Statement of Missions
Monday morning we arrived at the church complex and the rush began. Rooms were organized for each class; kitchen area was set up to meet our needs as well as the church set up for feeding supper to all the children following their classes. The water supply for the day was purified and bottles filled for each group in a room to take to the motel. This process was done each day.
Monday afternoon at 3 PM, Larry (Danks) pulled out his phone, checked the temperature and it was 109. At 5 PM it was 105 and at 8 PM it was 103. I asked him not to tell me the rest of the week what the temperature was! He did better than that, he texted to have people pray for us and the heat. The rest of the week, we had cloudy days, rain and breezes. God answered your prayers for us.
The children were usually there by 3:10 PM for the 4:00 PM start. Some even came in the mornings just to see what was going on. We put them to work helping prepare projects the children would work on during the week. Two girls, Carmen and Rebecca, lived in Dallas, and were spending time with their aunt and grandmother. They were very helpful with their English skills.
The church is located on a busy street with a lot of cars, bicycles, scooters, and walkers going by. Several stopped at the gate to see what all the activity was about. Two men accepted Christ as their Savious after Zeb and Saul shared the Godpel with them. (Zeb and Saul are from San Antonio and were with our team.) The two new believers were given Spanish Bibles.
It was a great inspiration to see the children excited as they learned Bible stories. Two storied of the Good Samaritan and Zaccheus seemed to be their favorites. As the children left, hugs were given freely and will you be here tomorrow was asked. “I will miss you” was heard over and over on the last day as they children were leaving. “Will you come next year” was a question asked many times.
Two mornings, some of our group went to Casa Bethesda orphanage and played games with those who could participate. Others watched, while others are confined to beds. The orphanage has a large new kitchen which is greatly needed as the number of persons is increasing in the home.
We were fed delicious meals at noon and enjoyed sandwiches and all the trimmings for our evening meal.
God has blessed all that was involved in the planning, preparation, teaching, and sharing that went into this week. Lives were changed and one day we will see results we are not even aware of now.
To God be the glory! Jean Ward
“I have so much, so much, so much” were followed by verses singing “I am grateful for my friends and family.” The most precious moments were not caught on camera…the dramatic costumed presentation of David and Goliath, boys competing for the shields and spears, King Saul, David with his sling, and Goliath up on a chair. Pastor’s wife Paula appeared and exhorted Goliath to really roar! The teenage girls came over from the youth class to present a puppet show about the Prodigal Son with Lucy Arellano from San Antonio narrating. You are seeing photos of the children proudly showing off their decorated envelopes that contained their scriptures for the week and their beautiful tissue flower bouquets topping toilet paper rolls glued to colorful paper plates. My partner Jerry Cangemi became the keeper of the water pitcher after we experienced 110 degrees the first day. Terri Pyle and I recovered quickly from heat exhaustion that day and were fully hydrated the rest of the week, thanks to reminders from Larry Danks. On the final day, Pastor John reviewed the class with David’s exhortation to Goliath: “You might have a sword and spear. My weapon is the name of the Lord, God Almighty.” While I finished writing out the “diplomas” he and Jerry had the children read the salvation message from a brochure that opened up as a cross. A special 11 year-old named Eric, who had come all the way from Georgia to visit relatives, helped write out the bottom of the diplomas while I wrote each child’s in calligraphy… a small thing, but they were so proud to have them that they wanted their full name inscribed, which usually meant a first name, a middle name and two last names. I am so grateful that I could do that after years of studying Spanish. I challenge you to learn a few phrases so that you can minister on one of these trips! Let me know when you want some classes!
¡Dios les bendiga!~God bless you all!
Monday everyone set up for their groups. The church Jesucristo El Poderosa de Israel now has three buildings. One is for church, another is kitchen and dining, and the third is being used to teach welding skills to the men in the area. Thomas Brown and helpers served us King Ranch Chicken for lunch. Then it was back to work. Conrad stayed busy purifying water for our drinking and also for making lemonade, tea, Gatorade, and punch. Larry was kept busy making all the drinks and handling the heavy containers. Some of us stayed busy keeping early children from devouring the drinks before VBS started! It was very hot so we kept cups handy for the water. VBS officially started at 4pm and ended at 6pm. Then Pastor Julio, Thomas and a church worker cooked and fed the children and mothers a hot meal. Our group of 20 then ate a sandwich and returned to the motel.
The children seemed eager to learn about Daniel, David, Zacchaeus, the Good Samaritan, and other Bible characters. Our own Bro. John played his guitar and taught songs and led Jody’s group in learning Bible scriptures. It was fun watching Tina and Loraine lead in songs and activities with the 3-6 year old children. Joanna Cangemi had prepared all the activities and lessons but was unable to go with us as she ministered to her sick mother.
We also visited the orphanage and colored pictures, worked on Bible lacing cards, and made caterpillars with the children who were physically able. Bro. John and Clint joined us on Wednesday morning right after they arrived in town. Bro. Paulino Esquela is a beautiful example of a man fully dedicated to God. He now works with 26 physically and mentally handicapped people in Piedras and he has answered God’s call to help open another orphanage near Saltillo.
We are really blessed to have the many women and men from San Antonio who faithfully share God’s love using their gifts and talents, especially their use of the Spanish language, and we thank Trinity Church for providing us the opportunity to go and spread His word. Our days were hot, hectic and seemed to be big messes but God works in and through our messes and problems to accomplish His will. Children, women, and two men passing by the church’s gate were led into God’s family. Smiles and hugs enhanced our days. Praise God!
While this was not my first mission trip by far and while it was my second into Mexico with Trinity Baptist Church, I was quickly to find out that every trip is different and every day is a new day!
