Day 3: Shopping Mall Outreach
By Kylie Billings
Today in our travels we ventured out into Santo Domingo to a shopping mall where Coca Cola was displaying the World Cup final. Our goal was to evangelize to the locals who were shopping and watching the game. While at first timid of the task before us, many of the team members were pushed out of their comfort zones to share their faith. Both students and adults alike came back with encouraging stories about how the Lord spoke to them and used them to communicate the Good News to the Dominicans. About seven people verbally confirmed a spiritual decision to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior as a result of the ministry. It’s amazing to me, and almost everyone I spoke with about the experience, how God can use our fumbles and stutters to communicate clearly the most important message anyone will ever hear.
While many of us struggled with wrapping our minds around how there could be so much wealth in a concentrated area and so much poverty in the rest of the country, I was reminded of how similar the area we were visiting was to the United States. There’s something incredibly intimidating about going up to a perfect stranger in the middle of the World Cup final and asking about his salvation. Personally, it was incredibly hard to get out of my own mind and open up my heart to be led to who God was leading us to. It’s also quite ironic that we have this opportunity to evangelize and talk to people in our own home towns, and we don’t take advantage of it. Even when I travel to another country, the same problem remains. Fear. We blame the language barrier constantly, we say we have too few translators, or we say that people flat out don’t want to hear. The truth is we are so caught up in our muddled minds we forget that the Creator of the universe is the one we’re sharing; that we have the privilege of sharing. The group was greatly impacted by that revelation today, and it encouraged many to step out and be bold. When we let Jesus take the wheel, he steered us in the right direction and gave us the words to say.
One of the most impactful observations of the day was how open the Dominican people were to giving up their time to have a deep and personal conversation with us. As Americans, specifically of the D.C. area, we are accustomed to being selfish with our time and brushing anyone off who gets in the way of what we need to get done. I can say the Dominican people are quite the opposite. After approaching some bystanders tentatively, students remarked on how kind and patient they were with the broken Spanish and personal questions. Men, women, children, Spanish speakers, and English speakers all heard the message we had to share whether through a conversation or the gift of a tract. This led to the overall theme of the day being encouragement. As students and adults pushed past their discomfort and took the first step as missionaries, confidence was built and faith in the Lord reaffirmed. As I’m so often reminded, “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.”