One of God’s special blessings is when your children step out by faith to do something for the Kingdom of God. To that end, my oldest daughter, Vanessa, who is a student at Simpson University, is taking on a challenge and is leading for the first time a team of students to the Dominican Republic in just a few weeks. She has been blessed with some great experiences in Mexico under the guidance of Pastor Jere Lester and is now stepping out on her own trusting God all the way.
Below is the letter she sent me. I share it with you asking that you would pray for her and rejoice with her about what God is doing in her life and the ministry he will do through her and the rest of the team.
Dear Family and Friends,
As students at Simpson University, we are encouraged to join together to use our gifts to serve our brothers and sisters around the world. In response to that challenge and through much prayer, a team of five students along with Dr. Rich Brown (vice president of Student Development at Simpson) will be traveling to the Dominican Republic during our spring break from March 26-April 3.
As many of you know my wonderful experiences in Mexico have given me a huge heart for missions- especially among Hispanic communities. I chose to attend Simpson maily because of its missions focus. I have the incredible opportunity to be the Team Leader for this trip to the Dominican Republic. I am blessed with great team members, a supportive staff sponsor, and a great God who has blessed me with such a wonderful opportunity. I am excited to see what God has in store for our team and how he will use us to the betterment of His Kingdom while we are in the Dominican. In going to a new place I ask that you pray for guidance and providence as we serve and meet the people we are serving. Even though I am going through Simpson I am still representing Christ and his church (which you are a part of) and with your support I will have the encouragement that Christ’s church is behind me and encouraging me in my efforts. With your help in both prayer and finance I hope to change lives and bring people to Christ!
Our team will partner with Bruce and Becky Dyke, missionaries in Santo Domingo with the Christian and Missionary Alliance. They have been serving in the DR since 1986. The Dykes are involved in many different kinds of ministry and are connected with many Dominican churches. Our goal is to come alongside those local churches and assist them in any way we can (Vacation Bible School, construction, distribution, outreach, etc.). We are also hoping for opportunities to minister in the local communities, orphanages and schools.
In order to achieve this goal, each team member is asked to raise approximately $1,800 for housing, transportation, food, airfare, ministry materials and other such needs. About $800 of it is for airfare and is due by March 1. The rest is due March 22.
Will you prayerfully consider joining us on this trip by supporting us financially? Our commitment is to represent you and the body of Christ as a whole. Our mission is to show the love of Christ and to spread His word around the world, and in supporting the team you are allowing us to do that. In addition to financial needs, our team covets your prayers for health, safety, effective ministry, financial provision and long-term impact in the kingdom of God. We pray that God will do His will through us and we thank you for whatever gift you are able to give.
To financially support this team, please donate online at http://www.simpsonu.edu/missions. Your gift to Simpson University is tax-deductible. This gift is non-refundable, and if for any reason a team member does not go, the money will support another mission trip sponsored by the university. While online donations are preferred, if you would rather mail a check please make the check payable to Simpson University and write the following code in the memo portion of the check DOM11-VRP. Letters of encouragement and financial gifts may be sent to: Simpson University, Attn: Student Missions, 2211 College View Dr., Redding, CA 96003. Donations by mail will be listed on our online fundraising page with the donor’s name unless anonymity is requested.
Vanessa…your Mom & Dad are very proud of you and we want you to know that we will be praying for God to work through you in new and fresh ways as well as for you to grow incredibly in your walk with God, learning to trust Him, follow Him and rest in Him more than you have ever done.
We love you!
Mom & Dad