Leaving the Dominican Republic

I never thought I’d say this, but this past week in the Dominican Republic has been a kind of retreat for me. Last night the mission team gathered outside on a patio at Casa Pastorale for communion. We blessed the bread and wine by remembering other communions we had had on our trip and each sharing one moment we had seen Christ.

Thursday had been our last day, for now, serving in a batey. As we completed our mission work, we celebrated by worshipping with our friends in Batey 105 in the church built by another mission group.

The children gathered first, and Estela, an interpreter with our team, led the children’s worship including lively music. Then our team continued with Adelle reading the Gospel in Spanish, and I preached using an interpreter.

We talked about Jesus’s last act with his disciples before his arrest was to share a meal. He wanted us to know that he was always with us, especially when we ate together. Remembering that Jesus called himself the Bread of Life, we took the bread that had been set aside for our lunch and broke it and shared a piece with each person.

It was Jesus, and all were welcomed.

Yesterday was our Sabbath and we rode a boat out to a beautiful Caribbean beach. We were struck by the extravagance of all the shades of blue painting the sea and the sky. The boat ride back included dancing.

As I prepared to return to Houston this morning, I sat in the Casa’s dining room a final time with my coffee and prayed for each member of St. Mary. I do not know what God has in store, but I am still listening, Lord.

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