As you may know, about a year ago, we discovered a rural mountain village that was highly impoverished. We asked a few of our missionaries to begin discipleship programs there. The village is on a mountain and the miles-long journey up is treacherous, at best. Because of its difficult incline, it’s not very accessible by vehicle, so we bought a few donkeys to get supplies to the top.
A few months ago, we got word from our on-the-ground missionaries in the Dominican Republic that they decided to pave the road up to the top. Not only would this make our access easier, but it would be an incredible gift to the people who live there. So, with the help of generous donors, we began the process. As our mission has celebrated this good news, we’ve contemplated the concept of roads, but not physical ones.
This past year has been a rocky one. Many of us may feel isolated on a mountain, like the one in the Dominican, as access to normal life has become uncertain and even dangerous. We’ve done our best to keep climbing, but we are eager to reach the other side. We have seen God’s faithfulness in small ways as we’ve walked, but we are tired and ready to see His faithfulness in full. If we’re honest, our doubts echo those of Psalm 77: “Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?”
While suffering is common to us in the first-world, the concept of uncertainty might be new. However, because many Dominicans and Haitians are day-laborers (they depend on a day’s work for that night’s dinner) uncertainty is a part of normal life, especially during a pandemic. Even in the face of uncertainty though, we are still praising God for His faithfulness. In the past year, He multiplied the resources you gave us to provide tens of thousands of meals for our Dominican and Haitian brothers and sisters. He shielded our missionaries in the face of violence and sustained them with good health. Over the years, we’ve learned life-changing lessons in the Dominican, but this year’s might be the most important yet: nothing is uncertain to the God who knows our needs.
We look again to the words of the Psalmist, as he continues on after raising his doubts to the Lord: “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. Your way, O God, is holy…Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. You led your people like a flock.”
This Christmas season and as we head into the new year, we are reminding ourselves to remember how God has been faithful. Though we walk through the sea of uncertainty and are not always able to see the footprints of God, we’re certain He’s leading us because He has before. He led the shepherds and wise men to find Him, the disciples to follow Him, and He’s
been leading us to know Him since. Our good and faithful Shepherd came to earth to give up His life for us; so, we pray you’re finding Him, following Him, and knowing Him more with each passing day. Thank you for helping us pave roads and feed tens of thousands of people this past year. Because of you, people in the Dominican Republic are finding Him, following Him, and knowing Him, too.
“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)
Jack Eason, Mike Williams, Missionaries, and Staff