Sunday, March 23, 2008

Some Reflections on the Dominican Republic

One week ago was spring break for us. I went with a group of Young Life people down to the Dominican Republic to work on a camp they are building down there. I didn't really realize it much at the time, but now I'm beginning to see how amazing that camp (not these pictures) is and how valuable Young Life is there. In a country, where there is not much else to do for fun and there is not running water in the typical person's house, it's astounding that if even for a week we could work in building a place with running water in a beautiful place for kids who may not have ever had better and a place where they can just have fun while hearing the gospel. I often lose sight of joyfulness and wonder of the gospel, but it makes me smile to think how much more real the gospel is to Dominicans. They have to rely on Jesus. Here in America, we fail to do that. I know that I try to make the Christian walk on my own, all too often. I wonder what would happen in America if we all realized our absolute need; I think we might gain a new joy and energy something like what I saw in the Domincan.

Oh, and we got to do a homestay with different families. Now, I don't speak Spanish very well; I've only taken a semester and a half of it. Fortunately, the guy I was with could speak it a little better. It was, however, an amazing experience to be able to spend time with them, even despite the language barrier to just share in their home and get to know them. We got to see real faces, got to know real people, not just see posters or television ads. It made me wonder what are we chasing after in this country with all our pursuit of wealth. What is this thing called money that we should pursue it? That family wouldn't be considered wealthy but they have an amazing peace and joy about them. So it makes me think that at the end of the day, all that really matters is just seeking God.

It's funny how in a place where poverty is more evident, hope shines all the brighter.