This discussion was shared at our third 2016 team meeting on June 6.
Take some time to consider how you “do” your Christian life on a daily basis. What ideally defines your approach to life? How we should “do” our Christian life at home will likely be the same way we should approach our week in the DR. Where do you get hung up on living out this ideal approach? What gets in your way? What keeps us from “doing” our lives the way we should?
How we approach our work in the DR falls under two main focuses. We do it with respect and love. We do it with commitment.
Respect and love look different depending on who is receiving them. We want to show respect and love in three different ways during our week.
for the culture and people
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. —1 Corinthians 12:12-14
We approach this week and the people and things we’ll experience with open-mindedness and without judgement. Remember, we come from a lot of privilege; you will be reminded of this throughout the week. Start thinking now about how you can leverage the privilege that you have to make life better for others.
for our team members
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. —Deuteronomy 7:6
This trip and your fellow team members will test our patience at times. Remember to consider others as our treasured possessions, acting this out by communicating your needs effectively and handling conflict calmly and responsibly.
for every single person with whom we interact: staff, drivers, kids, families in La Mosca, people in stores and at the resort
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. —2 Corinthians 3:3
For an entire week, everything is taken care of for us: our meals, our transportation, our schedule. We are completely free to worry about others’ needs above our own! Be aware that a group of Americans will be immediately recognized by people on the street, in stores, and everywhere else we go, as missionaries.
When we aren’t showing respect and love in these ways, it usually means we need something. Communicate your needs effectively and turn to someone you trust to support you during the trip. (More information on a buddy system at our upcoming team building meeting!)
Commitment to the ongoing work in La Mosca is what makes our partnership special. We leverage our gifts for ongoing encouragement. It’s fine if you decide this trip is a one-time experience for you, but the big, sustainable change comes from the long haul, and we invite you to start thinking now about how you can be a part of it, or how you can be a part of it in new ways if you’re a veteran. (The trip isn’t the only way to stay involved in our partnership!)
As we look forward to our team building meeting, consider this question:
What do you predict you’ll have the hardest time with on the trip? What might keep you from doing our work the way we want to do our work?