2021 Starfish Trip

Last year, in our 13th year, we unfortunately were not able to travel to the DR due to the pandemic.  It was the 1st and only time since our inception in 2008 that we were not able to go and carry out the mission of Starfish.  It was a difficult time for everyone all over the world, including the U.S. and the D.R, as countries endured isolation, sickness and death.

One thing I think we all learned from the pandemic was our need for community and fellowship with others.  God created us to be in community.  So quarantining in isolation was very hard to do and for many of us, it resulted in some form of loneliness and depression. 

However, we were so amazed and proud of the churches that we partner with in the D.R.  For while they were very fortunate and blessed to not have many illnesses due to the virus, they did take quarantine very seriously and stayed at home as much as possible.  They ceased meeting in person for months on end while pastors were forced to give weekend messages on Facebook Live in an effort to continue ministering to the members of the church.  They persevered and were finally able to return to in-person services shortly before we arrived for our annual mission trip in August. 

And as we sat in the Sunday morning service at the church in La Romana – marveling at how the church had survived and persevered through the pandemic – I noticed two things:  Flowers and Birds.  The church had flowers for décor in the main auditorium, and…there were birds flying around as the church has open-air windows.  Upon seeing the flowers and the birds, I was immediately reminded of a song called Jireh that we’ve been singing at our church recently.  It is based on Jesus’ words when he encouraged us “to not worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?  Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them.  And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?   Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?  And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.  And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?   So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’  These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”  We praise God for his blessings on the churches that we partner with in the D.R. and for His faithfulness and enduring love.  It was so good to back in the D.R. this year with our Dominican brothers and sisters in Christ, and we are looking forward to a major milestone next year – Starfish’s 15th year! 

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