June 20, 2009

CPC Hits the Island!

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

Central Peninsula Church sent their second team this year to the Dominican Republic to support the ongoing work of Nationals and to encourage Alan and me as their missionaries. With a group of 30 students and 5 adults this team was amazing. (not unlike their February Family team!) We could not have felt more encouraged and uplifted as brothers and sisters in Christ with CPC!

They spent three days tying rebar cages and the floor grid to pour the second floor on Rene and Luis' houses in Hoya del Caimito.

They put on a football camp to reach the youth and as a way to share Christ with kids!

They did children's ministry at Pastor Medina's and also at Los Guandules.

The work they accomplished was great, but not a meaningful or as beautiful as the relationships that were built. That is what G.O. Ministries is all about!

In February when the team came to the DR our hope was that they would begin to support the work of Felix Medina. Medina is a cop and a pastor. He has been working in the police force most of his adult life and has failed to be swayed by the corruption of the police force. To be a cop and a Christian is a rare find.

Dorka's home where they hold church service

Medina grew up as an orphan. He would sometimes receive shoes or clothes for cleaning the orphanage from the woman who ran it. Medina found the Lord and has dedicated his life to serving him. He is a humble man who lives quite modestly with his wife and 4 kids. They live out in the country in a two room house. The first room is split in half which serves as a living room and a small kitchen. The back room is partitioned into two rooms- one that sleeps Medina, Magalis (his wife), and their one year old girl. In the other room sleeps their 4 yr. old son, 6 yr. old daughter, and 13 yr. old son. They are an amazing family.

Medina's church is one of the hardest neighborhood's in Santiago. It is located in the "lower" part of the Inner-City. Someone from the team described it as the "tenderloin" of San Fransisco. Bluntly put, you don't go there alone. No one actually goes there to live, many just end up there.

His church meets in Dorka's house. She is a founding member of the church. The congregation is small, about 20, but their dream for reaching this area is huge! Medina is actively leading people to Christ and spends each day commuting by motorcycle to disciple young and old believers in their faith.

The team gathered inside Medina's home to pray for his family

As we toured the community by foot after our children's ministry one day, we walked lower and lower down and the stench grew and grew until it was almost unbearable. We came to a piece of property filled with rumble and a few pieces of tin pieced together at the back property walls with people hovering under it. Medina explained this was once a building filled with drug dealers, squatters, & prostitutes. It got so bad the government came in and tore the building down. The people under the tin were drug dealers refusing to leave... and then he went on to describe this piece of property as his dream to buy it and build a church on it. A place where people who once came to escape their lives would be able to find hope in a Savior! It gave me chills just to think about what it could be!

Medina has big dreams and because of the help of CPC, and individuals, he is able to begin realizing them. One woman on the February team was so moved by Medina's living conditions she sent in a donation to help by them a refrigerator, a stove, washing machine, sheets for the beds, household items and 100 lb. bag of rice! What a blessing. Through both of these teams we have almost raised all of Medina's support for him to be able to do ministry full-time. To his faithful supporters, it is more than financial help. They are an extension of their families, committed to pray for one another and support one another. Though language may be a barrier love never is. The bond of Christ and of believers runs deep and I am always amazed at how the Lord connects us.

Thank you CPC for loving Medina, Magalis, Naaman, Aslin, Moises, and Merlin as your own. Alan and I are blessed to watch this partnership bloom. We are blessed by your friendships, love, support and prayers.

The McIlvoy's and Medina's- together a beautiful picture of partnership

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-5

Alan, Jackie, Cathy, and Rob

“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”
1 Thessalonians 2:8

More Wedding Photos

June 18, 2009

"What God has joined together, let man not separate." Matthew 19:6

On May 17th, just a little over a month ago, we were married on the beach in Sosua. As I reflect on that verse... "What God has joined together, let man not separate," I think of all the ways "man" tries to separate that which God has joined together--- a beautiful union of two souls, hearts, and minds into one to glorify and honor Him! As we begin this new journey together, one that is sure to be filled with speed bumps (policia acostada) and road blocks we ask for your prayers to navigate through them with kindness, love, and honesty.

We are so thankful for each of you and the role you play in our lives. We will be posting frequently of the journeys and adventures ahead of us and invite to join with us!!

Con amor de Cristo,
Alan and Jackie

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