Jesus is the Reason – Day 17

As children, we all viewed Easter in a different way. Painting eggs the night before, making cookies and candy. Then go to bed! The Easter Bunny is coming! Get up in the morning with a basket full of candy, then outside we go looking for Easter Bunny eggs. Then a great dinner. But we all grew up and went on our ways.

I have a daughter, and Easter is the same as when I was little.

Then big changes happened. Grandparents started passing away, and then on July 1982, I lost my father at the age of 59. My dad and I were close and when he passed so did a part of myself. He asked me before he died to take care of my mom; she can’t do it alone. I promised I would. The holidays weren’t the same anymore, but we still had mom and that was great.

On January 1996, tragedy fell again and I lost my mother. As I sat in her empty room that evening, I realized I had no one to turn to anymore. I was the high authority now. Then a voice said to me, “You always had high authority.” Then I understood what that voice meant. It was God all along in my life. My life changed from that day.  I started reading the Bible, studying, listening to prophecy seminars and speakers. I learned so much. I missed so much in my life.

My holidays have changed now. Christmas is all about Jesus, not presents and dinner. Easter has changed also. Bunnies don’t lay eggs. Easter is all about Jesus.

I realized how all these holidays have changed. False pagan traditions are taking over everyone’s homes and Jesus is being pushed out the backdoor. We need to bring him back in our homes through the front door. The backdoor is for Satan to be thrown out of.

Having a little fun at the holidays is okay, but we need to make sure our children know that Jesus is the number one reason for the holidays. As said in Matthew 28:20, and be sure of this, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Prayer: Dear father, please help us to bring you back into this world the way you should be. In our schools, businesses, government offices and in our lives. Help us to keep you and your son strong in our hearts. You are the first and the last. Thank you for filling my heart with your words and your love. In Jesus name. Amen.



Scripture Reading – Day 16

Matthew 16:21-28 (NIV)

Jesus Predicts His Death

 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.  What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”


DR 18 – Day 5

Day 5 – February 28, 2018

Wow has a lot happened in the 4 days since we last posted. The internet was basically non-existent till this afternoon, so I do apologize for the tardiness of this update.  You heard from Mike about our experiences Tuesday, and I want to share some thoughts from our Wednesday adventures.

Our morning began, as each one has, with the greetings of many friends as we load up for the day’s work. We headed to our second day at the school at Batey 35. Today’s focus, as we continued our theme of light, was the salvation message. I will end with my thoughts on this lesson in a moment.

What amazes me is how much can be communicated despite significant languages barriers. We didn’t always understand the students, and I am sure they didn’t understand us as we tried at times to talk without a translator. Sometimes a translator would be called over, but communication did happen through patience and creativity. Even when we have a common language, I don’t think we listen like we have been forced to this week. I would encourage you to take the time to look people in the eyes and really listen and you go about your daily conversations and see how it might affect your interactions.

The afternoon brought an outdoor service in a nearby Batey in Guazabel. The whole community slowly gathered under the shade of large tree. One of the students that our group has connected with over the years, Johnny, brought his youth group to lead in song and once again we were blessed to have Pastor Gusmane give the message directly to the people in Creole. After the service we were able to hand out bags of food and a solar powered light to each family in the Batey. Before we had left a few of the lights were already staked into the ground ready to light a path once nighttime came.

Our evening ended in a Pizza Hut of all places (and yes it tasted the same, great!). Our ladies held an American Bridal Shower for a young lady set to be married on Saturday while we took the groom out for the evening. Both groups had a lot of fun, but enjoyed sharing advice about the ups and downs of marriage and were able to pray for their future together. I just met this couple on Sunday, but I am very excited to be a part of their big day this weekend.

My thoughts for all of us as I close this post are focused on the content of the lesson given throughout the day. We shared Monday that God created the light. Today we were reminded that Jesus came to bring light into our world of darkness. What darkness do you live in? What keeps you from the God who created you, loves you, died for you, and conquered death for you? There is no darkness that God’s love cannot make light again. Jesus said in John 8:12; “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Our life in Jesus starts with confessing, it continues with seeking the light, and it is sustained by the only one who can; Jesus. My encouragement tonight is to seek His light and His plan for you. If you haven’t chosen to believe in Jesus or say you have more questions about all of this, let’s talk. We are providing earthly things to the people of the DR this week, but our main goal is to provide what will never go away. So whether you are here in the DR, the USA, or anywhere else around the world, I would love to talk to you about the light in my life that has changed my life.