Crossing the border is becoming increasingly difficult for groups who want to bring materials to be given away and who want to do ministry among children and adults. As with most of our trips and mission efforts, our ministry begins before we ever approach the church or mission point where we will be working. Even the inconvenience of unloading the entire equipment trailer at the border crossing became an opportunity to show the love of Christ and a gentle spirit to those who seemed to be our oppressors at that moment.
This year’s event began on a rather difficult note because of the oppressive heat we encountered early on. This took its toll in the extra effort required to do the ministry set before us and physically it caused some of our group to have some heat related difficulties. After asking many Facebook friends to pray for moderation to the heat we were blessed with the final 3 days being mostly cloudy and some light rain showers cooled the air even more. God truly blessed us with weather that was conducive to the type of “close quarters” Vacation Bible School we were to help conduct.
We were blessed to work alongside many wonderful, hardworking and dedicated people as we ministered to the children at VBS, helped to feed the children and adults who come each evening and to minister to the challenged adults at the orphanage during two of the days.
Finding a way to minister to those who truly need it really doesn’t require a person to fly halfway around the world. “The least of these” can be found within a half day’s drive from Kerrville. I was blessed to be a part of this great effort.
I was blessed to work beside the team preparing for Vacation Bible School the days I was there. Most of the time my
After a rocky beginning that had us leaving one of our team members behind, we made our way to the DR. And then we started a joyous trip. I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart — down in my heart — down in my heart to stay. Joyful, joyful we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above. These are tunes that perfectly describe the Dominicans we worked with and served with on this mission trip. We also have wonderful relations with the team that came from Kenedy. All this resulted in a trip full of joy and wonderful reunions with Dominican friends and Kennedy friends. Our tasks were not quite as challenging as past years, but we were still able to touch the lives of many young people through English camps (working with Dominicans to improve their English) and VBS. We were also fortunate enough to visit the orphanage in Monet Plata where we worked on construction of a transitions home, played with the kids and cooked and ate a meal with them. It was a great chance for us to show God’s love to these precious children. We were able to share with them some wonderful clothes that were made by our Trinity ladies. There was much joy in their faces. We had some lovely bonding during our session of cutting out sheep heads and legs for a craft project — lots of laughter and sore hands — and joy (that we finished). On the third floor where the sewing room is, we found some very accomplished ladies sewing costumes for a pageant that will be presented in July. They were sooooo grateful for the sewing supplies and kept telling us that it was an answer to prayer. The construction crew built some very fine bookshelves and some great playground equipment. Children were already joyously playing on them. It was a trip of joy, renewed relationships – beginning relationships, sad farewells, and looking forward to the next chance to minister to these joyous Dominicans.
- Loved renewing friendships from previous years in the DR
- Loved making new relationships with people at IBQ Church,
Kennedy Mission Team, and individuals at our own ministry sites
- Loved giving smiles, hugs, and kisses to Dominican children at VBS
- Loved seeing the girl we sponsor and seeing how much she has grown and to be able to encourage her in her school work
- Loved seeing progress of projects we have worked on in the past and how they are being used to glorify God
- Loved seeing active sewing classes. We began the sewing
ministry about 4 years ago.
- Loved seeing the faith of the Dominican people lived out even in very primitive and simple situations
- Loved that we are supported by Trinity-a mission minded church
- Loved seeing the pantry filled with foods purchased with World Hunger Funds for the school that we have worked with for 10 years.
- Loved that as we started to leave and asked to pray with the pastor and his wife )at 4am) and his prayer request was “that we would pray for God to give them (the church) another ministry site!
Praise God for the trip!
Travel was good except luggage for 2 of the Kenedy group did not arrive with us. Came a couple of days later
Construction crew got along well making bookshelves, counter tops, play ground equipment and train for the playground. Built above Tuesday & Wednesday-delivered & set up Thursday until after dark. Children & their parents showed up to play & take pictures. Many, many smiling faces
Wednesday night service was full of testimonies & prayer requests ending with couples praying together (American & Dominican together) each praying in their language.
Friday– Trip to orphanage to see new building & we got to move a few hundred cinder blocks from the ground to the second floor using an assembly line of Americans & orphans. I do not remember dropping any as we swung them to each other up a muddy, slippery set of very rough stairs which were hard to climb without a cinder block. Had lunch in separate orphanage homes & got to play with the children after lunch. Manuel is embedded in my mind.
Saturday Pastor John, Pastor Matthew & myself (we keep looking for Luke to make our set complete) taught about a dozen or so pastors, leaders, etc. from 8:30 to 3pm and had lunch with them & their wives. They seemed to appreciate our efforts.
Sunday worship was beyond words. The singing was marvelous and when the Pastor started a verse the majority of the congregation quoted it with him. It was a glorious representation of how the body, the local church, should look & act.
Sunday afternoon I got the privilege to speak to the leadership of the church and they received the word with gladness.
I pray He produces much more fruit.
Learning new ideas and teaching techniques
Loving and being loved by new friends
After going to Mexico on TBC mission trips for almost thirty years, I found the Dominican Republic mission trip VBS planners used some different approaches, such as having color-coded teams of boys and girls. I followed the Red team of girls ages 12+ who…led by our energetic Dominican young adult leader…won the last day competition with a lively chant, red hair bands and painted faces. As a ESL teacher of both middle school (now retired) and adult classes, I loved working with Tina from Kennedy who led the English Camp for the youth at the church. Even the shy ones practiced their English playing her inventive learning games.
The young Dominican adults’ commitment to their church and the schools which it and STCH (South Texas Children’s Home ministries) support, as well as their career aspirations were impressive. Harold and his wife Sara (both 26) will be heading up the Rosa Elena School as teacher/principal and counselor respectively. He wants to obtain a degree in school administration and finance. Valentina (32), the vivacious leader of the yellow team of 3-6 year olds, wears many hats as Assistant to Rebecca, the Director of the Samuel Fund through which young people and their families receive monthly support for education via sponsors such as our team leaders Rick and LaVerne Boles. Her goal is to become an attorney!
