1 Nation 1 Day: Miami Experience + Welcome to Bani!

I have been in Delaware for a couple of days now and I find myself staring blankly out a window or smiling at the ground reminiscing on all the experiences from last week’s mission trip to the Dominican Republic (DR). PRAISE God for all that He has done and will continue to do in that country through His people. The things we witnessed- incredible.

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I was not physically ready for this trip. I remember leaving the Philippines in tears; I had the best of times for two months (including Thailand) and the friendships that God blessed me with were engraved into my heart. It was difficult leaving my new friends and family. Plus, I was still recovering from a fever and the thought of traveling for almost 24 hours then to be jet lagged in the States on the mission field didn’t help. But I believe God uses our position for a purpose. He didn’t make a mistake by providing for this opportunity!

dawn of a new missions era

When I arrived at the hotel where 1 Nation 1 Day (1N1D) registration and check-in was held I was immediately impressed by Missions.Me. They had everything covered from luggage tags, your departure time to the DR, and your own bag complete with information for the week ahead. We were taken to The Fillmore in Miami and- okay. Guys. When they said “Miami Training” I envisioned a big room where we’d meet our teammates and go over the dance, skits, and dramas. Wrong. We stepped into the building and it was covered with missionaries and a DJ on the second floor. What?! We entered the theater and from then on out, us 2,000 missionaries were ready for God to stretch and use us. I returned to the hotel to prepare for my 1:00am flight to the DR and in just a few hours we were in the nation that was about to be transformed forever.

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Team Bani stayed at the D’Pravia Hotel, a small and humble hotel with employees with the biggest hearts. They helped make our stay and experience so incredible. On our first full day we went to the park and had a flag raising ceremony during which people were already praying for the Dominicans, whether it was a young shoe shine boy or a man selling fruit in a makeshift cart. We also had the opportunity to pray for workers in the nearby government building where one group actually signed an official document stating 1 Nation 1 Day a historical moment in the city.

flag raising ceremony fruit vendor salvation prayer

We went to our first site in our smaller team (#TeamBruh!) where we performed the dances, skits, and just connected and loved on people. The sight of people making their way forward during the altar call to receive Jesus into their hearts will never get old. We visited 3-4 different sites a day that had more or less than 100 people of all ages. Crazy.

One girl that touched my heart was Melanie. The team and I were at our third site and after praying for a girl moving to Brooklyn, she asked if I could pray for her and healing for the pain in her eyes. I brought over a translator and prayed. Afterwards, she unexpectedly said “I love you” in English and ran out the church doors. Five minutes later she came back with a stuffed bear as a parting gift. I’d say it was both of us who left that church overwhelmed with joy.

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During our first two nights we visited two different churches; the first welcomed Team Bani with worship, dancing, and native food. The next night we heard word from our own Pastor Tony on the abundant rain coming, both spiritually and physically, as they have been in a drought for three years- more on that later *winky face emoji*.

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At this point, I never felt the effects of jet lag and my fever was entirely gone. God never ceases to amaze me. He sees our struggles and weaknesses and uses them to His advantage so that we can rely and be fully restored through His grace. He doesn’t overlook anything.

I hope you enjoy part one of the DR! Can you believe this was just the first half of the week?? “Like” if you prefer this kind of video over my head shot commentaries (because I do, hah). Until next time!

Encounter

The following is a short but (hopefully) sweet post, but you know how I get when I can’t blog as often as I would like and this week has been TOO good NOT to post any update. No photos, no videos, no visuals. Just a moment of words of what God has been doing in the Dominican Republic.

The word “encounter” has been laying in my heart and has somewhat become my personal theme for this missions trip. Encountering a team. Encountering Dominicans. Encountering God. Guiding people to encounter Jesus has been such a thrill. We’ve met hundreds of people throughout the city of Bani; some crowds wait two hours for us and when we arrive you can sense that they’re hungry for something greater. Dancing, performing dramas, acting out skits, hearing testimonies, presenting the altar call, and the sight of people raising their hands to receive Jesus into their hearts never. gets. old. 

There’s a craving for Christ. When I see a child crawling through the crowd or a teenager sitting in a tree for a better view, a mother asking for prayer for her kids, or an elder with closed eyes silently surrendering themselves to the Lord, goosebumps creep through my skin everytime. We’ve witnessed miracle after miracle. The paralyzed walk. The deaf hear. I love how God is the God of the supernatural and impossible. And that all this is happening throughout the entire country. 
We’re a little bit over half way through the week and I believe the best is yet to come. God is NOT done. There is still work to be done. We’re expectant and ready.

VIDEO: Final Conference Day & Bangkok!

Last video from the conference! One of the best experiences of my life. I hope you don’t mind me talking about it for the majority of the video (in my ’90s looking lip liner job! hehhh). Whenever people ask me how Thailand went I can’t help but get excited all over again as I tell them testimonies and stories from both the adult’s and kid’s conference. I’m still in awe of how marvelous God’s work is in this world and His light is being shown everywhere. It gives such hope! Can’t wait to explore the Dominican Republic with you next week!

Exploring Hua Hin!

After being in the hotel for four days, we finally had a chance to roam around Hua Hin and experience their night market. They started setting up by 6pm and soon the streets were getting more crowded until we were shoulder to shoulder. It reminded me of Divisoria and Quiapo but waayyyy cleaner. And now, I can check off Thai pants and authentic massage off my to-do list! Hope you enjoy this (shorter) vlog; part three of four!

Dancing, Dodgeball, and Delegates! (VIDEO)

Here’s a look into what the kid’s conference looked like! I wish I would have filmed more in class, lunch, and breaks but it was so hectic! As I mention in the video, each day followed the same pattern: wake up at 5am, breakfast, praise & worship, class time, break, class time, lunch, dance practice, break, dance practice, dinner, then movie night. This video in particular also shows what happened during the celebration night of CCC’s 50 years in SEA! I still get goosebumps when I think of moments from that night. Vlog #3 will be posted soon- half day and free time in Hua Hin! Thanks for watching!