1 Nation 1 Day #2: Bani Miracles!

foot washing

One of the highlights of the entire week was this moment above- foot washing for around 70 kids and providing them with new shoes. It completely reminded me of Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve…” which was the whole purpose of our trip; we were there to serve them. To encourage them. To love them. And to share the greatest Person that ever lived on earth with them. ministry siteHere was another site we visited who waited two hours for us and because of the scorching sun, people were jam packed under this pavilion as well as in the surrounding trees. Our team tried to perform in the center of the circle which was so hectically fun as children were crawling on the floor or sitting on an adult’s shoulders just to get a better view. So precious!

dominican republic beachFree day!!! After touring Café Santo Domingo’s coffee factory, we headed to the beach where we all basically baked and burned; so worth it. Some people from Team Bani were also water baptized in the blue Dominican water which was such an amazing sight. There’s nothing like praising and worshiping God for all He has done in the week so far by being surrounded by nature; the sound of crashing waves while laying on the sand under a palm tree and witnessing baptisms. To God be all the glory.

dominican kidsThis shot was taken during our second to last site on Friday. Because the church was a sauna and extremely hot to do anything, we decided to take it outside. Just a few minutes later, there was a group down the street walking in our direction who happened to be satanists. We immediately stopped our skits and started praying that God would change their direction. They turned on the intersection right before our road. Hallelujah.

1 nation 1 daySaturday night’s Bani crusade. Goodness gracious, the minute I stepped off the bus at the venue I was already dancing and praising God: Sovereign King, Redeemer of Bani, Healer of all brokenness. We were dancing from beginning to end; I couldn’t sit down once. After Team Extreme used their biceps one last time Pastor Kevin Stark, the stadium speaker, gave the salvation prayer where hundreds of people lifted their hands to ask Jesus to come into their lives as well as prayer for healing. So powerful. I was awestruck. How do you not get goosebumps from the sight of 5,000 people hearing the Gospel? And to think that was only one of the 20 states in the Dominican Republic that was holding this event!

1 nation 1 day banidominican sunriseThe morning after at our gate in the airport. Remember my last post where I mentioned Bani had been in a drought for three years? Just driving to and from our sites was a blur of dry beige scenery. For the entire week, Team Bani was praying for rain and because God is amazing and never fails, it started raining on our way to the airport and ever since we’ve left it has rained four times. What a mighty God we serve indeed.

I remember being at The Gathering and watching promotional videos for 1 Nation 1 Day thinking, “Ohhh, that’s nice,” not even contemplating on going, but I am so grateful God made a way. I’ve encountered Christ in a different and fresh way and spending the week with world changers who are so radical and on fire for Him made it that much better. So blessed. So joyful. Thank You, Jesus.

Last stop of #JirehForFour: L.A.!

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.

lastday

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.

dpraviahotelbani

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*.

bani church

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!