Midweek Report!

By Leah Hawley:

During my time of devotions this morning, I came across Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” While I am blessed to be writing this blog today, I come with a heavy heart about having time to do so. Steve, my husband, and I made the difficult decision to stay back at the hotel while all three ministry teams spend a full day out in local villages. Since Steve just had surgery and I’m 7 months pregnant, after much prayer we knew the Lord was telling us to take a day to rest (don’t worry Mom and Dad, we really are okay! Being smart about resting!). We have embraced this day and are spending time in His word, as well as prayer for our team as they continue to spread God’s love throughout the villages of the Dominican.

As Donnie reassured me last night in our decision to take a day to rest, an additional blog today is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the week and the growth of our team as a whole. Many of us were timid as we came into the week, but as we debrief each night it has been a blessing to see how God is working in each of our lives. The stories of each individual’s ability to talk to villagers about the gospel are worthy of praise. Each day, there have been several stories of Dominicans being led to Christ through our time with them- praise the Lord! Please pray for these individuals as they begin their new life in Christ; pray that not only will they have opportunities to be strengthened and encouraged by other Christians, but will also seek ways to strengthen their own faith.

Our team is comprised of a variety of individuals, from middle school students to adults with grown children. No matter our walk of life, we have embraced this trip and grown together. As we see others step out of their comfort zones and use broken Spanish to connect to members of each Dominican village, we are strengthened ourselves. Dave Fackler mentioned in our blog last night that our youngest member bravely stood up in front of a crowd and shared her testimony- what a true inspiration and blessing!

While we have four members of our team helping to act as interpreters, those of us who have a limited background in the Spanish language are bumbling our way through the week and trying to continue to learn new phrases and ways to effectively communicate. Just in the few days we’ve been here, I can see my team members who may have initially chosen to allow someone else to translate for them, make the effort and communicate with Dominicans freely, even if awkwardly! It is a joy to see the reactions of each Dominican as we struggle for the correct word to use- they are truly appreciative that we are attempting to communicate directly with them.

A typical day here in the Dominican is a busy one! We begin the morning with breakfast as a team, then head to a quick morning worship time where we learn about what the day will entail. Most days, two teams go out on one bus while the other goes individually. While the teams are out, they are ministering to local villages. This usually includes door to door ministry where we speak with individuals and encourage them in their faith or spread the gospel. As we talk to members of each household, we invite them to a VBS program that will be held following our time walking the village. Once we have all gathered in a common meeting area, we hold a VBS program that has already been prepared. At the conclusion of our program, we pile back on the bus and head to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, we go back out to another village to repeat the process. When we return to the hotel for dinner, it is a great opportunity for members of all three teams to eat together and share stories of the day. Generally around 8 pm, we gather as a whole group, spend time in worship, debrief on the day’s events, and then Donnie Cohn or Dave Kroeze will lead a time in the word. Last night, we had the privilege of hearing Frank from Score International share his testimony and short teaching. After worshipping together, we head back to our rooms for time with our small groups to process the day and how we’re coping. After approximately a sixteen hour day, it is certainly time for some rest!

Please keep our team in your prayers as we reach members of the Dominican community. The days we have already spent here have been invigorating, yet heart breaking. The conditions of the villages often make me feel like I’m stepping onto a movie set and not across the threshold of someone’s home. Yet, as we interact with members of each village, we are humbled by the gracious attitudes that can only come from God. There is hope in each of these down-trodden villages and we pray that we will only be able to strengthen that hope and help it to flourish. Thank you for the support you have already supplied our team with and the continued support in prayers as we spread God’s word in the coming days.

Ministry Day 4

By Dave Fackler

Today we split into two teams. In the morning, Nick Venegas’s team went to Quisqueya while Dave Dodge’s and Troy’s team went to Monte Cristy. While in Quisqueya, the team met the founder of Emanuel House and heard her testimony and toured the establishment. Later in the morning our youngest member, Amber(she says she’s 11, I don’t believe it. She’s too mature), volunteered to share the gospel and sewed seeds that eventually lead to two young men giving their lives to Christ. Overall Nick’s team grew in confidence with sharing their faith. In Monte Cristy the combined team ended up getting some unexpected guests from Score, a third team from a different church. The Mclean Loudoun team did door to door evangelism and invited the people in the village to a program at one of the churches (Dave Fackler and Dave Kroeze got beaten up by a 6 year old boy). After the other church group did their program and left, the M.L. team did some games with the children, I was given the opportunity to share my faith with a young man named Tito, during our conversation I shared the gospel and planted the seed, he did not give his life to The Lord, but The Lord is faithful.

