Caleb Kopp: 

Hello! I just wanted to hop on here real quick and say a few words about the Dominican Republic, so sorry in advanced for any spelling or grammar errors. It’s my second time here and I don’t there are enough words in the human language to accurately describe all that I’ve felt while down here. First of all, seeing everyone grow together as a group and band together to do God’s work is seriously a blessing. Participating in His plan is even more cool. Every day has presented a new experience and challenge for us as a team. Whether that be sickly teammates, busted foreheads, flat tires, or broken schedules. Things might not always start the way we want them to, but I think so far they’ve ended the way God wanted it to.

Moving into something more personal, God has very much been moving and changing me for the better on this trip. Going in, I had so many worries and aches about life back home. It was difficult to focus on his plan and doing his works. However, in my weakness and unwillingness God is strong. From that point on, he has carried me and sustained me. The wonderful little moments I’ve shared with children, teenagers, and adults down here have been purely by God’s grace. Walking around with the word of God in my heart, but the words of English in my mouth can be discouraging at times, but our interpreters have been absolutely wonderful for us. Our friends Oscar, Darena, Arlette, Rovian, Elena, Jennifer, Ben, and Daniel have been very patient and willing and helpful to interpret our sermons, testimonies, and day to day conversations.

Now back about two weeks ago, John had released the team lists and put me down as a guitarist. This was a surprise at the time, and I felt very unprepared and unworthy to carry out such a weighty responsibility. I don’t consider myself very good at singing or leading guitar, much less doing the former in a language I’m not familiar with. However this is another testament to God’s grace and power. Not only has this trip been a growing experience for me personally in my faith, but also in cultivating the gifts that I only have in Christ. Having the opportunity to lead worship is another animal entirely than only being a participant on stage on Sundays. However God is the same as he was, is, and will be. And God is the same all throughout the world. His presence takes control, everyone gets singing and it’s absolutely wonderful. Everyone here worships with their whole hearts and whole voices, because God is worth every once of our being. Even if my Spanish is sub par, even if my guitar playing is perfect, even if our words on screens don’t always match up, it’s worship; it’s beautiful and pure worship.

I guess if there were something that I wanted to highlight as a challenge would be identity in Christ. Not necessarily mine, but the identity of the Dominicans. See as we drive through the streets here, the biggest vehicle gets the right of way. As we walk through the streets here, we can wave to people, but even with a translator communication is difficult and connotations are sometimes lost in translation. So because of this, it was and still is difficult to see the people down here as…people. They are all 100% human as much as I am. They have dreams, aspirations, goals, family, and friends. They have worries, pleasures, emotions, and thoughts. However for some reason fully grasping this concept is so very difficult. Every single person down here is a creation and image bearer of God. Even if they live different, think different, and act different, that’s all that it is: different. “It’s not good, it’s not bad, it’s just different.” – Rick Macky, 2015 (and like every year).

Thanks for reading, and please continue to pray for our team as we hit these last two days. It’s the home stretch, everyone’s exhausted, but God is sufficient. Pray we finish out the trip strong!

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2 Comments

  1. I saw a picture of you playing your guitar a few minutes ago, and thought: “way to go, Caleb!”

    After reading your words, that same thought holds. And by the way, you ARE “very good” at both singing and playing the guitar – continue to use those abilities for God.

    Dave

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