One frequent and expected question that we receive is the inquiry of what our ministry entails. While we certainly aren’t bothered by the question, it can be a challenge to encompass and explain exactly what our day to day life on the field looks like. But we try…
Since we arrived in the Dominican Republic almost two and a half years ago, we have taken time to pace our beginning of new ministry and to deeply listen to the Spirit’s leading of what our focus is to be on this side of the island. We have experienced and been shown that life here is very little like our life was in Haiti, and therefore the same is true of our ministry definition. We clearly sense that our call here is to a season of walking alongside and of capacity building.
What does that mean?
We observe the capable leadership here that have been trained and called to usher their people into the next chapter in the vision God has shown them. Our role is most often listening to them share, evaluating their current resources, and facilitation of questions in order for them to create goals and pathways to reach their mountain top one step at a time.
Give me a picture, how does that look?
Like a midwife/doula/birth-coach, we are fully present and yet our job doesn’t directly form or carry the new life. We can’t do it for them, though we are a witness and an encourager. We are someone who can ask questions, but not give the answers (not that we have them). It’s facilitating a space and the time to process for them to realize their truer and larger capacity of themselves, their ministries, and their communities. Each path is as unique as the individual or the group that we walk with. The time is undetermined and often the path is unclear at times. But we rely on our faith in the Faithful One and work in tandem as the one body was designed to function with each part in its role.
A written reflection from one journey I had the privilege to walk alongside for a short time. Although, this can be said and true of most of our daily walking.
[Untitled] By: Lynette Smith
No judgment, No small talk, No opinions
Present, No questions, No prying, No gossip, No comparing
No photo-ops, No selfies, No jokes
Maybe not understanding the others language, Knowing that you can’t understand fully their situation, Not needing to know the details
Holding a hand, Rubbing a back, Sitting close
Waiting, Waiting, More waiting
Not fully understanding anything that is going on moment to moment, Not watching the clock, No other plans, No self interest
Simple broken phrases, Relying on others that you don’t know, Relying on kindness, Relying on God’s control, Waiting to see what the next step is
Not alone, Together, Not leaving, No timeouts, No tag-outs
Heart break, Heaviness, Held tension, Hope that all will be alright
Keep watch, Wait, Stay calm, Necessity only, Helpless feeling
But it was nothing really