffles my hair and gives me a nudge to show that He understands. Oh how I love Him!"
Missing home in some ways, but don't want to come back.
Please keep praying each day, I am having a lot of fun, and so far my fears have not been fulfilled at all, and I am continuing to try an trust God, but thee are dangers, new experiences do scare me, and I am praying for His guidance in all that I do.
Pizza, and chips, this is what i have eaten today, and I am VERY happy.
All is going well.