Everyone please Close your eyes…
IMAGINE walking, and taking an hour ride in a school bus down long dirt roads surrounded by endless sugar can fields. You arrive at one village and step off the bus into smoldering heat. You take one step at a time, breathing in the clouds of dirt they walk on, surrounded by beautiful half-clothed and hopeful children and families living in metal huts (cement if they are lucky), and seeing children sleeping on cement and dirt. Imagine children living this primitive life, surrounding you…speaking a language you don’t speak, grabbing your hands, desperate to be embraced, and excited someone cares.
Imagine not knowing which way to turn, overwhelmed by how you could possibly help. You pause and pray. “God, guide our every footstep, use us for your will, help us to see with your eyes, feel with your heart, and trust your path for us.”
Imagine you open your eyes and a 6 year old girl with a sparkle of hope in her eyes grabs your hand, jumps into your arms, and steals your heart. Her name is Daniella.
God’s purpose became crystal clear.
Language and cultural barriers disappeared, all worldly interferences dissolved, and God’s love and hope shined brightly through Daniella and her family.
Now Open your eyes…
Sweet soul Daniella invited us into her one room cement home to grab a machete to cut some sugar cane for us, and we met her family and became like family. ‘Her 4 year old sister’s name is Darianna, her 9 month old brother’s name is Samuel, and her mom’s name is Sonia. Each day we arrived at Batey 50, they found us and stayed with us. They helped with construction work and painting. God definitely gives you a supernatural strength when you do his work. We sweat rivers as we shoveled rocks, bent rebar, raked piles of dirt and rocks, and painted pictures of love and light to brighten the new Park for their village.
God moved through all of us to help each other and gave us a love and peace beyond all understanding, but yet so very deep and real. Each day with left them a little something. Ava and Kyle said…“Wow! They have nothing, but are so happy. They have nothing, and are so thankful for dirty shoes, play dough, and toothpaste. They have nothing, yet they still believe in God.”
This is how God moved, he connected us deeply and showed us the hope, love, and faith of a family with nothing through their eyes…they don’t have a voice so he gave them one through us. Daniella’s mom gave us a one page thank you letter for our love, items given, and for being friends with her children, She explained that they have nothing to give in return but their love and blessings for our home in America. This is simply and powerfully a God kind of love like no other.
“…use your freedom to serve one another in love, that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence. Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom.”
The beautiful souls on Batey 50 may be trapped in slavery and hidden in the sugar canes, but they are free because they know Jesus. Please pray for all their protection and perseverance in their faith, and please pray for all those on other Batey’s who are trapped in darkness.
“The hardest part was seeing it, the best part was being there to help, and the hardest part was leaving. “ To see my kids connecting with all the children and working so hard was beyond words…they are already begging me to go back next year. We saw the power of perseverance in God’s name using all the DR mission teams to transform a village over 25 years from a dark-voodoo stricken place to a village filled with the love and light of God. They went from broken metal shacks to solid cement homes. They have hope alive in their hearts. This year was the completion of Batey 50 and We found out on one of our last days there that Daniella does not live on Batey 50, her family stays with her Aunt and Grandmother most days. Daniella and her siblings live on Batey 35, so who knows what God has in store next year… Maybe Daniella is the voice of Batey 35. Please pray.