Destino Summer Project Journal: The God Who Sees Me
“Hagar answered God by name, praying to the God who spoke to her, “You’re the God who sees me!” Genesis 16:13
I’ve thought a lot about this verse over the last few weeks here in the Dominican Republic on Destino Summer Project. I wanted to share with you some ways that I feel like our students live out this picture of a God who truly sees us to the people here.
One way I’ve seen this is when I’ve gone out with our students to share their faith. When they communicate the gospel, they really are sharing more than just the message. They are sharing their lives with the Dominican people and entering into their stories as well. They aren’t simply going through a little booklet and moving on, but they are genuinely looking for ways that the gospel fits into where their felt needs are already. It is incredibly fun to watch them share the gospel with such depth of insight into the lives of their friends. Sometimes I think it is easy on a summer project to see a lot of fruit, but not a lot of real relationships. That isn’t true of this project.
Another way I’ve noticed this on our team is in how they’ve treated the hotel staff here. While I think it is normal for summer teams to share the gospel with hotel workers, our students aren’t leaving it there. I regularly see them having deep conversations with the employees here. They know them all by name, pray for them, and genuinely care for them. One night I came down to the lobby and our students and some of the staff were singing worship songs in Spanish outside in the courtyard. Another morning when I came down into the lobby one of our students was talking through Bible verses with one of the staff that just trusted Christ with us last week. We are a part of their lives now.
The last way I’ve seen this play out is in our students’ hearts towards the poor and needy around them. While I generally give money to people that are begging or homeless, I don’t ever have a real conversation with them. I’ve been convicted that I actually don’t really “see” them at all. I don’t usually acknowledge them as people that have inherent worth and dignity. I’m struck by how often our students enter into genuine relationship with the poor around them. They treat the poor as they truly are meant to be treated… as image-bearers of God too.
So, those are some glimpses into how I’ve been challenged by our Destino students lately. They are displaying the character of God to others in ways that I need to grow in. I’m thankful for how the Lord is working in my heart as a result of being with them this summer. It is a privilege.
photo credit: leroys