Wednesday, May 08, 2013

A bigger adventure than I ever imagined

The US team and some of the Dominican COTN staff just before we left Barahona
I have so much to say about my trip to The Dominican Republic that I don't actually know how to start.  Conversations since I have come back have run the spectrum from giving details about our activities to conversations about the loud call I'm hearing to be more involved down there, to a conversation that included tears on both my part and the part of the person I was talking to that started with what I saw and experienced and ended with Paul and his letters to the Corinthians. 

Just as the conversations have been varied my mental state has been equally varied.  I've been sad and impatient, joyus and encouraged, determined and energized, overwhelmed and frustrated, inspired and driven, introspective and talkative. When I first walked into my house on Sunday I wanted to start packing boxes to be sold so I could relocate my life full time to The DR.  My more rational side kicked in before anything was boxed up (I think looking at Moxie and seeing how hot she was in 75 degree weather gave me a bit of a reality check) but my frustration at my life situation vs the conditions I saw on my trip didn't subside.  Today as I was walking into the office I couldn't help but think of the interaction Jesus had with the rich man in Mark 10:
17As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’

” 20“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 21Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” 27Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” 28Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” 29“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
I'm not "rich" by American standards but I live like a queen by Dominican standards.  I was venting my frustration about this to Francis, one of our interpreters, on Thursday.  My life is too comfortable.  Before I left my prayer was that I would be uncomfortable while I was in the Dominican Republic and I was in some ways, for example I never got used to not flushing toilet paper (sorry if that's TMI) and my Malaria meds made me nauseous on a pretty regular basis, but mostly I found myself uncomfortable about what I have at home.  I struggled with how a good God allows me to have SO much simply because I was born on the United States of America side of the line.  Even poverty in the US is relative.  It made me feel like something in me and in this world was broken.  It was the first time I have felt that so acutely.

I finally realized my passion in ministry is through sports.  It makes my love of coaching and especially coaching for Upward make so much more sense.  I never knew that was what God was calling me to, I just did it automatically.  Now that I've finally opened my eyes to it I can't ignore it.

I've heard God's voice calling me very loudly and unignorably back the the Dominican Republic and specifically Barahona.  There are things to be done here - a long list of them that I have started working on - and there are things I'm still in conversation with God about as far as what going back looks like but I know I'll be back and I'm fairly certain I'll be back this year.

I want to lead a team down there next year on a Venture trip like the one I just went on.  There are a few names that God is literally screaming at me so watch out; if you are one of those names I'm going to be relentless. 

I'll get down to some details in the next couple of weeks about what we did down there.  I'm still gathering pictures from other team members and doing a little bit of processing before I can dive in.  Be prepared - these entries are going to be wordy.  I hope you don't mind the sharing.

Thanks for your prayers while I was gone and I would appreciate continued prayer as I work through figuring out how this trip has modified my dream/call. 

It was a journey.  It's the start of a new adventure.  I hope you are up for the going along on the ride.


Jessica said...

Awesome Kristin! You would probably really like Francis Chans book: Crazy Love. His thinking sounds similar to yours right now. I loved it, Mom didn't love it so much. She has it if you want to borrow it.

Jessica said...

Awesome Kristin! You would probably really like Francis Chans book: Crazy Love. His thinking sounds similar to yours right now. I loved it, Mom didn't love it so much. She has it if you want to borrow it.