For me, the DR Mission Trip was filled with learning, love, and inspiration!!!
Blessings, Jody McCulley
God has blessed Trinity Baptist Church through the years of her continued support of Iglesia Bautista Quisquiana in Villa Mella, Santo Domingo. Once again it was encouraging to see our Dominican brothers and sisters as they continue to reach out through their church to share the gospel and make a difference. Those in leadership at the church are so hungry to serve the Lord. It has been a blessing over the last few years to plan for leadership development among their leaders and ministers. It was also a double blessing to see how far Rosa Elena’s school has come knowing that Trinity Baptist Church has had such a vital role in taking a small dwelling to an established school in the neighborhood. We are so blessed to have had the opportunity of seeing one of God’s humble servants share life with her community. Rosa Elena was one of God’s special people. We learned recently that she has gone on to her eternal glory. The words really ring true, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Psalm 116:15 (ESV) Thank you Trinity for not only making a difference in a place but also among a people.
It’s hard to imagine walking through an airport doorway and immediately being transported to a time almost 60 years in the past but that is exactly what it felt like when The CenturyMen arrived in Havana, Cuba on Monday morning, April 4th. Sixty singers plus accompanists arrived with almost 3 tons of cargo being transported to the Cuban churches…cargo including a sound system donated by Trinity’s Worship Choir for use by a small church, 7th Baptist in Santa Clara, Cuba.
From the very first moment we were keenly aware that our very presence was a testimony to the faith and prayers of the Cuban pastors and their people. We were able to walk the streets of Havana freely and were able to minister to those we encountered with our words of faith and our pleasant presence.
We are a men’s choir…singing in places where the gospel hasn’t been sung in since the revolution in 1959. In the grand theater and the basilica in Havana we were not only able to sing to an audience of people made up primarily of non-churched Cubans but we were also filmed for television and were broadcast nationwide during the following days.
During the 10 days while we were actually on the island we traveled from the east to the west performing 17 different concerts. On two different occasions we were divided into three performing groups and were sent to minister to three different churches in three different cities. We sang to full houses at virtually every performance and were delighted to see people come to Christ when the invitation was extended in virtually every situation.
While we traveled under the banner of Global Missions Project and were led by Camp Kirkland from that organization we were also accompanied by members of the Cuban Baptist Association and other volunteers who interpreted for us and assisted in many ways.
I am blessed to be part of this organization and am also very blessed to be part of a church which supports and prays for missions in multiple locations across the world.
- It was the LONGEST bus ride I’ve experienced in a LONG time. I am guessing that “Scottie” was our bus mechanic that gave “warp speed” to our vehicle. That is to say with Pastor John at the wheel.
- We had 14 men going according to Frank. Caused a bit of delay.
- The men were involved in painting, mowing, cleaning mattresses and whatever else needed to get camp operational. I understand Dan Parr really enjoyed playing in the grease trap.
- We also helped Bro John’s brother get ready for a move to
- Colorado. We moved his furniture to a storage unit.
- An “uninvited” guest appeared in our room in the middle of the night. As I was sleeping I was awakened about 2AM. I thought I heard someone get up to get a drink. Next thing I knew something hairy and alive fell onto my face. I jumped out of bed and scrambled for my flashlight. Yes, a mouse was falling on me. I heard the next day this guest also paid a visit to Clint and Brad. I don’t think he made a face visit however.
- The food was good and the fellowship better. I do want to know what kind of vitamins Bro John takes. He has more energy than the “Energizer Bunny”. After supper he would drag those who had a little energy left to play some kind of game shooting arrows at one another.
- Bill Parr shared God’s word with us in the evenings. It was great encouragement. The men worked together in unity and we were blessed to be able to serve our Great God.
The working fellowship among the men was great. During periods after work we worshipped together with Mark Clemons on guitar and Bill Parr sharing God’s Word. We have managed to play some either by shooting arrows at each other in “Dodge Arrow” or playing games late into the night. Don, Ken, and I are prepped the primitive cabins for campers. This is perhaps one of the dirtiest jobs having to evict the critters who bedded down in the mattresses for the winter, but we probably had the best view while we worked.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the
inheritance as your reward. Your are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23 (ESV)
Working on your specific group tasks, having discussion at night, and, also hearing/seeing the results of the other team’s labors gave a “ big picture “ perspective to the trip as a whole. The Bible Studies were very insightful and well presented. Overall the trip was very memorable and rewarding. I look forward to the next opportunity to serve.
“We encourage every believer to go on a mission trip at least once, giving an entire week or two weeks to the task of serving others and sharing Christ. It is life-changing.”
I rejoice that I was invited to be a part of the Trinity Baptist Church mission trip to the Dominican Republic. As a former Southern Baptist International Mission Board missionary, the trip brought back many good memories and gave me wonderful new ones. It was a special blessing to get to know the team members and serve with Pastor John Wheat. I have a new appreciation for South Texas Children’s Services. Being allowed to preach in Spanish and share at the first pastor’s conference was a special blessing. Seeing the tears of appreciation a family shed when we gave them World Hunger Fund food reminded me of how blessed is my family. The time with the 176 children at the three days of
Vacation Bible School was exhilarating. Kids are loud and excited no matter what their language and culture. It was fun telling them about Jesus in Spanish. Thank you Trinity Baptist Church for your international and local missions vision. I am honored to serve as Director of Missions for the Hill Country Baptist Association. I am equally honored that Trinity is a member of our Association and is a partner with the other 36 Southern Baptist Churches in the Hill Country as we reach our area for Christ.
