Okay so I am incredibly bad at keeping this thing updated. That is a new years resolution of mine. We'll see how it goes. Anyway, right now I am currently in Colorado attending a three week missionary training seminar. It has seriously been incredible. To be honest, I just feel exhausted by constantly having to be cut open to be vulnerable with these people. However, I left the DR feeling quite defeated and just broken. However, God has used this time to build me back up and fuel me to head back to the DR the 31st. Here is a little paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13 that I wrote that will hopefully capture my time when I head back to the DR.
If I speak with the tongue of a expert coach, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or clanging cymbal.
If I wear the national dress and understand the culture and all forms of etiquette, and if I copy all mannerisms so that I could pass for a Dominicana, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor, and if I spend my energy in the sun without reserve, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love endures long hours of language study, and is kind to those who mock her accent; love does not envy those who are fluent, love does not exalt her past volleyball experience, is not proud of her national reputation.
We know only part of the culture and we minister to only part.
But when Christ is reproduced in this culture, then our inadequacies will be insignificant.
When I was in America, I spoke as an American, I understood as an American, thought as an American; but when I left America, I became a learner of a new culture!
Now I adapt to this culture awkwardly, but He will live in it intimately; now I speak with a strange accent, but He will speak to the heart.
And now these three remain: cultural adaptation, language study and love.
BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE.
We just organized a volleyball tournament and hope to continue in February. Here is a pic of the winning team of the liga mediana (younger league).
I hope ya'll have a fantastic Christmas. Please continue to pray for strength when I go back. I feel like I have just made some big break throughs with many of my girls. My prayer is that God will use me to transform their lives so that the will be fire-breathing, people loving, volleyball playing, disciples of Christ. We have a softball team coming in January so we will modifying the site and doing some girls softball camps which should be super fun and a nice change of pace. Thank you for your support and prayers. :)