Missouri Baptist University students return to the Dominican Republic to share the gospel and to build communities with the Dominicans there.
Photo by: Morgan Orlando, MBU alumna
Seven students and three staff members traveled 1,818 miles to Barahona, Dominican Republic, to share God’s word, build relationships and, most importantly, plant seeds.
The group was led by Missouri Baptist University campus minister, Jonathan White, who also leads the campus ministry group known as A Mighty Passion.
MBU students spent a little over a week in the Dominican Republic. There the group traveled to various villages each day and did sports evangelism, children’s ministry, women’s Bible study and village outreach.
“My favorite part of the trip was when a girl in the village recognized me from last year,” said Emma Stokes, a senior human services major. “Once she saw me, she ran up to me and gave me a big hug. Sometimes you will never know how much you will impact someone, but at that moment I was able to see how much I impacted her when she recognized and ran to me.”
Sports ministry consisted of mostly basketball games with upper high school boys.
“Mine was playing basketball every day, not just that but following up every game with a gospel presentation. That was awesome,” said Benjamin Fiala, a senior business administration major.
After the group finished with sports and women’s Bible study, they would gather all of the children up and perform a Bible skit for them. The two skits were Daniel and the lion’s den and Jonah and the whale.
“My favorite part was being able to share the gospel through the women’s Bible study,” said Morgan Orlando, MBU alumna. “I had never done anything like that and that was a great first experience. It left me feeling like I had actually made a difference and that alone made everything worth it. I also loved seeing everyone else spread the gospel in his or her own individual ways.”
Later that week, the group had the opportunity to visit a Dominican elementary school and to share the gospel with the students there. Five MBU students shared the gospel through the color of their shirts.
Negro (black) represented sin, rojo (red) the blood of Christ, blanco (white) Christ’s salvation, amarillo (yellow) heaven and verde (green) hope and growth within Christ.
“One of the amazing experiences for me was being able to preach the gospel in the schools. I work in children’s ministry and it is one of the biggest roadblocks we have here in the United States,” said Rae Guice, a senior Christian ministry major. “When we left each classroom, the teachers had the opportunity to continue to share the Gospel and most of them did and that is amazing.”
The group also believed to have witnessed a miracle there, attending a local basketball game in support of its good friend, Michael Borbon. While he was up in the air to dunk the basketball, another player took him out underneath and he came down face first.
Borbon hit his head on the floor and went unconscious, then proceeded into a seizure. Many attending the game thought he was dead or seriously injured. But the Lord had other plans, and after Borbon returned to the game he did not have a scratch on his face and was walking fine.
Later that week, Borbon accepted Christ to be his Lord and Savior. This was the stand-out event for White, who leads MBU mission trips each summer.
“Mine was the whole incident with Michael … how he should’ve died but then got better and accepted the Lord that following Sunday,” White said. “So cool. I really feel we were there to pray for him and then God used us to bring him into his fold. Awesome.”
Through this experience, the MBU students were able to see a piece of the Dominican culture, not only growing relationships there with the Dominicans, but with each other as well.
“This was an incredible journey I will never forget,” said Ryan Arnold, a broadcast media major. “I am glad that I was able to share the love of Christ with the Dominicans.”
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20