Dr. John L. Brackin
Director of Missions
Hill Country Baptist Association
My Missions Moment
Well, I have to say my missions moment happened on my last full day in the Dominican. We visited an orphanage, when to EBDV (VBS) and had church that night. I think overall it was the impact that the children had on me, they have so much love for you and they are so giving. The first night we were in the Dominican I had the privilege of having dinner at the Jasquez house where Deyanira and her two daughters Amelia and Arlin lived. The last night I was in the Dominican I received a letter from Amelia and Arlin just saying how much they loved me, and things like that. I just think it’s so crazy how loving they are, and I can’t help but love them back even more. The children in the Dominican and at IBQ are absolutely amazing. There were several other moments, but sometimes it’s the little moments that mean the most and that you will never forget.
Ready to Follow
Ready to Serve
This is my 5th DR trip and I prayed the Lord would help me see a new mission moment! I went to a home of one of the interns. It had been brokin. Head of family not saved. The Lord united the family in home, health and new baby soon! The father saved & dedicated church goer.
I am blessed!
My Missions Moment
By Jean Allgood
2015 Mission Trip, June 18-25
Mission moments were talked about all week and there have been many. I’d like to share my first one.
We landed in the Dominican Republic at about 9:30 pm, after a very long day of anticipation and unknown experiences. I walked out of the customs and baggage claim area to be greeted by two young Dominican men that are interns of the STCHM Children’s Home Ministries. Their smiles and warmth radiated the
Dominican welcome that lasted all week! Franklin and Francisco were
everywhere doing everything to help make our week of ministry fruitful. They blessed all of us with their love of the Lord and joyful spirit, and helped us to be “ready to follow and ready to serve.”
God is truly amazing! I could never have imagined that at age 81 I would be on a Caribbean Island helping with a Vacation Bible Schook, or help cook 67 hamburger patties for an orphanage lunch party or slicing green bell peppers for a Luau Dinner Fund Raiser. But there I was doing that and so much more with our Dominican Republic Mission Team.
The days were long and strenuous-oh, and did I mention hot? But what a great week it was to minister to those wonderful, joyful people.
- That received the month’s supply of groceries we had shopped for and delivered.
That attended the teacher’s training program offered to local teachers with 41 attending the sessions lead by our very qualified teachers,
- That were recipients of the construction team working daily in the heat to complete 4 picnic tables, 24 bookcases, and repairing 14 benches and shelves in the kitchen attending Vacation Bible School that resulted in 63 children and two mothers committing their lives to Christ,
- And so much more that was done by our team in that brief week. But the amazing thing was to see the staff and interns work with such verve beside us, with us and for us.
The question I hear is “well how was the mission trip?” I’ve tried to find the right words to describe it, even checked my thesaurus. Then I realized it isn’t about words but it is a spiritual experience.
Going to this small spot in the Caribbean to glorify God by trying to meet some of their needs, both physical and spiritual, was our goal, then as so often happens-we the doers and givers are the ones most blessed.
The DR Mission Trip was a faith growing trip for both Our groups and the Dominican Christians. The work was intense and the hours long, but lives were changed both us and them. We were all Blessed by our loving and Faithful God with His work. Our love for our Dominican Family continues to grow and we feel like we are going home on the way there. A love that is just a smidgen of what our Eternal Life in Heaven will be like. God has put together a loving team from FBC Kenedy, Trinity Baptist and STCHM Adults and students that will continue to grow as we continue to serve in our homes here.
The Missional moment for me was a visit to a Dominican Home for a meal and fellowship. The hospitality of this family was an amazing experience, as they showed us how to have real joy, joy from the Lord. In spite of a Language barrier, we laughed for 30 minutes, more than I have laughed in the last year at any one time. In that home we found Christ Like joy in spite of their meager home. I was challenged to find in my Lord the real joy He talks about in His word. That is my challenge that I came away from this trip with.
By Rick Boles
It was such a joy to return the Dr and see old friends and to make new ones! The DR people are so loving and they make us feel so loved and welcome.
The whole week was great, but the best was delivering food from World Hunger Funds. We shopped for food for four families, and a different group of our team members delivered to each of the four homes.
I was on the team that delivered to Francisco’s family. The father is in bad health with high blood pressure and diabetes and unable to work at a job, but he does make patio furniture and bedsteads to sell. Mother has high blood pressure and she just found out that day that she was pregnant. Her children are ages 22, 17, and 14.
Francisco is in the university and get support from STCHM through a new program to assist older young people who want to further their education and who show great potential. Francisco has a girlfriend and would like to get married, but cannot until he has the money!
When we delivered the non perishable foods, about $175 worth, they were so appreciative and thankful. They invited us into their modest home and Francisco showed us his room and the bed he had made. He shared his room with the other 2 brothers. His graduation picture was on the wall and scriptures were written on paper tacked on the walls around the house. The mom also proudly showed us her plaque of high school completion that she only completed last year! Francisco now serves as an interpreter for IBQ and STCHM. The family shared their testimony of how Francisco was saved as an 8 year old boy at IBQ church—later mother and other brothers were saved. However, father was obstinate and was a heavy drinker and was a terrible father and worthless to his family. At one point the boys encouraged their mom to kick him out, but she did not. They just kept inviting him to go to church with the family and finally he said he would go on Wednesday night for prayer meeting, singing, and worship. Then later he attended with his family on Sundays and was ultimately saved and now the entire family are Christians. As they shared all of us had tears in our eyes. We ended with a prayer for the family.
It was just another example of the impact of one child coming to know Jesus and how it affects the entire family.
moments, but also moments when we became very close to the
amazing women that work in the kitchen — we built some very special relationships with them.
