Letter from Cody: Dominican Republic – June 2016
One of Scripture’s greatest promises is combined with an equally amazing commission: “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18. We have been reconciled to God by Jesus’ life, death and resurrection so that we can reconcile others to Him. What a great privilege and responsibility! “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them…. We pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:19, 20. What a precious message to give to the world, that God has taken the first step in reconciliation and now we are to grasp ahold of His reconciliation. Not only do we have this message to give, but we have a message to live, as well. We are “ambassadors for Christ,” to represent His thoughts, words and character to the world. “Let them regard themselves as only threads in the great web of humanity, and without delay redeem the time and represent to the world a pure, unselfish benevolence. Representing in character the attributes of Christ, they may carry forward to a glorious completion the work which He left them of reconciling the world unto Himself.” The Medical Missionary, June 1, 1891. As ambassadors for Christ, we are to give a message of Jesus’ love for a lost world, and we are to live Jesus’ love for a lost world. The “ministry of reconciliation” requires us to demonstrate the loving character of our Savior. I am so thankful that we have been reconciled by His blood. May we demonstrate this beautiful “ministry of reconciliation” in our lives and always remember that we are reconciled to reconcile!
This month, I would like to share about a work that is progressing not so far from the United States, in the Caribbean islands. In the country of Dominican Republic, the Lord is bringing His people to the knowledge of Himself through the ministry of reconciliation. In several out-of-the-way villages and towns, Sister Nelly Severino and her team have been sharing the message of God’s love with some of the poorest outcasts of the society. The Lord is blessing Nelly’s team’s efforts. For several years, they have been operating a bakery that educates people on the benefits of healthful living and helps to provide funds for ministering to the needs of the poor and disadvantaged. Recently, they have been able to remodel and properly furnish the bakery so that it can provide greater service. Another major component of their work has been reaching out to the neglected, looked-down-upon community of migrant Haitian workers. Several years ago, the Lord opened the doors for them to begin a Sabbath afternoon Bible study in the Haitian camp, and now fruit is being seen from their efforts. Recently, after a ministerial student held an evangelistic series in the area, two of the
Haitians that Nelly and her team have been working with followed the Lord to the waters of baptism! One of those baptized had opposed the baptism of his family members earlier, but now has made his decision to follow Jesus fully. The work continues to go on at the Haitian camp with the Bible studies becoming more popular and being attended by a larger group. Additional people now desire baptism, and Nelly’s team is hoping to get a Creole-speaking evangelist to come and do an evangelistic series specifically for the Haitian group, with hopes that many more will respond to the message when it is preached in their own language! Please pray for the work of Nelly and her team as they seek to minister to the “least of these My brethren.” Matthew 25:40. If you would like to help their work, you can mark your donation “Dominican Republic.”
Yours in the ministry of reconciliation,