Santo Domingo - the first city of the New World

Now I know why Columbus sailed the ocean blue... The Dominican Republic is a beautiful place with beautiful people!

Sadly, I haven't been able to experience as much of their culture as I have their style of business meeting, conversation, and travel from hotel to office. It's been the definition of a "business trip" ... although in the past I'm sure I have always assumed that people who take business trips are nearly always fooling you. I had it in my mind that business trips were almost created for the joy of travel, because it's always been so exotic for me. Ay! This is not the case - as Rody would say, "work is work."

I have learned too much to fit in my suitcase for the trip home. I am tired, overwhelmed, excited, and anxious.... this planning for such a thing as a global conference has to be done by those with supernatural powers - I really can't believe all that goes into it! As in all my (limited) travels, I have found the people to be lovely and most wonderful! Again, even if only on the business side, I am seeing the Lord's creativity alive in the work of His hands.

I haven't been able to process everything, nor do I expect myself to before I get back to Chicago this weekend. It's amazing to think that after May I could actually get a job that would make this my life - traveling, meetings, planes, taxis. And all this makes me think. ... Just think and consider just how it is God made me - for what purpose. I know that He is preparing my spirit for the work to come, but I also need to think about how He made me to be in community. What does community look like for those that traipse about the global countryside, stopping here and there?

How perfect to be right now reading in my devotions about the "first" missionary journey in Acts when Paul was sent out after prayer, fasting, and laying on of hands. I say "first" because I fully believe in God's missional heart from the very beginning....

But, truly the community and power of being sent is beautiful and unmistakable throughout the Scriptures. .. Oh! This is a topic for another day - I do feel a bit scattered!

It's been so exciting to be here - just minor near death experiences in taxis and a somewhat questionable "tropical show" last night prove to spice things up. Let's just say taxis aren't shy about crossing four lanes of oncoming traffic and an ambulance in a tiny four-door... and when people here say "tropical show" I guess that could mean anything, the least of which is taste and of a conservative mind. We're pretty sure this tropical show isn't quite the thing to suggest for our 300 delegates from around the world.

Oh, there'll be many more stories, I'm sure, but MY OH MY has time flown. I simply haven't been out exploring and probably won't get a chance to, but hopefully when I come back in May there might be some spare hours to look about...it is quite stunning the view into the sea.

PS I also quickly toured the Colonial Zone where Columbus first landed - the first street, cathedral and university in the New World. Completely opposing the historical and toursit significance, we spoke with a local pastor who had a refreshing and bold passion for the colonial influence here and in Latin/South America... also a story for another time.

Praise God for the work here, for productivity, for His beauty, and his grace in allowing us a part!