Is this Heaven?

It’s been over a month since Chantz asked if I would write something for the Go MAD quarterly newsletter. When he made the request, I was still energized from my recent trip to the Dominican Republic and I jumped at the opportunity to share with you all the great things happening with Go MAD. But as it does, daily life consumed what felt like every hour of my day and finding the time to reflect on my trip became less and less of a priority with everything else that needed to get done.

As I was preparing for the week ahead, I did a quick surf of the movie channels and low and behold one of my all-time favorite movies was on, Field of Dreams. Needing a little break, I closed my PC, pressed the remote and came to the scene at the end of the movie where Ray and his dad are walking and John poses the question, “Is this Heaven?” Ray replies, “Its Iowa” and proceeds to ask the follow up question “Is there a heaven?” This is answered by Ray with an enthusiastic “Oh yeah, it’s the place where dreams come true” to which John replies “maybe this is heaven”.

I have watched this scene dozens of times but on this occasion, I could not stop thinking about the villages within the DR that Go MAD and all of its supporters assist on a daily basis. As I started to think about the context of this scene and the DR, my initial thought was the feeling I get when I visit each year. For me, my visits to the DR are the closest thing I have experienced to heaven on earth. It’s a community where I can focus on faith, family, and friends without the distractions of my always “on” world.

My thoughts then shifted from me to the perspective of the villagers. How could they ever think that the living conditions they are forced to endure every day could be associated with heaven. Poverty, hunger, and illness is no one’s idea of heaven. The reality is they don’t. What they do view as heaven is the love and support they provide each other as families and community. Clearly the Go MAD sponsored schools, medical clinics, feeding programs, service projects along with love and friendship provided by the missionaries and service teams that visit each year are appreciated and make a huge difference in the lives of many, but it’s truly the daily practice of loving thy neighbor that makes these communities so special.

Then I tried to think about God’s perspective and not a fictional movie. When you read the passages in the Bible where heaven is described, it’s clearly paints heaven as a place where you can see the magnificent glory of God. Proof to me that heaven on earth exists everywhere and that it comes in many different shapes and forms. As most of you know, Field of Dreams is best known for the quote “If you build it they will come”. Your continued support of Go MAD is helping in building a foundation for Hope and Opportunity for thousands within these villages. As a Board Member of Go MAD. I would like to thank each of you for your continued support, as it does Make A Difference.  I also want to send out an open invitation for anyone to come see this for yourself. If we were to walk down any of the dirt roads in these villages, I guarantee you would ask the question “is this heaven?” and I would respond, “Yes”.

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– Brice Salle, Board Member

Graduation

Empowerment is Powerful

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