“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).
We spent the week at Escuela Tia Tatiana, a “private” Christian school in the heart of the squatter slums of Herrera, Santo Domingo. Through God’s provision the school has been able to provide a nutritious food system, clean/purified water for the community, quality education, medical care, and most importantly, spiritual discipleship on an ongoing basis. Overtime, the community has witnessed the light of Christ through the school even in the midst of the prostitution, drug abuse, and gangs that plague the area.
Our team was able to provide a bit of remodeling to the classrooms and hallways during our time there. Throughout the week I found myself repeating “All work is good work” as I endured the heat. We were reminded that although it may seem like we are only “working,” we should keep in mind that while this work may seem very minimal—and not hands on in sharing the gospel—what we were doing was impacting more than we could imagine.
Not only were the teachers, the principal, and the pastor very grateful for what we were doing, but the adults of the community of Herrera were grateful as well. Word spread quickly that we were there in the community, and the people were amazed at the fact that we were willing to do manual labor for THEIR kids. With every stroke of the paint brush, we were bringing the light of God through serving. Our manual labor reminded us that Christ labored for us on the cross, and out of that, we are called to serve our neighbor, our city, our nation, and the world.
We also had the opportunity to interact with the children through different games and crafts. What joy it was to be able to spend time with these kids and let go of everything going on in our lives and love on them well. These kids were FILLED with joy. They weren’t there because of what we had brought or what we were doing in the school—they were there to be loved on.
God is MOVING
We were able to see and hear first-hand how the power of the Gospel is removing the darkness in Herrera. They have had faith in Jesus through it all. The families at the school have seen that it is because of our Savior that they were able to get out of the darkness that they were previously in. Nelson, the executive director of VisionTrust Dominicana, grew up in Herrera and saw his community first-hand go from prostitution and gangs to being filled with God’s light. His faith in Jesus was not a leap in the dark. “The Holy Spirit removes the dark and gives us real reasons to believe.”
God shined a light in our lives and allowed us to come from death to life. In light of that truth, how can we not be willing to open our hands and say to him, “Lead me, take me where you want me to GO.” After all, it’s all his! This world, this time, and the money in our bank accounts; it all belongs to him.
Mercy Hill partners with Escuela Tia Tatiana through VisionTrust to provide sponsorships for the students and send 2-3 teams each year to serve the community of Herrera. I pray that as Mercy Hill continues on with this partnership more people (maybe even someone reading this right now) would be willing to go and be the light of Christ. I pray that we would use sacrificially the resources he has provided us—to go on mission or to give for others to be able to go. He has placed you exactly where you are and given you everything that is in your life to use for HIS glory. We have a Father that loves us endlessly and that is wanting to use us to be his light. Don’t deny him the opportunity to use you!
-Tania Miron (Mercy Hill Member)
Are you interested in learning more about joining the Mercy Hill mission team to the Dominican Republic this coming March? Click here to read more about what the team will be doing and how you can apply. Teams will also be sent to the DR in July and August of 2017.