DR Mission Trip Moment
One of the moments that impacted me the most during this mission trip was when we went to the orphanage. I expected to be touched by the stories of the children at the orphanage, but what really touched me was what I witnessed outside the gates of the orphanage. When we got to the orphanage I was walking around and looked at the facilities. I heard a noise and children running outside the fence of the orphanage. I walked out of the gates and four little boys came towards me pulling a string that had their tous tied to it that scooted along the ground. Even with the language barrier, we were able to communicate, they let me see their “toy”. They had made their tou out of an empty plastic car oil container, plastic lids (all sizes) and rocks. The toy rolled on the plastic lids that had been attached to the oil container on it’s side. The rocks were placed inside to give it weight so it would roll along. These children were so happy to share their toy with me and show how they raced them against each other by pulling them. It’s really humbling to watch these children that have so little, they have to make their own toys, yet they were so happy with what they had. They also were happy and generous to share with me, a stranger.
I have learned from this experience to not only be satisfied with what I have and know that God has provided just what I need, but also to be resourceful with what God gives me.
This mission trip was a blessing to me.
My Mission Moment
The whole week for me was a huge mission moment. I cannot explain how blessed I feel due to the people of the Dominican Republic. My mission moment is very silly! I’ve wanted to ride on a moto since the very day I stepped on the street in Villa Melta last summer (2014), and this year my dream came true! I definitely thought it was a long shot before I asked
Joanna, but she surprisingly was totally okay with me going! Francisco took me for a ride around town and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I was feeling so many emotions at one time-joy, fear, love, excitement, worry, bliss, etc. My fears were all quickly replaced with feelings of joy and excitement; I knew God had me in his hands and nothing else seemed to matter. I wasn’t helping anyone but I learned to put my trust and life in God’s hands. Francisco is like family to me, and I can’t imagine my life without knowing him and so many others in the Dominican! The memories I’ve shared with the people of Santo Domingo will forever be in my heart.
I had an amazing time in Dominican Republic. We got to do
construction, VBS, help world hunger, and an English camp for kids who wanted to learn English. I tried to do a little bit of everything. I was glad that I could come on this trip and help other people. When we went to the peoples home to go deliver a month’s worth of food we got to hear the peoples testimony. It was amazing to hear how people got to know Christ. We also got to go and have dinner at a family’s house. When we got at there we learned that the father had made all of the furniture that they had. At VBS we had over 170 kids at one location that I worked at. The next day at VBS you could see the difference from the day before. I loved seeing the kids come and want to learn about him. At the end of each day I watched as the kids left how they went different ways by themselves, with an adult, or with older brothers and sisters. I got to make new friends and a see some people that I knew about from my dad and brother. One day we went to the orphanage and played and ministered to the kids that were there. We cooked a meal for them and ate with them and played games. I even got to spend my birthday at the beach. We went to the beach and market on my birthday. I had an amazing time and want to go back next year. This was my first mission trip and it was not what I had expected but even better. I am glad that I could come on this trip with my grandparents.
What a special joy it was to be able to return to the Dominican Republic again this summer! Even though this was my 6th trip in 5 years, I still am awed by the love and grace God has shown me through my Dominican brothers and sisters.
Having new team members always “re-opens” my eyes to experience their thoughts and feelings as they learn about the Dominican people.
Over the years we have seen projects begun and completed, such as Rosa Elena’s school and her new home at Hatillo. Many children have been blessed both physically and spiritually through Rosa Elena. We have been privileged to help with the construction there many times.
We were honored to share an evening meal in the home of a young Dominican woman who has become a special friend. Our hostess talked about her life growing up, and now, as an adult, how God has provided food, money, and protection for her. She spoke freely about following His plan for her life, and listening to and waiting on Him. With so few physical possessions, she is a praiseworthy example of loving and trusting our heavenly Father, because He knows the plans He has for her. Oh, to have faith like hers!
At our English Camp, one of our team members, a teenager from the South Texas Children’s Home, shared her testimony with the teenage Dominican students. She talked about drugs and abuse in her life, and how she came to Christ and though she still struggles, He is helping her become a new person in Him. When she finished, several Dominicans had questions, and then one young man said “we will all pray for you, because some of us have had those kinds of experiences in our family too”. It was a very emotional moment, and showed that God created all of us, and wants to forgive and bring all of us to Him, no matter who you are or where you live!
The week went very quickly as we constructed picnic tables and bookcases, prepared and hosted a luau as a fund-raising project for the church, baked goodies for a bake sale for another church, helped with vacation Bible School at 2 locations, held an English Camp, shopped and delivered World Hunger groceries, and worked and played at an orphanage. In between, we enjoyed time with fellow team members and re-connected with our Dominican brothers and sisters in Christ.
It was an awesome time and I was so blessed to be able to go on this trip again. Thanks Trinity for your support!
This is the 5th year I have gone to the DR. I cannot begin to list the things that were done in the 5 short days we spent there.
God has made a place in my heart for the people of the Dominican Republic. I have developed family type relationships; watched children become young adults; young adults grow up and marry; and married couples have babies. What a blessing it is to be a part of all that.
I have seen what God can do in lives of broken homes. Many ask why I keep going back…. it is about the people.
If you have never been on a mission trip such as this I believe you have to have a minimum 2-year buy-in. The first year all you see is the living conditions, the poverty, and trash everywhere. It is the 2nd year you know it is all about the people. I have seen how God has moved in the hearts of so many in just 5 short years.
I want to thank Trinity for their prayers and support over the last 5 years. Once again, if God wills it, I can go back next year.