In the afternoon, Nick’s team went to Monti Cristy nursing home. They had the opportunity to witness to elderly as well the children that were outside the retirement community, after the evangelising three boys gave their lives to Christ. The team showed huge maturity and willingness to serve the children this morning. The second team went to Quisqueya and heard the same information about Emanuel House. After we left Emanuel house the people took us to the house of a woman who is dying of cancer. She has five young daughters all between the ages of 5 and 13. We prayed over her and the Score intern started singing Amazing Grace. The team started to file out and I looked at her and I said, “Glory to God, Daughter of the King,” and she said, “Amen” seeing her faith and knowing what her girls could be going through broke my heart. As we moved on the Lord worked in sewing seeds of the gospel through the team.

I saw overall change in the heart of the team from shy to courageous for The Lord. It has been a wonderful experience to see those around me grow in their confidence because of what the Lord has done through us and experiencing Him in a mighty way.

What is Discipleship? – Part VI: Sharing Him

By Dave Kroeze, Director of Outreach @MBCLoudoun

“A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ who lives in biblical community and is committed to becoming like Him by obeying Him, serving Him and sharing Him.” – MBC’s definition of a disciple

It is infrequent that we catch a glimpse of the enemy’s plan prior to seeing it enacted. It wasn’t long ago when the New England Patriots were front and center in the news for reportedly filming opposing teams practices. Baseball players are frequently called into questions for stealing signs while they stand on second base. There are a variety of “less than ethical” ways to come across the opposition’s battle plans.

In Scripture, we are given a warning that gives us the exact information that the enemy will use against Disciples. Before we even discuss this plan, it is important to discern what took place at the end of Matthew. As Jesus was preparing to ascend into heaven, he informed his disciples of future events and a task. The future event is that Jesus alerts them of the arrival of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7). The Holy Spirit convicts, challenges, teaches, and empowers disciples for good works. This is a necessity in our lives as we are used by God for His glory.

The command is that we go out and make disciples (Matthew 28). How are we making disciples if people are not coming to Christ? How can people come to Christ if they have not even heard the Gospel? How can people hear if we do not speak the powerful and beautiful story of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as a substitute for our own sins? I hope you are starting to realize that we have received a divine commissioning from the Lord Jesus Himself, to go into the world and preach the Gospel.

If there was any strategy of the devil, what do you think it would be? Cause people to doubt? He is definitely doing that, but not necessarily. Cause people to suffer so immensely that they cannot possibly grasp the reality of God? He is doing that too, but not necessarily. Let’s look briefly at the Book of Acts. Acts 4:16-17 gives us an intimate look into the strategy of the devil. It states, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”Do you understand the gravity of that? The demons have let slip the strategy that they impose upon us Disciples, and the worst part of it is that it is working! Scholars estimate that 80 – 95% of Christians have never talked about their faith publicly before. That is staggering! Imagine if we used any words at all to discuss the power and majesty of the Lord and the amazing transformation that has taken place in our lives. We were once dead, and not live. We were once thirsty, but thirst no more. How can we not tell people about what the Lord has done for us?

I often hear “I don’t have the gift of evangelism, so this isn’t for me.” Do not allow the devil to scare you into remaining silent. Not everyone has the gift of evangelism, but everyone of us is called to be a witness. As a witness, we have the opportunity to share our testimony with other disciples as an encouragement, passive non-believers as a means of allowing the Holy Spirit to convict, and aggressive non-believers as an introduction to the love, mercy and compassion that is found only in a relationship with Jesus Christ and His disciples.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

I have heard a pleading to share the Gospel in analogies to an individual with a cure for cancer. We do not have a cure for cancer, but we have something much greater. We have received salvation from the God of the universe who loves us so immensely that he was willing to endure the most gruesome beating and mockery, as well as hanging on a tree to die for us. If we truly understand how deeply sinful man is and what he endured on our behalf, we would be unwilling NOT to share the Gospel. God has given us the most amazing gift anyone could give us, and it is wrapped in the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

Whether we recognize it or not, we have individuals around us who do not know Jesus. Do you love those individuals enough that you just have to tell them about the gift that is awaiting them? When I was in Chennai, India, I had the opportunity to visit a hospital made up of Christian doctors. The board of directors for this hospital had implemented that every patient must hear the Gospel before they are treated and that every employed doctor be equipped to share the Gospel at all times. When I asked Dr. Sam why this was, he pondered and said to me, “I cannot possibly treat a broken leg, and send them walking away straight to Hell.” This phrase has weighed heavily upon my soul the last few weeks. How often do I ignore opportunities to be faithful and obedient to God because I am distracted with other things?

