true evangelism always requires sacrifice

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

La Vega

Is a large community (by Dominican standards) located in the middle of the country, founded by the Spanish, as a center for plundering the island of it’s gold. The statistics say the population is 25,000 but it’s easily double that, or more. To the east of La Vega lies a fertile plain, (which is what La Vega means) where many crops are grown, especially rice. To the west is a rugged mountain range, which hosts the highest peak in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte, at almost 11,000 feet. The drive from Santo Domingo takes over an hour on the countries main North/South Artery, the Autopista Duarte. As you enter La Vega from the east and navigate through narrow streets on a confusing non-grid layout, you must fight your way through congested traffic, buses, taxis and motorcycles before you come to a community known as Maria Auxiliadora, or “Helping Mary”.

Maria Auxiliadora is nestled in the first steep foothills of the mountain range at the furthest outreaches of Southwestern La Vega. As the population of La Vega has swollen, people have started to occupy these steep hills on the outskirts of the city with their small shacks. As you enter Maria Auxiliadora the paved roads give way to dirt, mud and rock streets strewn with trash and puddles. On both sides of Maria Auxiliadora’s main street, which leads to the church, there are many “tiendas”, or stores, butcher shops displaying freshly butchered chickens and goat, beauty shops full of women fussing over each other, barber shops with men talking loudly while getting trimmed and shaved with strait razors, lottery ticket vendors tempting the poor with easy money, “colmados”, or corner stores, which are home to animated conversations and games of dominoes for those who are without work or passing by with nothing to do. Street vendors have set up shop on the sidewalk. Mostly, they offer fresh fruits, vegetables, and household wares. Children playing with homemade toys, dogs sniffing for food, rickety horse drawn carts rattling by, cars spewing bluish clouds of diesel exhaust, bony cattle grazing, radios blasting merengue, bachata and reggaetone, televisions blaring melodramatic Spanish soap operas, abundant and overflowing trash everywhere, shaded porches with families watching passersby, trucks announcing “plantains for sale” with loud bullhorns, grandmas rocking babies, damp ever-present heat, sudden rain showers, all add to the plethora of sensations one has spending the day in Maria Auxiliadora.

As we continue down main street Maria Auxiliadora we approach some steep hills; at the bottom of one the Iglesia el Camino is situated. The streets end but the neighborhood stretches even further back and outwards towards the mountains where the community known as “La Loma”, or the hill sits on the slopes surrounding Maria Auxilidora. Many of the poor live here in homes built of wood and scraps, with leaky tin roofs and dirt floors. It is a good location for the church and for the new water system as it is accessible to the poorest people living in the hills above. The church is a two-story building. The sanctuary is located on the first floor and very simple, almost like a warehouse. Classrooms and offices are on the second level, crowded with computers, books, papers, posters, guitars and all the other things available for educating the children. The water system distribution point is located in front of the church, while the components are in the back. It has the smell of fresh paint and is sparkling new. We anticipate that many botellones will be passed through this window and that many will benefit from the clean water at an affordable price.

