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Category Archives: Dominican Republic

Purpose Driven Life – Day 36

Purpose Driven Life – Day 36

36 Days Down! 4 Days to Go!

Today’s chapter is the start of the 5th Purpose – Mission.

This chapter definitely reflects one of the newest additions to my relationship with God.

The idea of sharing Jesus was so odd to me just a little over a year ago. It would make me uncomfortable or I would think, “oh I don’t want to offend anyone,” which I still don’t want to do. However, I started thinking about all the other experiences (Spelman, Study Abroad, Fulbright) that I have had that I share with enthusiasm and passion and with ease. Then one day I just said to myself, “if I can share these things why not Jesus?”

Over time I have learned that I don’t have to share Jesus the same way with everyone nor do I have to be like those soapbox preachers who stand on street corners in major cities sharing the “good news” by scaring the bejesus out of people (“Isn’t it ironic…don’t cha think?”). As I have shared a bit on other days of this journey, this is an area of my relationship that I am working on and its getting better but I still struggle. However, this chapter definitely helps me get additional understanding on this area.

Mission? What?

Growing up as a kid, mission as Rev. Warren describes it in this chapter was not something that was talked about in my church. Sure we had a Missionaries Ministry and I remember digging in my little purse or pockets to find spare change to put in the offering plate on “their” Sunday (Cultural clarification-Some churches take different offerings on different weeks in addition to the normal general offering and tithe) but my understanding was that was the money the church used to help people physically not spiritually. Now the latter could have been going on but I don’t remember that being shared on a Sunday but I was a kid.

Honestly, I never really thought about mission as a sharing of my faith until much later and even then I didn’t have a positive view about it thanks to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons who have knocked on my door over the years. Actually, I still remember when a Mormon came to my host mom’s house in the DR when I studied abroad there and she was sharing her faith in her developing Spanish. She was going so fast I couldn’t even tell her that I was a US Citizen and spoke English until after she finished. Anyway, as you can tell by earlier statements I have a new understanding about missions.

In the book, Rev. Warren starts the chapter by declaring, “You were made for a mission.” He continues:

God wants you to have both a ministry in the Body of Christ and a mission in the world. Your ministry is your service to believers, and your mission is your service to unbelievers. Fulfilling your mission in the world is God’s fifth purpose for your life.

Why Me?

Why not you? Based on what we have learned in this book, you have a unique purpose and you have a unique gift and by not fulfilling your purpose and sharing your unique gift someone on this planet is missing information they need. This also is true for sharing Jesus. Someone needs to hear about how you “came to Jesus” or came to a deeper relationship with God because that story will speak to them in a way that only your story can. Rev. Warren encourages us in this area when he shares that:

There are people on this planet whom only you will be able to reach, because of where you live and what God has made you to be. If just one person will be in heaven because of you, your life will have made a difference for eternity. Start looking around at your personal mission field and pray, “God, who have you put in my life for me to tell about Jesus?”

Additionally, Rev. Warren shares that:

The clock is ticking down on your life mission, so don’t delay another day…This does not mean you should quit your job to become a full-time evangelist. God wants you to share the Good News where you are. As a student, mother, preschool teacher, salesman, or manager or whatever you do… [Emphasis mine]

I mentioned earlier how I enthusiastically share with others various experiences that I have had. Because of this sharing, I know that there are people that have been and are going to Spelman College (including a family friend who starts in just a few weeks :D), have or will be going abroad while in college or have been on/are pursuing Fulbright grants because I shared my experiences with them and shared how these experiences changed my life. The changes these experiences have made in my life include, I know I would not be as successful as I am in graduate school without the support and foundation Spelman gave me and I know that I would not be fluent in Spanish if I had not studied abroad and I know that I would not be a PhD student if I had not gone on my Fulbright to do research and fall in love with researching.

With Jesus, the changes that I have made include being more patient, being more forgiving, not falling into the trap of addiction and more…Now, my new challenge is to share Jesus and these experiences in my own unique way while connecting with people. Lord willing, some day I will be able to say with confidence that, “I know people that have accepted Jesus because I shared my journey, the good and the bad, with them.”

