I have just returned from the Dominican Republic, a place full of poverty, an uneducated population, witchcraft, idolatry and many other wicked things. When we arrived in San Juan our team was full of excitement and anticipation for what God was going to do in this city. Sleep deprived and hungry we started off the day practicing dramas and skits, so we could use them to make an impact in the villages in which we would enter. I had used dramas before, but little did I know the impact that they would have on this community of people. In fact, the very first night we were practicing, a man named Brian, from the local TV station, gave his life to Jesus just watching us practice! Praise the Lord, we were off to a great start!
With a team of 38, we split our team into two, so we could reach as many people as possible in San Juan. Each team did 3-4 ministry sites a day, going into villages inviting people to local parks, churches, and plazas to come see us do dramas and skits. Hundreds of people arrived at all of the sites, including many children. I watched as the children’s faces would light up with the funny skits and how the adult’s faces would be touched by the powerful drama. Hundreds of children, teenagers, and adults would give their lives to Jesus at the end after one of our team would share the Gospel. We saw many healings as children with stomachaches, probably caused by the parasites in their food and water, got healed and gave their lives to Jesus.
One man at a village had recently had surgery and could only walk with a walker, but when some of our team members prayed for him, he left without his walker! The power of Jesus was so strong. Day after day we would see the same thing in all the villages—people giving their life to Jesus and then getting healed of many different diseases and pains.
One of my favorite stories was a 95-year old woman who was on bed rest in her home. We were actually just there to use her bathroom before we ministered at a site, but the daughter wanted us to pray for her mother. She was so weak and frail, but as we prayed for her we saw strength rise within her. In fact, she literally jumped up off the bed and shouted “Santo, Santo” which means “Holy, Holy!” She had so much faith and we saw the change in her as we left her that day full of hope in Jesus and strength in her body.
We ended the trip with a big crusade, where we had invited everyone from each village. Thousands of people showed up hungry for Jesus and ready to hear an awesome word from Jesse about The Best Dominican Republic and the power of Jesus! Many people responded to give their lives to Jesus and we saw various diseases and pains healed right on the spot!
This trip proved to be a challenge to me, as I just lost my mom less than three months before, despite believing for her supernatural healing. I am not going to pretend like I have it all figured out or that I understand why she was not healed, but what I do know is this: no matter what life brings us, we have to continue to trust in the Word of God and stand on God’s promises. God graced me through this trip and increased my faith, as little children would tell me that their stomachaches or pains in their bodies had left after we prayed. The biggest thing that helped me though, was the faith of my team that surrounded me. I watched as they would unceasingly pray for individuals without a doubt in their mind or heart that they would be healed. Sometimes it would be immediate, but other times I would be encouraged as they would believe that their healing was coming, even if they did not see it immediately. This trip increased my faith, but it also showed me how important our brothers and sisters in Christ are in our walk with Christ. When we are weak, God is strong, but He also uses His people to lift us up and carry us. The Church is so important and valuable to our walk with Christ. We really can’t do it without each other. So, encourage your sister or brother in the faith and know that you could really be impacting their life more than you know.
Whereas the Dominican Republic was once a place of poverty, a lack of education, witchcraft, idolatry and many other wicked things, now it is a new Dominican Republic, one full of faith in Christ; and I believe that the work we started shall continue to change this nation for years to come!