"You have one business on Earth - to save souls." -- John Wesley "Christ alone can save the world, but Christ cannot save the world alone." -- David Livingston "I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light" -- John Keith Falconer "God isn't looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him" -- Hudson Taylor "Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell." -- C.T. Studd "We can give without loving, but we cannot love without giving" -- Alexander Duff "If God wills the evangelization of the world, and you refuse to support missions, then you are opposed to the will of God." -- Oswald J. Smith, Missionary Statesman "If I had 1,000 lives, I'd give them all for China" -- Hudson Taylor "Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God" -- William Carey, who is called the father of modern missions "The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become." -- Henry Martyn, missionary to India and Persia "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose" -- Jim Elliot, missionary martyr who lost his life in the late 1950's trying to reach the Auca Indians of Ecuador "We are debtors to every man to give him the Gospel in the same measure in which we have received it" -- P.F. Bresee, founder of the Church of the Nazarene "In the vast plain to the north I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been" -- Robert Moffat, who inspired David Livingstone "Can't you do just a little bit more?" -- J.G. Morrison pleading with Nazarenes in the 1930's Great Depression to support their missionaries "Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us." -- Keith Wright "The Bible is not the basis of missions; missions is the basis of the Bible" -- Ralph Winter, U.S. Center for World Mission "If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him." -- C.T. Studd "No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once." -- Oswald J. Smith "This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on the earth!" -- Keith Green "There is nothing in the world or the Church -- except the church's disobedience -- to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility." -- Robert Speer, leader in Student Volunteer Movement "If you found a cure for cancer, wouldn't it be inconceivable to hide it from the rest of mankind? How much more inconceivable to keep silent the cure from the eternal wages of death?" -- Dave Davidson "If God calls you to be a missionary, don't stoop to be a king" -- Jordan Groom (variations of this also credited to G. K. Chesterson, Thomas Carlyle and Charles Haddon Spurgeon) "World missions was on God's mind from the beginning." -- Dave Davidson "Let my heart be broken with the things that break God's heart" -- Bob Pierce, World Vision founder "No reserves. No retreats. No regrets" -- William Borden "The reason some folks don't believe in missions is that the brand of religion they have isn't worth propagating." -- unknown When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying, "You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages." To that, Calvert replied, "We died before we came here." "Someone asked, will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved? It is more a question with me whether we -- who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not -- can be saved." -- Charles Spurgeon "God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him." -- Hudson Taylor, missionary to China "The Gospel is only good news if it gets there in time" -- Carl F. H. Henry "Our God of Grace often gives us a second chance, but there is no second chance to harvest a ripe crop." -- Kurt von Schleicher "Missions is the overflow of our delight in God because missions is the overflow of God's delight in being God." --John Piper "The church that does not evangelize will fossilize." -- Oswald J. Smith "God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply" -- Hudson Taylor "You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving." -- Amy Carmichael, missionary to India "Only as the church fulfills her missionary obligation does she justify her existence." -- Unknown "You can't take it [money] with you but you can send it on ahead." -- Oswald J. Smith "As long as there are millions destitute of the Word of God and knowledge of Jesus Christ, it will be impossible for me to devote time and energy to those who have both." -- J. L. Ewen "The mission of the church is missions" -- Unknown "Sympathy is no substitute for action." -- David Livingstone, missionary to Africa "The command has been to 'go,' but we have stayed -- in body, gifts, prayer and influence. He has asked us to be witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth ... but 99% of Christians have kept puttering around in the homeland." -- Robert Savage, Latin American Mission "People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives ... and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted." -- Nate Saint, missionary martyr "We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God." -- John Stott "Believers who have the Gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story." -- K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia Bible Society "We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first." -- Oswald J. Smith "Tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the Gospel of Christ." -- Francis Xavier, missionary to India, the Philippines, and Japan "The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity." -- Mike Stachura "'Not called!' did you say? 