Thirteen missionaries from Mount Pisgah Academy departed on a two-week-long trip to Barahona, Dominican Republic on March 8, 2023. The group included seven students, three staff, and three local church members. While there, the students and adults partnered with ShareHim to preach an 11-part sermon series about the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Each preacher had a local church with audiences ranging from 10 to 80 people. Many church members invited visitors, adding to the audience size.
The group traveled for 16 hours from Asheville, N.C., to Barahona, Dominican Republic. Everyone was excited to get some well-needed rest before sermon preparations the next day. Thursday evening was exciting as the preachers met their church elders and translators. Some translators could not join the meeting, which added to anxieties as they departed for their first sermon on Friday. The first preaching night always has challenges, but everyone persevered despite the many bumps.
Although not being physically taxed, the missionaries were mentally exhausted each day from editing, preparing, and practicing their sermon for the evening. Luckily, the group had several relaxing days dispersed throughout. During the middle of the series, the students and adults took the morning off to visit Villa Miriam Spa, composed of natural pools and waterfalls gushing through the area’s lush hills. It was a great way to relax and rejuvenate before finishing the sermon series. On Sunday, the students traveled to Bahia de las Aguilas Beach. The group took a boat ride through the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean Sea to a private beach area. They enjoyed a picnic lunch on the beach, played in the ocean, and relaxed on the sand.
While in Barahona, the group enjoyed delicious meals provided by a local chef. The food was brought to the hotel where the group dined in a private area. Although each meal was incredible, many meals resulted in leftovers due to the generosity of the chef. The ShareHim representative decided to purchase take-out containers so the remaining food could be given to the local homeless population. After each meal, a small group of students and adults would walk to the town square to hand-deliver the food. Several of the locals began to recognize the students, and looked forward to their visits and generosity. The unexpected ministry had students excited and passionate during their visit.
All the hard work and effort culminated on Sabbath afternoon, March 18, when everyone gathered for baptisms at the beach. Although everyone had churches at separate locations, all the churches came together for baptisms at Saladilla Beach. It was an exciting day as students and adults each received certificates for their work in sharing the Gospel. Following the presentation, 30 individuals were baptized in the ocean by Freddy Rivera, ShareHim representative and retired Carolina Conference pastor, and Carlos Rillo, president of the South Dominican Republic Conference. It was an incredible day for all in attendance as they sang and rejoiced about winning people for God’s Kingdom.
The last Saturday night was emotional as the preachers shared final sermons. It is incredible how close each individual became to the members of their church. Although they had only known them over a week, the bond was tight. Many gave and received gifts as they celebrated the hope of seeing each other again in Heaven. The group began their 21-hour travel day to return to Mount Pisgah Academy on Monday, March 20. Although distance separates them from their new-found friendships, they have the hope of Jesus’ soon return where they can meet again. Thirty individuals were baptized, and many more will continue to study and give their hearts to God because of these meetings. The ShareHim family is so proud of the students, staff, and church members for their dedication to spreading the Gospel to all parts of the world.
Carolina | July 2023