The gift of “being”. Chadron reflects on his time in Fondo Negro.
Greetings from Spokane, WA –
I wanted to take this opportunity to give a brief report and thank the donors, sponsors, and supporters of Joshua 1:Nine Ministries. Your generosity and the foundational relationships built by the organization allowed me to be a part of a pretty special trip with my 14-year-old son this summer. Having the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic has touched our lives in many ways, including working together on fundraising projects, creating “inside jokes” and memories from the trip, and spending time in reflection as we’ve returned.
It was a long set of flights for what seemed like an incredibly brief 5 days on the island. Before we left, we had conversations focusing on two things. The first was – what are we “doing” while on the trip. Many people focus on the tasks of mission work, whether it be building wells or painting walls. We had no project that we were working on in particular, so much of the “doing” that was done was playing baseball, exploring potential long-term academy sites (an incredible future dream), and eating, worshiping, and playing at camp.
However, prior to leaving, we discussed the more important aspect of the trip. This trip was not a “doing” trip, but rather, the second focus that we had was on “being”. Joshua 1:Nine is built upon the idea that we are walking with the people in and around Fondo Negro. It is sometimes difficult to envision or to explain the idea of walking with. As American males, culturally we often seek to fix and solve. Doing something physical means we’ve made our mark and done good work. Building a wall for a school, for example, gives us the satisfaction that we’ve left a lasting legacy that will serve those in the community. However, brick and mortar can crumble and be destroyed. The idea of “being with” may be difficult to describe, and may go against our cultural programming, but the relationships built by walking with those in the community are the things that last. They change both those we walk with – as well as ourselves. Being for us looked like hours in the hot stadium watching baseball and talking to kids, sitting in plastic chairs in the shade while meeting various family members, and playing baseball (or soccer) with no concern for language barriers.
As people have asked “how was the trip” I have found it sometimes difficult to describe what occurred and the connections made, both in the community and with my son. However, by any measure, it was “successful” and I am thankful.
Just as water reflects the face, so one human heart reflects another. – Proverbs 27:19
We are praying for a medical team to travel with us this fall to help develop a medical outreach to the people of Fondo Negro! Are you a medical professional? Know someone who is? Please contact us and let us know you might be interested! firstname.lastname@example.org