'Not heard the call,' I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face -- whose mercy you have professed to obey -- and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world. -- William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army "It is not in our choice to spread the Gospel or not. It is our death if we do not." -- Peter Taylor Forsyth, Herald of Holiness, March 1975 "Not, how much of my money will I give to God, but how much of God's money will I keep for myself." -- John Wesley "If God's love is for anybody anywhere, it's for everybody everywhere." – Edward Lawlor, Nazarene General Superintendent "Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the real action is -- where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge." -- Robert C. Shannon, Christian Standard, January 1983 "People who don't believe in missions have not read the New Testament. Right from the beginning Jesus said the field is the world. The early church took Him at His word and went East, West, North and South." -- J. Howard Edington "It is possible for the most obscure person in a church, with a heart right toward God, to exercise as much power for the evangelization of the world, as it is for those who stand in the most prominent positions." -- John R. Mott "In no other way can the believer become as fully involved with God's work, especially the work of world evangelism, as in intercessory prayer." -- Dick Eastman, president of Every Home for Christ (formerly World Literature Crusade) "The best remedy for a sick church is to put it on a missionary diet." -- David Livingston "What's your dream and to what corner of the missions world will it take you?" -- Eleanor Roat, missions mobilizer "We can reach our world, if we will. The greatest lack today is not people or funds. The greatest need is prayer." -- Wesley Duewel, head of OMS International "Love is the root of missions; sacrifice is the fruit of missions" -- Roderick Davis "The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed" -- Hudson Taylor "Missionary zeal does not grow out of intellectual beliefs, nor out of theological arguments, but out of love" -- Roland Allen "I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ." -- Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf “The light that shines farthest shines brightest at home." -- C.T. Studd "The supreme task of the church is the evangelization of the world. No one has the right to hear the gospel twice until everyone has had an opportunity to hear it at least once.” -- J. Oswald Smith, Vital Christianity, June 1979 “God had only one Son and he made that Son a missionary.” -- David Livingston "Some are trapped in boxes of pea-sized Christianity, full of myths about missions that rob them of incentive to care about the un-reached" -- David Bryant in In the Gap "To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map." -- William Carey, pioneer missionary to India "Is not the commission of our Lord still binding upon us? Can we not do more than now we are doing?" – William Carey "If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?" -- David Livingstone "Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist." -- Oswald J. Smith "In our lifetime, wouldn't it be sad if we spent more time washing dishes or swatting flies or mowing the yard or watching television than praying for world missions?" -- Dave Davidson "If ten men are carrying a log -- nine of them on the little end and one at the heavy end -- and you want to help, which end will you lift on?" -- William Borden, as he reflected on the numbers of Christian workers in the U.S. as compared to those among un-reached peoples in China "Our God of Grace often gives us a second chance, but there is no second chance to harvest a ripe crop." -- Kurt von Schleicher [ Apple Pickers' Parable ] "God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the supremacy of His name among the nations. Therefore, let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose." -- John Piper "Go, send, or disobey." -- John Piper "If you take missions out of the Bible, you won't have anything left but the covers" -- Nina Gunter "If the Church is 'in Christ,' she is involved in mission. Her whole existence then has a missionary character. Her conduct as well as her words will convince the unbelievers and put their ignorance and stupidity to silence." – David Bosch "Missions is not the 'ministry of choice' for a few hyperactive Christians in the church. Missions is the purpose of the church." – Unknown "The concern for world evangelization is not something tacked on to a man's personal Christianity, which he may take or leave as he chooses. It is rooted in the character of the God who has come to us in Christ Jesus. Thus, it can never be the province of a few enthusiasts, a sideline or a specialty of those who happen to have a bent that way. It is the distinctive mark of being a Christian." -- James S. Stewart "The average pastor views his church as a local church with a missions program; while he ought to realize that if he is in fact pastoring a church, it is to be a global church with a missions purpose." – Unknown "The Christian is not obedient unless he is doing all in his power to send the Gospel to the heathen world." -- A. B. Simpson "Prayer is the mighty engine that is to move the missionary work." -- A.B. Simpson "The will of God -- nothing less, nothing more, nothing else." -- F. E. Marsh (also attributed to Bobby Richardson) "If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small." -- Pat Morley "If missions languish, it is because the whole life of godliness is feeble. The command to go everywhere and preach to everybody is not obeyed until the will is lost by self-surrender in the will of God. Living, praying, giving and going will always be found together." -- Arthur T. Pierson "'Go ye' is as much a part of Christ's Gospel as 'Come unto Me.' You are not even a Christian until you have honestly faced your responsibility in regard to the carrying of the Gospel to the ends of the earth." -- J. Stuart Holden "A congregation that is not deeply and earnestly involved in the worldwide proclamation of the gospel does not understand the nature of salvation." -- Ted Engstrom, World Vision "To stay here and disobey God -- I can't afford to take the consequence. I would rather go and obey God than to stay here and know that I disobeyed." -- Amanda Berry Smith "I believe that in each generation God has called enough men and women to evangelize all the yet un-reached tribes of the earth. It is not God who does not call. It is man who will not respond!" -- Isobel Kuhn, missionary to China and Thailand "God is a God of missions. He wills missions. He commands missions. He demands missions. He made missions possible through His Son. He made missions actual in sending the Holy Spirit." -- George W. Peters