It was a joy to get to be in the Dominican Republic and with Iglesia Bautista Quisquiana. This year there were several new ministry opportunities. We continued to hold Teacher Training, Vacation Bible Schools, and construction projects while adding an English camp, purchase and deliver food for World Hunger, hold a Pastor’s conference, hold a couples night, and Luau. We were on the go the whole time we were there. On the second day of VBS, I was helping with the recreation games. During the games I noticed one girl with down syndrome. She was assigned to one team and it was such a blessing to see how the other children on her team helped and encouraged her to participate. There was a game where they kicked a ball past a line and then returned to pass it off to another child. As this little girl kicked the ball, she did so with vigor. It didn’t always go straight. But it didn’t matter because a few children ran alongside to keep it in front of her. Precious. It was a beautiful picture of a body working together. Not everyone can run at the same pace, but with the help of everybody, we can all run. God worked in our lives as we were blessed to serve. It is amazing that as we return,
sometimes exhausted, that we always feel we bring back more than we take. Thank you Trinity Baptist Church for all your support and prayers. God bless Pastor Rudy and Patria as they minister among the people of the Dominican
Men’s Ministry Mission Trip 2015
Cloudcroft, New Mexico in many ways was delightful; Chilly mornings, cool days, and bright sunshine as 14 men from TBC worked long hours preparing Camp Sivells for its summer opening. The sound of lawn mowers, weed eaters, and picks & shovels resounded through the valley. We were sustained by great food and drink, encouraging words, and most importantly, prayer. Every evening after dinner was spent doing devotion time and sharing. After three days of hard work the camp had been transformed. A deep feeling of the greatness of God’s provision was felt as we loaded up to return home. May God grant us the opportunity to return next year.
Blessings, Frank Brooksher
“A men’s work retreat gave us a chance to cross the age and worship barriers that inevitably arise in a church. The best part of the trip was getting to know new friends and old friends better. I’d do it again in a heartbeat!”
Thistles While You Work
Behold the upright, verdant thistles whose defenses include many sharpened missiles
Guaranteed to puncture the thickest of skin right down to where your meta carpals begin
Why God in His wisdom considered creating, a plant so reviled it earned a triple X rating
He must have decided our earthly existence required a test in landscaping resistance
So, in the interest of keeping you fully informed, ever alert and completely alarmed
Here’s my message direct, a lesson sublime, extensively researched with masterful rhyme
Attend to this first, let your mind be expanded, never approach a thistle bare handed
It’s completely and thoroughly postured to win, in a battle with you and your flimsy white skin
You could ignore its advance on your lovely abode, but it’s such a distraction, the gauntlet’s been throwed
Don’t go it unarmed or you’ll surely succumb, to multiple contusions and be considered just dumb
Secure the strongest of gloves, two pair at least, sufficient to assault this thorny green beast
To go it alone sans such needed protection, would ensure your fingers be exposed to dissection
You might think the best source of a thistle’s demise, is cutting it down to a manageable size
But once the deed’s done you’ll quickly find out, the thistle responds by growing fresh sprouts
There’s one other thing if you think it’s now dead, along its main roots new thistles will spread
Like sin in your life if you don’t play to win, and deal with the roots, it crops up again
Now the longer the thistle grows deep in the ground, its hold on the soil will amaze and astound
Gripping and tugging with all of your might, leaves the thistle intact, a victorious fight
And lest you think you’ll just wait ’til it dies, see how the wind makes its hundred seeds fly
Landing and sprouting in new crannies galore, all pledged to expand our carnage and gore
What’s true with our sin and thistles as well, if you ignore them they’ll create your own private hell
For thistles and sin both strengthen each day, but arrest them at birth and they’re easy to slay
This tale of the thistle and its blight on the land, reminds us of sin that we fail to disband
Barely detected it seems hardly a worry, you’ll deal with it later, no reason to hurry
Then, one day you waken and soon realize, this meaningless sin has quadrupled in size
It controls your thoughts and becomes your master, and left unchecked is a looming disaster
There’s just one solution in this desperate hour, confess your sin, claim His healing power
For Christ alone has conquered all sin, no matter what form your thistle comes in
Scripture declares if our sins we confess, He will cleanse from us all our unrighteousness
Cast your thistles on Christ and from root to the stem, he’ll cast it away and replace it with Him
So, choose this day which master to serve, some skin-shredding thistle, (a gift from the ‘perv’)
Or the life-giving healing of your Savior and friend, who promises your thistles forever to end
Dedicated to the several stout-hearted souls who battled the Sivells’ thistles.
Wiley Wilkerson, May, 2015
I was privileged to go on mission to Moldova this June 2015. Working with small children in a camp setting was a cherished calling. I enjoyed working with my small group of seven to nine year old girls. We learned the story of Joseph through sharing and coloring, and I was able to learn each personality just a bit while there. I treasure the time I was also able to spend with the young woman whom I formerly sponsored and with whom I stay in frequent contact. All girls have found a sincere place in my heart. I was also moved to spend some time at family homes in the town in which we worked. The mission being served by our community host missionary is in a growth phase, and I quickly found my heart being drawn to his ministry in the town and praying for their continued success. I pray that my girls will find themselves again at the center and learning about Jesus more and more all the time. I would be blessed to serve in Moldova again next year, and I invite all to learn more and join the joyful journey that mission in
Moldova Mission Trip was different this year, the team got to work with children in Criuleni a small city about an hour northeast Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, where we stayed. We had about 100 children come to the camp and most of them indicated at the beginning of camp that they had not heard John 3:16 before. By the end of the week they all had heard the Gospel and many had the opportunity to accept Christ. We got to work with Sergui & Veronica Luchin who live in Criuleni and work with the children of that city. The parents in this city are very Orthodox and very resistant to change according to my translator so we feel that we were able to impact the whole family by investing in the children. In the past we have almost always worked exclusively with orphans so this year was much different but very rewarding. We got to stay at the camp and have lunch with the children which was very rewarding. It is one thing to spend time with them during camp but something much more meaningful to spend time with them in a none teaching environment.