We know the strategy of the devil. The strategy is to silence us, and if we look around, it has been largely successful to this point. Let’s be the disciples God calls us to be that are unwilling to be silenced and love people well enough to share what Christ has done for them.

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.

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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.
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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.”    

Day 2: First Day in the Field!

By Leah HawleyWatch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Coming into this trip, I think many of us were unsure how God would specifically use us throughout the week. Today, we got our first vision of what that really was going to look like. After a long day of travel yesterday, we began midday prepping to go out into the Dominican community. Frank Ogle, from Score International, came to meet with us before we headed off to share the gospel. It was a humbling experience to hear Frank speak with a very clear love for not only the Lord, but also what he calls “his people” here in the Dominican. His inspiring testimony was the perfect way to start our trip.
After breaking into ministry groups, we took two different buses into the nearby villages. Again, many of us weren’t sure what to expect as we saw the colorful houses pass us by in our travel. When my ministry group got to our destination, there were already people gathered around waiting for us. Almost instantly, small children gravitated towards us and grabbed our hands to learn what we had to share. While language barriers may have been difficult, our innate willingness to share our love in order to spread His word allowed us to communicate to the community that had gathered. A spirited sack race sparked quick friendships that allowed the children to trust us as we went into our VBS program.

Throughout the course of the time we were with the villagers, we sang a song, shared a personal testimony, read The Walking Umbrella, made faith bracelets, shared the gospel message, played games with the children, and talked with the adults. As I reflect back on all these moments that happened in mere hours, I am so thankful to have been part of such an awe inspiring day. At dinner, I talked with Keith Andreassen who told me what impressed him the most was that we were able to just drop everything and share in a moment of pure love and goodness for one another, just as God intended for us as mankind. What he shared with me is that too often we get so wrapped up in the selfishness of our lives, that we forget that God’s intention for us is to do good for others. It really left an impression on him was that we experienced God’s love for each other as we met with the villagers.

I think one of the highlights of the trip was helping the children make the faith bracelets. Reading the book and then doing the craft with them allowed us to talk with them about the significance of each color. I, personally, helped several small children make their bracelets and read the message about each color with them. It was clear to all of us that they understood the purpose of the faith bracelets and would be able to share their pure when they met up with friends or went home to family. As they waved goodbye to us, it was so neat to see that they were proudly wearing the gospel on their wrists.

In my ministry group, sharing the gospel with the group of approximately 60-70 children allowed about 10 of them to raise their hands, expressing that they had prayed a salvation prayer with us. Praise the Lord! We cannot wait to continue sharing the gospel in the coming week and experience more humbling encounters.

35 X-Ray Questions for the Heart

By Mike Kelsey, Campus Pastor @MBCSilverSpring

These questions, from David Powlison’s book, Seeing with New Eyes (pages 132-40), are very helpful in identifying the “functional gods” that drive your life.

