What a summer we have had!It seems like I was just packing up my things to return to the Dominican Republic after traversing the US and meeting so many people who are interested in missions.If I didn't make it to your church, I hope that I can do that when I am back in the US the next time.
I want to thank each of your for your continued support of the ministry here in La Romana.As you can see by the pictures above, the work here has an impact on the lives of those visiting as well as those we serve.Amy Young is a nursing student from Elgin, IL who came down through her school and turned out to be an enormous blessing as we worked with many American patients that week.She had not considered missions before her trip but felt that God may be opening her eyes to a direction in missions.PRAISE GOD!The second picture is one of a visiting doctor from San Francisco, CA.On her first trip here she said God made it clear to her that she needed to be faithful in following him in baptism.A quick trip to the ocean allowed that to happen!Her life has taken on many new changes since the baptism, and although some were difficult, she says that as she follows Christ she is assured daily that he is taking care of all of her needs.The final picture is of the group of volunteers from Keokuk FBC.They were making their first trip with a faithful group of 4.Joining them was the Rule family from North Carolina who stayed with me for a month.How wonderful it was to watch the emotions play out with the team from Keokuk…all of the desire to serve, the compassion and the tears as many things were seen to be impossible to solve.The outpouring of love that they gave was a blessing to all who were there.I believe it is the first trip of many for this group.
Recently, it has been brought to my attention that so often I live in the future and plan for all that might happen.I can overwhelm myself with thoughts of "what if …" instead of living in today.How often do we lose the joy of today trying to plan for tomorrow?We often make life much more complicated than it is by trying to figure out everything ahead of time.If we could only understand and believe that we don't have to figure everything out.God already did and He already made provision for all of our needs…even the ones we can't predict!
Have you thanked God today for all that he has given you?Did you thank Him for just the ability to breathe this morning?Or maybe the gift of having a bed to sleep in last night?Or did you thank Him for your salvation and the grace he showed you for your sin?
As we finish this year out and begin to think about budgets and the future of the mission and the church, let's remember that God has it all figured out already.We are only required to remain faithful to Him.Through our faithfulness in the calling to "go" and to "serve" we will remain on His path and not our own.Each of us has a part in that calling.There are many people who can not leave their homes to serve in another country.There are others who go, like me.Yet each of us can answer the call in our own special way.The donations you make to the World Mission Offering make it possible for me to answer God's call to serve in the Dominican Republic.Some of you are called to lift my ministry up in prayer and correspondence.Bless you!I can't tell you the number of times that I have needed your strong prayers and notes of encouragement.
The bottom line, though, is that we each are answering the call.Don't hesitate if God is leading you to do more.You will be richly blessed in your obedience.And, live today.Bask in the glory of today and the riches He has provided in this moment.We are truly blessed.We all need to remember what Paul wrote to the church in Corinth regarding their desire to help others and the example of the churches in Macedonia:
"Now I want to tell you, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done for the churches in Macedonia.Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty have overflowed in rich generosity.For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford but far more.And they did it of their own free will.…Best of all, they went beyond our highest hopes, for their first action was to dedicate themselves to the Lord and to us for whatever directions God might give them…Give whatever you can according to what you have.If you are really eager to give, it isn't important how much you are able to give.God wants you to give what you have, not what you don't have…Right now you have plenty and can help them.Then at some other time they can share with you when you need it.In this way, everyone's needs will be met.Do you remember what the Scriptures say about this?"those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough." (2 Corinthians 8)
Let us be thankful and generous today with all of the blessing God has given us!Your generous support of the World Mission Offering is a faithful answer to God's call and shares the blessing of God's grace and hope all over the world.
Love in Christ,
Kristy Engel, RN
Missionary to the Dominican Republic