For tonight,

-Pastor Josh


DR 18 – Day 4

Day 4 – February 27, 2018 By Mike Enslen

Hello CABC Family!  This has been quite a journey, and I am glad to be able to bring a blog update to you from the group.  Our Tuesday adventures began with packing the bus at Elza’s with food bags, clothing, and personal care items that we would be distributing at the Alta Gracia Batey.  Along the drive we came across a section of the road with sugar cane fields on both sides that were being actively harvested, with many men hard at work.  We stopped the bus and set up an area right there in the field to hand out clothing items to the men.  From what I am told, this is something that our groups have hoped to do but never had the right opportunity presented.  It was quite a sight to see, men leaving their work areas from all over the fields to come and see us.  We gave each of them a clothing item and a blessing and I saw many excited, thankful faces.  I believe this is what the ministry is all about – serving this population of people that work so hard for so little!

From there we went to Alta Gracia, and set up for clothing and food distribution inside their church.  There are some very sweet people that live in this Batey, and I had the opportunity to help some men find clothing and shoes that were desperately needed.  We also had many young kids come through and find clothes that suited them, as we had been blessed with so many donations of children’s clothing. (Thank you!)  As these families left they received a food package, and each individual was given a toothbrush and toothpaste.  Many connections were made here, and we prayed over the village as we returned back to Elza’s – this is something we do at the start and end of each day…sometimes it’s one of us, other times a translator or someone else working with the team, but always a blessing to see us all come before the Lord as one body!

Tuesday afternoon/evening was our beach excursion – a tradition for our groups that come to the DR, but a first for Me, Pastor Josh and Pastor Gusmane.  We enjoyed the water, had a meal, and saw a beautiful sunset.  The highlight of the evening was a birthday celebration for Polo, the administrator of our school at Batey 35.  It’s been an honor to meet and serve alongside Polo – he has such a heart for the kids, and works very hard on behalf of the mission.

I thank you for your continued prayers as we are getting close to the end of the week. (It’s Friday as I write this, as we have had WiFi issues and have been unable to make timely updates.)  It’s been a wonderful adventure so far, but we still have more to accomplish before we’re through!

-Mike Enslen


Risk Is Right – Day 15

“It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:20-21

Matt and I recently did a devotional together called “Risk is Right” by John Piper.   The book ends with these words:

“This is the promise that empowers us to take risks for the sake of Christ. It is not the impulse of heroism, or the lust for adventure, or the courage of self-reliance, or the need to earn God’s favor. It is the simple trust in Christ – that in him God will do everything necessary so that we can enjoy making much of him forever. Every good poised to bless us, and every evil arrayed against us, will in the end help us boast only in the cross, magnify Christ, and glorify our Creator. Faith in these promises frees us to risk and to find in our own experience that it is better to lose our life than to waste it.  

“Therefore, it is right to risk for the cause of Christ. It is right to engage the enemy and say, “May the Lord do what seems good to him.” It is right to serve the people of God, and say, “If I perish, I perish!” It is right to stand before the fiery furnace of affliction and refuse to bow down to the gods of this world. At the end of every other road – secure and risk free- we will put or face in our hands and say, “I’ve wasted it!” But at the end of the road of risk, taken in reliance on the blood-bought promises of God, there will be fullness of joy and pleasure forevermore.”

We felt led to share the things we learned with the A2J class so we asked God to show us how to bring this to life for the A2J’ers. The same Sunday we were going to teach the A2J’ers, Jeannette Kessler shared about how God had laid on her heart for her to spend one full day in the home of a family living in a batey in the Dominican Republic. One of the many things I gleamed from her sharing, was that she couldn’t imagine why God had called her to be the first person to do that and how the man of the family she with could not imagine why God had picked his family. It was a perfect example to share with the kids in A2J how God asked both of them to take a risk, and to step out of their comfort zone for His name’s sake.

