Since I had to stay in the States for a month extra, I haven’t had an opportunity to truly translate since I’ve been in the Dominican Republic. This week, though, I was super blessed to be able to translate with a fantastic group from Alabama. The first day of translating I was fully immersed by being the only translator in the VBS throughout the day. In some ways it was a lot easier than I thought, and in other ways, I was kicking myself for some of the words I had forgotten in Spanish. Throughout the week I got to play with kids, instruct crafts, help people find the right eye glasses (definitely not becoming an eye doctor anytime soon!), and had fun being able to communicate with the Dominicans and aid the American group by helping them get to know them and their culture on a deeper level.
- I have to say that out of all of the days of translating, the second day was the most impactful to me. All throughout this experience I had opportunities to share the Gospel, and God was gracious enough to use me to translate or personally lead someone to Christ almost every day. But this day was unlike all the others. My brain was fried by the end of the day, but ultimately, it was a good type of tiring. I personally felt like I was laboring and aching with these people for them to truly understand the Gospel. Putting your heart and soul into something really takes a lot of energy.
- We started with the VBS that day which included coloring, crafts, games, and a Gospel presentation. We were in the same building as the medical group that was trying to prescribe medicine to Dominicans who couldn’t afford to see a doctor. Can you imagine having only a line of chairs to divide the huge line of Dominicans trying to heal themselves or their children in one area, and the little kids screaming and refusing to stand still in another area? It was a bit chaotic, but I loved every second of it.
- The gospel sharing started with one girl in the American group wanting to talk to two school girls that were waiting for medicine. We talked with them, shared our testimonies with them (and I had happened to review my testimony in Spanish that morning; it’s funny how God works!), and asked them if they would like to become Christians. They said no, that they “had been Christians” but now aren’t. Throughout the whole time translating, I had been hearing young people saying that same excuse. They say that they do not need to think about it now, but that they would become Christians again later. One girl even told me that she wasn’t a Christian because “the world” was calling her. I would ask them as to where they would go if they died right now and they would immediately reply with the right answer: Hell. They knew the Truth, but they rejected the Truth. I tried to convey them the urgency and importance of this decision, but it wasn’t registering in their minds. At least, I thought that was the case.
- At the very end of the day, I was called in to help translate at the evangelism station part of the medical clinic. All patients sit one-on-one (with a translator, of course) to talk about their spiritual state after they had received help to improve their physical state. It’s probably the hardest station to translate for, but honestly, that was my favorite time translating throughout the whole week.
- I was fortunate to help translate for the pastor of the group. The first woman who came by was already a Christian and the second woman we talked to still did not feel the call to become one right away. I had been talking to the pastor about my previous attempts at sharing the Gospel when one of the girls that I had been talking to happened to sit down in the chair. She already showed me earlier that she didn’t seem to want to change (she was the one who said that the world was calling her), but after the Pastor spoke with her, it was like something changed in her and she decided right then and there to put her faith in Christ. Praise God! You might get discouraged that people aren’t truly listening to you, and that they may reject you and your message of the Gospel. Know, though, that it isn’t your job to change them; it’s God’s job. It’s only your job to share. Even though she rejected the first time, God didn’t reject her. She came back and I believe that now I will be able to see her again and get to know her better in Heaven.
- I’ve grown a lot during this week, especially during this year. I had already known a lot of basic Spanish before I came down, but living in the DR has firmed up what I’ve already learned and helped me learn so much more about certain topics, especially the Gospel. That is my favorite thing to talk about in Spanish. I don’t know why, but I feel like my voice tends to soften when I talk about some sort of spiritual truth in Spanish. Being able to put to use what I’ve learned this week has been a blast, and I’ve really loved the group that I translated for. They are some of the kindest, southern folk that you could ever meet, and they truly have compassion and a heart for the Lord. A lot of times, especially living here for so long, it’s easy to become numb to the poverty and the necessity for everyone to be spiritually right with God. I really feel like this week helped me realign my mindset; these people filled me so much with kindness and love and reminded me of the reason why I am here. My heart is full.
- Week 1 of translating went well!
- I get to go on an excursion today to go jump through waterfalls. How cool is that?
- Over 500 people were treated medically, and over 100 people declared Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior this week through my group. I didn’t write the numbers down to measure our success, but to demonstrate how powerful the Lord is and how willing He is to provide when people come together to do work in His name. Every single person has a story. I pray that their story now continues to be written by God and for God.
- Every year there is a big group that comes down to do ministry. There are 310 high schoolers coming down today to do ministry, which means that all hands are on deck regarding translating. Please pray for everyone translating and involved with this group, that we will not get weary and that God will provide.
- Please continue to pray for focus and endurance until the end!
- Please pray for my transition back to the States