  1. What do you love? Hate?
  2. What do you want, desire, crave, lust, and wish for? What desires do you serve and obey?
  3. What do you seek, aim for, and pursue?
  4. Where do you bank your hopes?
  5. What do you fear? What do you not want? What do you tend to worry about?
  6. What do you feel like doing?
  7. What do you think you need? What are your ‘felt needs’?
  8. What are your plans, agendas, strategies, and intentions designed to accomplish?
  9. What makes you tick? What sun does your planet revolve around? What do you organize your life around?
  10. Where do you find refuge, safety, comfort, escape, pleasure, and security?
  11. What or whom do you trust?
  12. Whose performance matters? On whose shoulders does the well being of your world rest? Who can make it better, make it work, make it safe, make it successful?
  13. Whom must you please? Whose opinion of you counts? From whom do you desire approval and fear rejection? Whose value system do you measure yourself against? In whose eyes are you living? Whose love and approval do you need?
  14. Who are your role models? What kind of person do you think you ought to be or want to be?
  15. On your deathbed, what would sum up your life as worthwhile? What gives your life meaning?
  16. How do you define and weigh success and failure, right or wrong, desirable or undesirable, in any particular situation?
  17. What would make you feel rich, secure, prosperous? What must you get to make life sing?
  18. What would bring you the greatest pleasure, happiness, and delight? The greatest pain or misery?
  19. Whose coming into political power would make everything better?
  20. Whose victory or success would make your life happy? How do you define victory and success?
  21. What do you see as your rights? What do you feel entitled to?
  22. In what situations do you feel pressured or tense? Confident and relaxed? When you are pressured, where do you turn? What do you think about? What are your escapes? What do you escape from?
  23. What do you want to get out of life? What payoff do you seek out of the things you do?
  24. What do you pray for?
  25. What do you think about most often? What preoccupies or obsesses you? In the morning, to what does your mind drift instinctively?
  26. What do you talk about? What is important to you? What attitudes do you communicate?
  27. How do you spend your time? What are your priorities?
  28. What are your characteristic fantasies, either pleasurable or fearful? Daydreams? What do your night dreams revolve around?
  29. What are the functional beliefs that control how you interpret your life and determine how you act?
  30. What are your idols and false gods? In what do you place your trust, or set your hopes? What do you turn to or seek? Where do you take refuge?
  31. How do you live for yourself?
  32. How do you live as a slave of the devil?
  33. How do you implicitly say, “If only…” (to get what you want, avoid what you don’t want, keep what you have)?
  34. What instinctively seems and feels right to you? What are your opinions, the things you feel true?
  35. Where do you find your identity? How do you define who you are?


Safely Arrived!

All flights have arrived and all members are accounted for! We had some slight delays due to bathroom malfunctions, but we are finally settled into our hotel and will get some much needed sleep before ministry starts tomorrow!

Grateful for the prayers!

Dominican Republic Travel Day

DR Team Photo

Throw up a prayer for our DR Team today. We travel out of Reagan tonight at 5:00. Pray for rest, as we arrive extremely late, and pray for our time on the ground. We start going out into villages to share the Gospel tomorrow! Broadly speaking, pray for the following three things throughout the week: 1) Pray that God’s name would be made famous and HE would receive all the Glory. We do not travel for our own sake or for vacation – we travel so that God receives the Glory that He is due, in all corners of the world.

2) Pray that we would stay healthy. Trips are always busy and we do not receive the sleep necessary, but pray that God would give us supernatural energy and rest.

3) Pray that the partner churches would feel blessed by our work and our time. We do not go to serve ourselves, but rather the Lord and these partner churches. They are the superstars in the Lord’s economy and it is an honor to partner with them for this week and beyond.

Thanks so much for all of your prayers and being an amazing sending church. We could not do it without you and you play just as big a role in our trip as any of us going. Check back each day for more updates and prayer requests throughout the week!

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John Carroll Lynch as Mac McDonald, Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc, Laura Dern as Ethel Kroc, Nick Offerman as Dick McDonald, Linda Cardellini as Joan Smith, Patrick Wilson as Rollie Smith.

The Director of this movie is John Lee Hancock. The movie The Founder is produced by Faliro House Productions, FilmNation Entertainment, Weinstein Company, The, The Combine, Speedie Distribution and released in November 24, 2016.

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Prayer for the Muslim World

By Donna Stites, MBC Tysons Attendee

“Prayer is not a preparation for work, it is the work. Prayer is not preparation for the battle, it is the battle.”
– Oswald Chambers

The greatest blessing in my life is the fact that I have been saved from a life of sin and misery and adopted as a daughter of the King of the Universe! Talk about an awesome thought! Those of us who have been born again by the Spirit have the privilege of praying for those still lost in their sin. And there is no larger group of people living without the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ than Muslims who comprise almost a quarter of the world’s population.

I love Oswald Chambers’ quote. It reminds me that the most important thing I can do in bringing others to Jesus is to pray. The Holy Spirit must do the work of changing hearts. The Spirit breaks down strongholds and does a work in the heavenly realms that we do not understand. And I get to be a part of this work by praying.

As believers, let’s commit to praying for the Muslim world and ask the Holy Spirit to move in a mighty way, opening hearts to the truth of the Gospel. Let’s ask Jesus to reveal himself through dreams and visions as He has done across the globe. Let’s ask the Father to provide Bibles, Christian radio and television broadcasts, and all the resources necessary to bring the Good News to the Muslim world. And let’s pray that the Christian Church in Muslim majority countries would grow strong and be faithful in proclaiming the Gospel despite the terrible persecution that exists there.

Please download an eBook of the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World prayer guide here.

Don’t miss the opportunity to be used by God in a mighty way!