John and Linda Worden
Moldova Mission Trip Report Summer 2015
In our final large group gathering of our Day Camp, the missionary spoke to the 82 children gathered in the tent and challenged them to become a follower of Jesus. As he asked children to stand who were ready to repent and become a Christ follower, all but about 5 stood to pray as they were led by this godly man. My heart continues to be filled with gratitude for what God did that week and for His continued use of a team from TBC. There
is hope in Moldova that we will return next summer.
We traveled daily outside of Chisinau to the town of Criuleni, going to a small mission house in a neighborhood. There we did a VBS from 10 am – 3 pm. During the week, our children count started with 54 and increased daily. A pastor, his wife, and their 2 children live there and open up the house to the neighborhood children to come and have recreation and Bible teaching. Pastor Sergio and Veranica have precious and tender hearts for this very important ministry. They follow up with the children and are able to meet the families. This of course plants more seeds in a very strict orthodox environment that is not very open to ‘other religions’ coming in.
This pastor had passed out a flyer for the VBS that truly humbled us. It stated “Camp of Wonders” – we couldn’t live up to that but knew The Lord could.
From the second day on and each day afterwards, the children would crowd the gate waiting for ’the Americans’ to arrive. The children would not wait for us to descend from the steps of the van. They would push around the door as they smiled and talked excitedly! I’ve never felt so loved and so wanted! They would spot their ‘teacher’ and with eyes sparkling, grab you, and hug you and we would walk in a ‘group hug’ into the courtyard area. I just can’t say how very special these children are to me! We had great interpreters for the whole week and we appreciated them. While languages can be a barrier, I truly believe The Lord opens up that door and makes it easy to relate by allowing genuine love to remedy any barrier.
Too much to get into a short writing of our week in Moldova, but here are some highlights:
-Knowing God does not ‘need’ my feeble works, but HE opened a door and my heart and allowed me the privilege to go in His Name.
-The Lord allowing me to catch each flight (despite 2 late planes) and make it into Moldova late that Saturday night.
-Working with such efficient leaders in John & Linda Worden. We truly were a team and I was privileged to work with them and Sarah, James, Mark, and Lesley.
-Meeting these beautiful children and being allowed to plant seeds of the Truth of Jesus’ love for them. To tell them God Loves Them!
-I claimed Jeremiah 29:11 for each of my girls and counted it such a Blessing to look them in the eyes and call them by name and tell them God has a plan for their life and I pray they will seek Him, His Truth, and His path.
-As Pastor John has said, ‘the baton is passed on around the globe as His people gather to worship.’ While in church in Chisinau, Moldova that Sunday, I witnessed the most precious, beautiful baton being passed on and I thanked My Lord Jesus for the opportunity He had allowed me with His precious Saints in a foreign country and witnessing a strong remnant of Believers in that place.
-Closing my eyes and listening to the beautiful voices of the children in VBS singing in worship time.
-Learning that many children ‘stood up’ when asked if they wanted to follow Jesus. Praying these seeds grow mightily!
Mexico Mission Trip took us to Morales which is about 35 miles southwest of Eagle Pass were we worked with Baptist Church in helping conduct their VBS. When we arrived on Sunday evening the Church was having a Baptismal service for a young couple whose son helped us unload. His, Pedro, smile was worth the whole trip. We got to work with a little over 100 children. One of the members of the Church was a young man who played the guitar and sang very well. He was such a delight to work with and see God use. Although the temperatures were very hot, we were able to operate and endure with His help. Did not get to do much repairs and maintenance as we had originally thought but we feel the trip was very successful.
Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit. This has always been my true desire for our Mexico mission trips. This year when we arrived 4 people were being baptized which confirmed the love of Christ was being spread throughout Mexico. This church was definitely growing and after talking with the pastor, he had great plans to move the church forward. We had a small group this year to go with us but no matter how small or large God always provides. I was blessed with being able to prepare the food for the meals all day but the true blessing was getting to just socialize with all from the church. I just want to thank all that helped with the kitchen work and all that gave of their time and served God each day with the VBS. We need to continue praying for the churches in Mexico and thank you all for your prayers and support.
by Karen Maddox
This was my first mission trip, so I was somewhat apprehensive about going to Mexico, since on the news there is nothing good said about Mexico. However, I was convinced that this was to be my “get out of my comfort zone” experience.
The team was wonderful to work with. Everyone pitched in to help in whatever way was needed. We had a devotional each day to start off our day, and had wonderful Mexican meals, cooked by our kitchen crew.
I was asked to teach Rug Hooking to the adult women as one of the crafts, so I spent many hours cutting wool that was donated by our church members – (thank you), drawing some designs to be hooked, gathering embroidery hoops, rug hooks, and crochet hooks. Not knowing how many adults would want to learn, I guessed there might be about twenty people. I had drawn the designs for a Christmas tree ornament, reasoning that if they learned the technique, they would be able to hook rugs or wall hangings.
The first night we had twelve women and two men (yes, men can be very good rug hookers!). Three ladies from San Antonio, who spoke Spanish, spent the first afternoon learning to rug hook so they could interpret instructions and help the ladies, also. The language difference was not a problem with these wonderful ladies to help!
Most of the women (and one man) finished their ornament and wanted to hook more, so I drew them a candy cane and a wreath ornament, for which I gave them the wool to finish later. They all seemed to enjoy learning this craft.
By the end of the week, we had twenty-three people in our group, two being a young couple that heard about the Bible School and brought their daughter. We had a lesson each evening and two evenings one of the Spanish men from San Antonio gave the lesson. I could not understand the language, but everyone was listening intently and reading along in the Bibles provided. The young couple asked to speak to the man after the class. The pastor and our lesson leader talked with them at length and they accepted Christ that night! They were so excited, they could hardly wait for the next night to come again! Praise the Lord!