So in the second service with the A2J’ers, I shared the story of Queen Esther and then Jeanette’s story.   As I was explaining all of this, God showed me why God chose Esther, and why God chose Jeannette and why He chose that particular DR family. It was because they would say, “YES!”.   They were willing to take a risk and not stay in the comforts of their own lives, but step out because God asked them to.

As we reflect during this Season of Lent on all Jesus did for us and continues to do for us, it doesn’t seem right that He would give us a choice, but He does. He does give us a choice on how we respond to His calling. What will you say the next time Jesus asks you to take a risk for His Kingdom?

Prayer: Precious Heavenly Father, Thank you for this day. Please show me what you have for me this day and every day. Help me to say, “Yes” to you, when you call on me. Help me to respond to your perfect love for me with a resounding “Yes!” Help me to hear your voice as you call me to risk something for your Kingdom. I love that you call me and equip me all at the same time.   I love that I don’t have to be afraid to step out in trust and belief in You, because even if I fail You will use it for Your glory and my good. You are so awesome Lord! In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
– Aimee Moul


Don’t You Have An Old Man Living In Your Little House? – Day 14

2 Corinthians 16-17 – Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 

My childhood home was a very small farm that had been built in the mid 1800’s. There were various animal shelters and several outbuildings including a summer kitchen, smokehouse and servant’s quarters. It is still strange to me that we lived on such meager means in a home that previously had servants. When my parents purchased the home, they contracted with the previous owner to allow one of their former employees to live out his remaining years in the servant’s quarters. We had always referred to his home as “the little house”. I now understand that those were odd circumstances, but I remember being confused when my fellow kindergartners insisted that they didn’t have an old man living in their little house. I had wrongly assumed everyone did.

We knew him only as Mr. Sidney, never knowing his first name or much about his life and family. He was an elderly Philippine man, very slim with care-worn features and a stature bent crooked from years of challenging farm labor. He was nearly blind and his hearing was failing. He had great difficulty with walking and moved slow and cautiously, shuffling his feet and planting his wooden cane ahead of each step. His Philippine accent was strong and a gentle kindness saturated every word.

The little house wasn’t equipped with plumbing or electric heat. Mr. Sidney used a chamber pot and a wood stove. My elder brothers would assist in maintaining the fire in the stove in the colder months, but Mr. Sidney did all he could to retain his independence. My parents were not nurturing toward him, doing only what was necessary to honor the contract. Mr. Sidney didn’t join us for meals and wasn’t offered the convenience of an indoor bath. He ate plain bread and raw vegetables from the garden. Any family and friends had passed or moved on. When offered something he was humble and gracious. He had no income, only change that he’d harbored from past wages. He would give me nickels for retrieving something from the garden or making a successful tricycle ride across the front porch. He called me Miracle or his Precious Angel. I clung to those words of endearment, never hearing them elsewhere. There was little affection in our home and even less extended to Mr. Sidney.

Today, it is hard for me to imagine anyone living in such conditions, especially for more than 20 years as he unexpectedly lived into his 100’s. Still, Mr. Sidney never complained nor asked for better. Instead he had a warmth and genuine love that were beyond explanation. Clearly there was something in Mr. Sidney that defied his natural surroundings and filled him with hope and contentment. In the years that we were honored to know him, his benevolence toward us only grew stronger while his physical being became increasingly frail. At 5 years old I couldn’t know how Mr. Sidney knew God, but I could sense Christ in him. The Bible kept under his bed tells me the story now.

Mr. Sidney has come to mind many times recently. I catch myself complaining about pain, limitations, and the material things I don’t possess. I crave Mr. Sidney’s heart. I have so much more, yet I’m still prone to discouragement. I’m gratefully amazed at how God can use odd circumstances from so long ago to speak to me vividly in my walk today. I see how contentment comes from daily renewal. I also carry the hope of seeing Mr. Sidney again in his heavenly mansion instead of a cold little house.

Prayer: Father God, I surrender my heart to Your inner renewal every day. I step out in faith to grow beyond my worldly tendency for discontent and hold to Your promise to complete a work in me.


In Jesus’ name, Amen.

– Melissa Myers