Tales from the Dominican Republic

Nancy Lewis- April 2007

My husband and I are missionaries in the Dominican Republic. We are here for three years developing a new orphanage in a fairly isolated valley of 80,000 people. We are working for Kids Alive International and partner with a local church. Many of the people who attend the church live in dirt floor houses, have only 1 light bulb if any electricity at all, no running water, less than an 8th grade education and have no sustainable work. Most of the people who attend the church are new Christians who have come out of a Catholicism which has idol worship and voodoo practices mixed in. I wanted to begin a Bible study with the ladies as a way to serve the church women and better learn and practice the Spanish language.

With much fear and feelings of extreme inadequacy I invited ten women to study the Bible with me. The first week I waited forty-five minutes for the first lady to arrive - eventually they all came - it's called 'Dominican time' - just one of many cultural lessons I would learn. We have been working on 'They met Jesus' for 6 months. One dear older lady sometimes holds her study guide upside-down - this isn't a problem since others read the Bible passage and questions aloud and she is able to contribute. Once they begin their answer, even though I have reminded them to talk slowly for me, they pick up speed rapidly and sound like a buzz saw as they excitedly share their answers. They each tell me what a blessing the study is in their life. They are learning how to study scripture for the first time in their lives and loving it!

I really appreciate the variety and levels of questions Q Place has – it allows for all to participate. In the beginning they always looked to me to answer the ‘deeper’ questions (I read my answers slowly in halting and simple Spanish) but it was obvious they listened carefully to every word. Now they are all answering all the questions.

When I obeyed God’s nudge to begin this Bible study I knew it wouldn’t be successful because of my ability - my language skills are so weak. I have experienced anew how God takes the offering of our lives and will do amazing and miraculous things – nothing is impossible with HIM!