My First Mission Trip

March 27 2008 / ShareHim in Dominican Republic A, Mar. 14 - Mar. 29 '08 #252
by Elisabeth LaCourt

Personal Testimony of Elisabeth LaCourt.

My name is Elisabeth LaCourt, but everyone calls me Katy. I am 16 years old, a sophomore, and from Scottsdale, Arizona.

This is my first mission trip, and it’s been so incredible! I’m not a very outgoing person, but this trip sort of forced me to become outgoing because none of my friends were coming. I’ve met many wonderful people that I’m proud to call my friends.

It’s like another world here. Everything seems detached because it’s so different. You can’t walk down the street to a Taco Bell, and you’re away from almost everything that seems normal to you. The people here live in such poor conditions. Seeing this has put everything into a different perspective for me; I realize how much I take for granted. I’m almost afraid to go back home because I think I might forget all I’ve seen and learned.

My church here is as big as one of the Sabbath school classrooms back home. It has a cement floor and has to use a generator for power. There are two sections of five wooden pews. Some of them are falling apart, and they don’t have the comfy padding we’re used to.

The people here are the sweetest and kindest I’ve ever met. They always have something encouraging to tell me and are always offering to do something for me, like my laundry, or inviting me to their house for a meal. They also provide me with something to drink or eat almost every night. I love the sweet corn cake they give me. There are two kids at my site that I’ve become especially close to. They have to cutest smiles and eyes I’ve ever seen. The boy’s name is Immanuel, and the girl’s is Nijelli. They talk fast and then laugh when I’m confused and have to get my translator. I’ve played games with them and learned that language isn’t a barrier when it comes to having fun.

When I first met my translator, I was terrified. I thought, “I don’t have anything in common with this guy, and I’m going to have to be with him for two weeks. What am I going to do?!” I shouldn’t have worried because God definitely picked the perfect translator for me. Diego’s become a great friend.

The kids who come to my meetings love the Jesus movie but get a little restless during the sermons, so I started playing with the laser pointer. I shine it across the front row really quick and then go on preaching. It definitely makes them snap to attention. It also helps to break up any little conversations that start. When they look up, all I have to do is smile reproachingly and they’re quiet for the rest of the meeting.

One night, the generator at my site wouldn’t work. They tried several times, but it just wouldn’t start. I asked God to send me light and then said we needed to start because it was getting late. Two ladies found three candles, and I preached by candlelight that night with no microphone or projector. It was a good thing I’d remembered to charge by laptop battery all the way up. I was so glad and surprised that God answered my prayer so quickly, but that showed me how little my faith was and that God cares about the little things, like light.

This trip really opened my eyes to a lot of things. I’ve felt the joy of seeing people understand the truth, the disappointment of people hardening their hearts against me, the discouragement of equipment problems, and the wonder of answered prayer. God is truly an awesome God!
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