God’s Little Appointments

Friday, May 10th, 2013 and is filed under Uncategorized

Over the past several months we have had severe power issues on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic, and last Wednesday night was no exception.  Right before our Women’s Street Outreach, the power went out.  The small church where we hold the outreach has no backup power, so out came the candles.  We had food and drink for the ladies, but we were concerned that we would not have anyone come.  The lack of power makes the street really dark, and on top of that it was raining.  We talked about canceling, but decided against it.  We just felt we needed to be there.  Now we know, God had something planned.

Around 7:30pm we had two women show up that had attended the outreach many times.  One of the girls is fourteen years old and pregnant and the other woman was her sister accompanied by her two small children.  The fellowship began with these two ladies and then a bit later they started the Bible study. A few other women came in, but it was a small group.

A short time after, another woman came in, a bit rushed, and sat down.  It was her first time coming and she seemed a little uncomfortable and was quiet.  After being there for a while she began to open up and share her story with the group.  She said that she was headed out to work and saw the police coming down the street, and since they had been doing round ups recently of prostitutes on the street, she ducked into the building to avoid them.  When she entered the building one of the church ladies said “God bless you” and offered her a seat in the circle.  She said that her first thought was “Oh no, what have I gotten myself into”, but it was the police or us, so she had sat down.  What she thought she would dread turned into something beautiful.  She felt loved and accepted in this circle of prostitutes and church ladies and wanted to share her story with them.

The life of prostitutes in Sosua is one of desperation and danger.  She shared that she had been offered a place to sleep and food to eat, if she would go work the streets.  Since she felt she had no other option, this is what she did.  This life has been hard on her and she wants to escape.  The lack of skills makes escape seem like an impossibility.  What else can she do?  With tears streaming down her face, she told of dreaming of living a life of love with one man as her husband.  The fact that she still has this dream is good news, because it means she still has hope.

Her story is not unique, but I know that her attending last night was an appointment from God.  She was prayed for, loved, hugged and she shed tears as she bonded with the women in the circle.  We will continue to reach out to her and God can give her the dream she so desires.  This beautiful young, exploited girl deserves to achieve such a simple dream, and with God’s help and the Oasis ministry, she can.

– Renee

Go MAD!

What Will People Say You Are About?

Thursday, May 9th, 2013 and is filed under Uncategorized

Have you ever thought about your funeral?  If so, what did you picture?  Were there hundreds of people flying in from all over country?  Did you have the, “what if know one comes” thought?  If you have never thought about it, I want to get you to think about it for just a moment.  Now I don’t care about how many people are there or if major news outlets are covering it.  That is not where we want the focus to be today.  I want us to focus on one thought.  What will people say I was about?

I heard a pastor talking about a funeral he did for a young lady he really didn’t know very well.  It’s difficult for someone to stand up and talk about a person they did not know, so to help, he met with her family and friends a few days before the funeral to learn a little more about her.  When he said, “Tell me what she was about?” they had a really difficult time answering.  Apparently there was a lot of  “uhs” and “ums” and then finally someone said something about her being really funny.  Others chimed in that this was true, she always could make people laugh.  The pastor said, “that’s good, what else?”  Silence.  It was the long uncomfortable kind of silence.  Finally, hot sauce.  Yep, she loved hot sauce.  She was funny and she loved hot sauce.

Hearing this story did two things.  First, it broke my heart to think that a life of 20 something years came down to, she was funny and loved hot sauce.  Second, it made me think about my own funeral and ask the question, “What would I want people to say I was about?”

After spending a good amount of time considering this question, I came up with an answer.  That was when the REALLY challenging question came to mind.  Would what I am doing right now cause anyone to say this about me?  I have to be honest here, that was one of those eye opening self-examination type of questions that I don’t always like to ask myself because I typically don’t like the answer.  It is also the kind of question that can be a refining point in your life.

I would encourage everyone to go through the exercise of contemplating the question, “What do I want people to say I was about?”  Then challenge yourself every day to live in such a way that would cause people to say it.   You just might find it will change your life.  It did mine.

– Chantz

Go MAD!

Welcome Luis and Adeline

Monday, May 6th, 2013 and is filed under Uncategorized

The Go MAD staff has become a multinational one with 5 different countries represented.  We are from different cultures with different backgrounds, but we share a Savior and a cause.

With that, please help us in welcoming Luis and Adeline to the Go MAD family!  They come to us from Peru, though Adeline is originally from Canada, and we feel very blessed to have them ministering with us.  Adeline will be running our Oasis women’s program while Luis will be in charge of our Community ministry.  They both bring a wealth of experience and knowledge in these two areas.

 

I thought a great way to get to know a little about them and their hearts, was to share a recent blog that Adeline wrote at her blog site adelineohvelarde.wordpress.com.

For the first time in my life, I celebrated 5 de Mayo, Mexico’s Independence Day; while living in the Dominican Republic surrounded by new friends representing several nations of the world; England, Italy, Canada, Dominican Republic, the US and my own husband from Peru.  We ate Mexican tacos made by Dominican hands; salsa and tortilla chips while cracking crazy jokes the whole night long. Enjoying friendship and laughter.

In a small, town on the northern coast of an island in the Caribbean.

There are German bakeries, Russian realtors, Italian restaurants, Canadian owned hostels amongst other businesses owned by people of various ethnicities. A hodge podge of nations in one little town. Gorgeous flora and fauna fill the landscape as do SUVs of every make. Just another little beach town.

Beautiful, bewitching and beguiling.

Until one realizes that this place is the 4th highest ranked in the world for sex tourism; after the likes of Thailand and India. Human trafficking, sex exploitation; they are all here. It then makes sense why there are so many nationalities here. They come for what this place has to offer. Some of it is blatant, some of it is not. The word “prostitution” has become blurred.

I was at the counter of a cell phone company the other day, using the countertop to aid in filling out a form when a foreigner approached the lady working at the counter. He asked her in English if she wanted to get together that night. She said sure. He asked what time she would get off work and then said he would come by the counter to pick her up. She batted her eyelids and said ok. Then he said it was a pleasure meeting her and what was her name?

Hubby and I were walking along the beach the other day when we saw a young teenage girl, still in her school uniform lying provocatively on a table before a foreign adult male about 3 times her age. Other women walk the same beach in work mode. Older, paunchy men accompanied by really young local women are everywhere.

It can become easy to be desensitized, to start getting accustomed to the immoral because it is everywhere. It can become easy to shrug it all off and just say, “This is how it is”.

But we are called to be light in the darkness, to be salt of the earth. We are called to stand for what is right, to bring hope to those who have no hope and to share a future with those who believe they have none.

And so, this is now our battleground. This is now our life; cherishing and enjoying all that is good while fighting against the immoral that many consider to be normal.

As you can tell from this blog, Luis and Adeline both have a heart for God, for serving others and a passion for fighting human exploitation.

– Chantz

Go MAD!