This week’s encouraging story comes from KD Warner, one of our interns in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic.
First, I am not the same person who stepped off that plane into the Dominican Republic three years ago. I began this journey in the fall of 2020 as part of the Global Bridge program. I had a dream to go back to college and serve abroad on the mission field, and GB was the perfect combination of both. Balancing classes and work proved to be a much bigger challenge than I expected, but in the struggle, I learned to lean into God like never before. He sustained me through it all.
I came with the hope of getting my associates, learning Spanish, and experience the life of a missionary serving in the beautiful Dominican Republic. God’s dreams for me were so much bigger. My first choice of site placement, for example, was an education site because of my love for working with kids. However, we made it down during the pandemic and all of the schools were closed. Women’s social work seemed like the next best thing at the time but turned out to be better than I imagined.
One struggle that has followed me for the majority of my life is in balancing all of my passions. I am an artist, a musician, and an author. I love to teach and learn and be creative in every possible way. As I served in the women’s social work sites of Santiago and Jarabacoa, God has used every single one of my passions to serve the communities in which I worked. Not only that, but I have had the honor of working with so many godly people who encouraged me, prayed for me, and pushed me to step out of my comfort zone during my time here.
By the end of my two years of Global Bridge, I felt there was more to learn, more growth to be had, and more I could give as an intern. So, I stayed another year, and my goodness it was phenomenal.
None of this is to say that these last three years have been easy. While taking classes, I learned a lot about responsibility and began a season of deep personal reflection. God began the humbling process of breaking down the walls I had built around my heart and exposing all the lies I had been believing about myself, others, and even Him. I learned to let people in, but more importantly I learned to let God into the deepest parts of me that He already knew but wanted me to share. I often describe my time in the DR as a season of love, true love, as God introduced himself to me as a father and a close friend.
Many go into things like this thinking they have something to offer to an impoverished country, but the communities I served in the Dominican Republic did more for me than I ever could have done for them.
Grateful for you,
The SI Team