Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dominican Republic

I just got back from a mission trip to the Dominican Republic- it was really fun and I want to tell you about what God did for me on our trip! It's hard to explain what God was doing in us with gymnastics. Before I went, I was slightly skeptical how just doing gymnastics could reach people for God. But God really and truly did use gymnastics as a powerful way of witnessing. You see, in the Dominican gymnasts are rare and we were actually one of the first teams to ever introduce gymnastics to the Dominican people 3 years ago when we went. When we do back flips and toss girls ten feet into the air, the Dominicans freak out. We were treated like celebrity status Olympians the entire week. Thus we do a show, we make thousands of people smile, laugh, and giggle- all the while our music is Christian, we where shirts that say don't do drugs which is a huge issue in the Domican, we pray on the mats, & we try to promote the actions of Christ in everything we do. After the show, we go to the audience and talk with them, hug them, and take pictures. My favorite saying for the week because I don't know tons of Spanish was "Dios de bendiga"- God bless you! We performed around 10 shows last week with our biggest being about 6000 people. We had to travel all over the Dominican to do these shows so we were in the bus over fourty hours this week- but at least we got to see the country ;)
The thing that sticks out to me the most about the Dominican is the day when we went to the hospital. I didn't know what to expect, but we were able to walk the halls and attempt to talk to the patients. There was a little girl there that broke my heart as well as many of the other teammates on our team. This poor girl had no name nor any parents to call her own. She had been abandoned at the hospital alone! This girl had elephantitis in the head. Her head was about twice as big as normal, it was huge, bigger than a balloon. She couldn't move her head or body because her head was so big. Her eyes were bulging because they were huge. Once I looked at this girl, I couldn't take my eyes away. It stunned me- what a tragedy. How could her parents leave her alone? How can this world be so evil? This poor baby girl that looked around the age of nine really broke my heart.
Another thing that really touched me was some of the audience responses to our performances. I gave tons of hugs away to little kids who were desperate to be touched (physically) by us. One time after I signed an autograph, three little girls started jumping up and down in excitement. They were that excited to have my name on their paper. It was crazy to see the impact we could have in kids' lives just from performing for them- we were a lot of their heroes. I also bonded with some of my team mates on the trip, and we all got a lot closer. I began some new great relationships. The mission trip confirmed to me that I want to be a student missionary in Peru at the medical clinic. I don't know when or details but I'm trusting God will lead and provide just like he did for me when I went to the Dominican Republic!
Dios de bendiga amigas de Christo- Brooke

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