"So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword."
This passage has quickly grown to become one of my favorite pieces of scripture. I can still remember the first time I read it many years ago sitting in a coffee shop after an early morning hike at Red Rock Canyon amongst friends. It had a huge impact on my life early on, and even more so once I joined GO Ministries and again seeing this passage lived out spanning across cultures to advance the Kingdom of Christ on the Island!
A tremendous blessing was given to us to host our home church from Las Vegas, South Hills Church Community in June. From the beginning this team has been about partnership. They desired to be a blessing and serve alongside of a community to bring about redemption, renewal, and restoration... things we at GO are incredibly passionate about.
They sweated. a lot.
They left a piece of their hearts here in the DR working alongside of Pastor Elvis Batista and his beautiful wife Raysa and family.
Elvis, (btw, isn't it fitting that the LV Church would be working with a pastor named Elvis :) is a part of our Seminary of the Americas and pastors a large church in a community called Los Salados. An area overrun with drugs, prostitution and gambling. The church is a bright light in this community. Just weeks before we arrived, a man formerly involved with selling drugs was baptized in the name of Jesus!
The church is called to minister to the hurting, the sick, the lost and the poor, and that is exactly what this church does. In scripture we are reminded time and time again that we are called to look out for the orphans, widows, and the hurting and South Hills spent their week doing just this, repairing a single mom's house.
Juana receiving a scripture quilt created by the quilting ministry at South Hills Church
This is Jauna and she she is a single mom. She is a pillar in the church community. She lives in a very small house with no windows or doors installed, except for one. The walls are made of brick that have been laid but not finished and the flooring is dirt. She had one room with a poured floor and that was the only room in her house with a door. She slept and ate and kept all of her belongings in this room. She cooked in her backyard on an old fashioned can with some coals inside. The alleyway between her house and her neighbor's was infested with beehives. It had taken Juana almost 4 years to save enough money to purchase the land that her house stood on. The land had cost the equivalent of $400 US dollars and brick by brick, she built her house.
She didn't do this all by herself though. The men of the church had come and put a roof on her house one time and they had helped with the floor in her bedroom. She felt blessed by what she had and what she had worked hard for.
Elvis had a dream to bless this woman and change her life forever. South Hills had a dream of working alongside of a pastor in a community to give and do and bless just as God's word commands us. And GO? We are the leaders who bring these two cultures colliding together. We are the Aaron's and the Hur's, setting up rocks underneath the local leaders. We invite the North American Church to join us in lifting up the arms of the Dominican and Haitian men and women God has called to be salt and light amongst their cultures. God had brought South Hills and Elvis together through GO Ministries for such a time as this. To bring his child comfort, help in her time of need, and to restore dignity to her. For 2 days South Hills worked in tandem with the GO construction crew to pour a floor, rid her alley of the bees, smooth the walls of her home and be the hands and feet of Christ walking through the community and sharing his love and laughter to many.
Never has the verses in Exodus reminded me more of partnership in the Gospel and working together as a team with a common purpose than this past week!
(Church leaders, Brandon and Amy Gallup with Elvis and his family)
All for His glory!
Thank you South Hills for loving us, Elvis and Raysa, and the community in Los Salados so well!