2015-Mexico Mission Trip
I have been asked the following questions about the recent trip to Mexico.
How were the border crossings? Going over, the Mexican officials checked all of our vehicles, using their eyes and their dogs. They found nothing to keep us from moving forward. Coming back. Our passports were checked and no questions were asked. We were back in the USA in record time.
Was it hot? After the first two days of learning it was 107 & 108, I did not ask again! I am sure it was the same all week, if not hotter. Fans helped the air and would dry the sweat in the area where we had our meals. The kitchen had an a/c unit and two fans that also helped. Our rooms were air conditioned with window units which made it comfortable for sleeping. The units were turned off after we left each morning, so it took a while for the room to cool after we returned.
Did we have help? Yes, the church people met us and unloaded the kitchen van and trailer iin record time. One young boy was excited to help by carrying heavy boxes by himself! I tried to pick up a box and decided it was too heavy for me and asked him to carry one end. He didn’t need my help. I bragged on his arm muscles and he loved showing them off! The morning we left, there were three teenage boys and several men from the church who helped our group load the van and trailer.
Did many attend? Yes, we had many children and adults come each night. Mark Clemons and I got to wrap cookies each day for them. Tomas prepared the Gatorade and Lemonade each night and he and Mark served all the children and adults after the classes were out. The children loved showing their Bible story artwork they made each night.
Another question was “was it worth going?” My answere is “yes it was!” The night we arrived, the worship service had begun but we observed four people baptized and had the Lord’s Supper with the congregation. Their joy in the Lord was evident as their worship leaders led in singing and the 17 year old boy playing the guitar. Wednesday during the adult class, a young couple came by and wanted to know what was going on as they had seen lots of people coming and going. The pastor explained that it was a week for teaching the truths of the Bible and by the end of his visit with them, both accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior! They were both back the next night. The pastor had arranged for a couple to mentor them. We also saw seven children accept Christ. I know God will continue to bring more into His kingdom as this body of believers continues the work they were already doing. It was a great privilege to be a part of our group to go, pray, work, and encourage these brothers and sisters in Christ in Morelos, Mexico.
Nallely (Pronounced Nayelly) Serna was my sweet coworker from Primera Iglesia Bautista. A mother of two, her husband is a truck driver who goes all over the US. Our group of 9 to11 year olds grew from 10 to 20 by Thursday. Monday we began with Daniel in the Lions’ Den, Tuesday, David and Goliath, Wednesday, the Prodigal Son, and Friday the Salvation message through the Power Beads. The “Three Musketeers” pictured were good helpers: Hector, Miguel, and Daniel. Daniela looking down at her decorated envelope containing the daily scriptures also narrated David and Goliath tableau during the closing ceremony. She was so mature for a 10 year old! The children enjoyed decorating their JESUS MI MEJOR MAESTRO (Jesus My Best Teacher) banners with sequins and their scripture envelopes with stickers and markers. Most of the children said they didn’t go to church regularly, nor to Primera. On the last day, three children raised their hands to accept Christ into their hearts.
A special time occurred with one of the motel’s desk clerks, Juan Manuel, one evening. He asked if we happened to have a Spanish-English Bible so he could study more about God and learn more English…I had stuck a Good News New Testament in my bag at the last minute; although he said he was Catholic, he was proud of his wife for preparing food for a VBS at the Primera Iglesia Bautista of nearby town Allende.
PS The little white cat, our mission mascot pictured belly up, was full of Mark Clemons’ fried chicken. He didn’t show up the last day…someone said one of the little girls took him home…happy ending!
Jo Carole McCulley (Jody)
We have been attending the Mexico mission trips for about 10 years. My family, children and grandchildren, about 8 of us, have gone with us to these mission trips. My grandchildren have experienced mission work with us, they will never forget this work of the Lord. We bring a message of salvation and have crafts for the women to do. I tell them that when they see the craft they’ve made, they will remember us and the message they heard. Each craft has a verse and is explained to them what it means. I encourage them to bring a friend or relative, that they are winning souls for Jesus by bringing them to hear the word of God. We have an average of 20 to 25 women coming to our class. I have been inspired by these women who come with their children and leave their husbands at home, to hear the word of God. I truly can see Jesus Christ in each member of the mission team.
We arrived in Morelos in the middle of the Sunday evening church service. They were celebrating the Lord’s supper and baptism of new believers! After the service church members helped us unload our food and kitchen supplies. Monday was spent setting up areas for Bible School. Mark Clemons words from Phil. 4 about “Rejoicing” helped us throughout that hectic day and following days. He also led our morning devotionals and prayer time. Because we try to help with any building needs Conrad, Jeb Reyna, Raquel Ponce, and Minnie Perez were sent to Piedras Negras to purchase four commodes. Our own Karen Maddox and the women from San Antonio practiced the rug hooking craft in preparation for the women’s class. Hope Reyna is God sent in leading this class. The adults were taught about God’s love and care for them through the study of Jesus parables. Youth and children also learned about obeying God from the stories of Daniel and David and Goliath. Our love and concern for our neighbors was shown not only by providing commodes and supplies but through our daily contact. Many children came looking for our smiles and hugs. Jean Ward is a good hugger! Br. Luis Ponce, in spite of some health problems and a secular job is faithfully delivering God’s messages. God is working through him and other Christian adults to bring live back to this 35 year old church. We praise God for our San Antonio women and men in faithfully working with us each year! And we praise God for your monetary and prayer support. Through your Mexico Mission teams work and financial support this church is becoming a beacon of God’s light and love.
Conrad & Terri Pyle