It’s All Greek to Me…

If while reading today’s chapter or this post, all of this seems weird or unnecessary or any other adjectives that may be coming up for you…skip to the last section of the chapter called “One More for Jesus,” and then consider going back through the rest of the chapter.

Still not convinced? Check out this clip from Shindler’s List which touches on the importance of doing your part:

Today’s Question to Consider is, “What fears have kept me from fulfilling the mission God made me to accomplish? What keeps me from telling others the Good News?”

The fears that have kept me and keep me from sharing Jesus with others is fear of isolation, fear of being talked about/outcasted and fear of being a “Jesus freak.” I also had fear of the rejection around people saying no to Jesus (though learning more about witnessing and sharing Jesus I have learned that it is not up to us to “save” people it is only our job to share so this has helped in this area). The above fears also keep me from telling others the Good News. The other thing that keeps me from sharing is time – do I have time to have this whole conversation and deal with people’s “stuff” around God, religion or Christianity.

Enjoy your day!

DNMP

 

When your house is no longer your home…

The holidays are a great time to be with family, reminisce and have your favorite fatting food! But recently I have acknowledged that the holidays are also a time to see how just how far you have come. For example, last year, I realized that the house I grew up in is no longer my home. Don’t get me wrong-I love my house and my room is still my room not my mom’s new office-studio but it is not my home which is why this is titled, “When your house is no longer your home…”

Last Christmas I came “home” from the Dominican Republic and after four months I was SOOO ready to come back to the States so that I could make some local phone calls, get a fast home internet connection and speak English to more than two people. However what I found once in the States is that making those phone calls, getting that fast home internet connection and speaking English was well…over rated. I also discovered that I was lost- I didn’t recognize the music on the radio, I found myself craving verdes and maduros and that it was hard to express myself completely in English. Part of these feelings were a classic case of the “grass is greener on the other side,” but part of these feelings were me, me realizing that after four months Calle Proyecto Numero 37, El Portal, Kilómetro Siete y medio had become my home. After the holidays, my arrival to the Dominican Republic was like a homecoming. I was never so happy to see Dominicans. Even in the U.S. airports I just knew when I was approaching my gate because the dominicanisms became more and more apparent: the LARGE boxes to bring back to primos and hijos, women wearing four inch heals and even the baseball debates- How about those Yankees? Once I landed en La República it was a sigh of relief: I recognized the ads on the walls, the actions of the people around me and even better I could sing along to the songs on the radio!

This year I have come “home” from Seattle once again after about four months of living there and once again I find myself having the same feelings that I had last year…that this house I grew up in is no longer my home. I mean the house looks great, my parents have completely redecorated the place, but I find myself missing the First Avenue Bridge, vegan cookies & sweets, even that nasty I-5 and being able to recycle.

In two days my family and friends will be coming together to celebrate the birth of Christ through food, fellowship and favors. Christmas is always a time to appreciate all that you have and all those that you have in your life-the gifts are a nice touch- but I have come to realize that the best gift the Lord gives me for Christmas is realizing that where I am is not as bad as I thought even though I am away from family and friends and find it hard to relate to those around. With this gift He also shows me I have become apart of wherever I am and wherever I live and to me that is a wonderful gift-to realize that my house is my home and I am talking about the place where I pay rent 😉

 

Do tigre blessings count?/ Blogging and Sex in the City


I was on my way home this evening and as I was walking one of the tigres at the colmado was like Dios te bendiga bella/ God bless you beautiful. It got me the thinking…well really I thought of this before but…do tigre blessings count? I mean are they really blessing you or are they thinking the nastiest thoughts in the world as they bless you. I can probably guess quite accurately that during the blessing by the tigre that he was looking right at my behind…talk about a blessing, I have been working that area at the gym but maybe it was the tigre blessings, I’m kidding really.

So as I was writing my catchy title it made me think…do people or females blog so that they can be like Carrie on Sex in the City…I know most people want to be like the Sex in the City stars for the sex they always seem to get but for me I did get a flash of seeing Do tigre blessings count? go across a computer screen in typical Sex in the City fashion. Is that not the motivation for people to blog…thinking that someone out there is waiting for that next entry, or someone is being enlightened by our everyday mishaps and triumphs…that would explain all the buzz by certain businesses trying to read their employees’ blogs or employers falling upon there employees blogs only to find out how the employees really feel about there job and or company. It is like uncontrollable negative publicly…and if only George Dubya could read some of the blogs of the United States…he wouldn’t be thinking that the war is still going peachy that is for sure.

