Three billion in the world today are perishing and our task, as instruments of God’s hands, is to reach out to them and bring them into the Kingdom through the new birth. That statement, coupled with my passion for missions stokes the fire in my heart. I had the distinct pleasure of participating on two short-term cross cultural missions’ campaigns. The first campaign was to Costa Rica and the second campaign was to the Dominican Republic.
I believe short-term missions can contribute toward the fulfillment of God’s global purpose and at the same time mobilize the local church to engage in foreign and domestic evangelism and outreach. Cross cultural missions have expanded my territory, by exposing me to different cultural traditions and ways of life. For example, the Costa Rica campaign is an on-going five- year relationship with the local church. This relationship is more pastor-to-pastor and allows me the flexibility to evangelize and teach biblical topics germane to the specific needs of the church. Additionally, I am afforded opportunity to conduct marriage counseling; relational counseling and establish needed ministries such as the “greeter’s ministry” to name a few. In other words, the Costa Rica campaign is more personal and allows me greater access to congregational members. Also, the church has missionary quarters on the compound. So, again up close, and personal. The uniqueness of this campaign is felt when I must depart and return home. The love expressed through the members are deeply embedded within my heart and make it difficult to leave.
The Dominican Republic campaign has a uniqueness of itself that can only be defined as having greater opportunity of serving with multiple pastors. The extraordinary opportunities of going door-to-door with the local pastor, is vital to church assimilation. The goal here is, once a clear gospel presentation has been made, the individual is asked to place their faith and trust in Christ, once the individual accepts Christ, now the local pastor can introduce the local church.
Elder Cook accompanied me on this campaign as I wanted the congregation to hear from another who stepped out of their norm. Elder Cook saw first hand the importance of taking the gospel to the streets. He witnessed many moves of God that conveyed to all that the Lord was indeed with us. From sitting on the side of the road sharing the gospel to conducting a Bible study in Victor’s home, Elder Baker and I enjoyed the goodness of the Lord as we walked the streets together. The Dominicans are hospitable people and it is not uncommon for t hem to invite you into their homes. Our gospel presentation normally last about 20 minutes and this allows for meaningful dialog. We are both thankful for translators who labored among us with such zeal and passion, otherwise, we could not communicate.
Right now, as I put my thoughts to paper, fond memories flood my mind regarding both campaigns. I hope that I am a better Christian because of my experience meshed in cross- cultural evangelism and church planting. No longer do I take for granted the blessings of the Lord. Plans are in the marking to mobilize the church for Dominican Republic 2024 Campaign. We will be working with a local church for the entire week and this will involve a small group of members from Turning Point Christian Church. Now is the time for the church to experience cross-cultural evangelism on an international scale. To God be the glory!