Well I leave with those thoughts,

Madam Secretary =)

 
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Posted by on 21 March 2006 in Blogs, Dominican Republic, Pop Culture

 

Age Ain’t Nothin But a Number

I write this because I realize or have been realizing that a lot of the people I hang out with here, or at least the Dominicans are a lot older than me. But even some of my friends in the states, okay one in particular but getting off track. Today I went to Carnival on the Malecon, the boardwalk, with my friend Digna and the whole age thing came up and she told me that she’s 28. I was like wow I wouldn’t have said you were more than 25, Dominicans are young looking. Then she asked how old I was and I’m like 22. It’s crazy cause my roommates are 27 and 28 and well look to the archives for the older Dominicans trying to get me to get with them. My neighbor Franklin has got to be pushin 60 and every time I see him he’s like I’m just waiting for you to say yes (that would be me saying yes to marrying him).

Either way it’s interesting because if you think back its like when I was ten you were 16, in the case of Digna and my other friends that are around 28 but now we hang out and we have lots in common where back in the day at 10 I hadn’t even started my period and you were and/or could drive.

Just had to get that down.

 
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Posted by on 06 March 2006 in Dominican Republic

 

Another Guagua story

I had some other things to say beside the guagua story pero bueno…it will come.

So the other day I was, wait last night, I was coming home from a meeting I had at La Escuela and I ended up taking a little guagua, guagua is a bus for those new to my blog. I hate taking the little guaguas because they cost the same as the big ones and you spend the whole ride crunched up in a strange position but it was late and better a little guagua then end up robbed. Well just like the guagua on Churchill there was a smell of smoke in the guagua. So one girl got off, she was like dejame dejame (let me off let me off). So the rest of us stayed on the bus and had a good time. We were making jokes…one guy had statistics about the passing of a certain bus that goes to Cafe, don’t ask me cause I don’t know where Cafe is I just know that it is after doce (12), kilometer 12 that is. So I was crackin up about that. Either way I guess I write this story because it shows why I love public transportation in this country. There is something about being crammed in a small space with strangers that bring about great interactions and stories. It’s like a special bond is formed…even if it is for only the 20 minutes of my ride home or to the gym. It’s better than the Real World…well ok no its not if your into sex, violence and the exploitation of homosexuality.

Either way…another guagua story.

 
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Posted by on 25 February 2006 in Dominican Republic, Public Transportation

 

The Side Rattail

um yesterday I was on my way to my french class and as usual i got in a car to the feria, where alot of the private buses leave from. Well my driver yesterday had a rattail…I mean 1985 rattail and to make matters worse is that it was on the left side of his head so not only was it a rattail but it was a SIDE rattail…I think this was worse than a mullet. I just smiled as I thought of New Edition and other boys and groups famous for their rattails…oh what about Prince Hakeem in Coming to America…I hope that driver cuts his like Hakeem did.

 
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Posted by on 22 February 2006 in Dominican Republic, Fashion, Music

 

Female Chofer

Ok so today I was on my way to Mr. Movies to return some movies and so as usual I went to the corner of my street to catch a concho, the taxi bus things that are the norm form of transportation in Santo Domingo (Sto Dom). But inside the concho was a surprise….a female driver. My friends had mentioned the concept and I have seen like 2 in my four months here but I have never had the luxury of actually riding in one, a concho with a female driver that is. I was so happy I was cheesing and I felt like shouting good for you…fue un placer/it was a pleasure. But of course I didn’t, but I wanted to. I was on this I don’t know maybe it was a feminist high or something but I almost forgot about what has been bothering me lately. Either way…here is to female concho drivers and man if I wasn’t a Fulbright scholar or I didn’t have this Spelman degree I would be a concho driver or better yet a cobrador, which are the guys that collect your money when you ride in the private busses or guaguas.