Lents Mission Trip Reveals Spiritual Gifts

Lents Church members discovered hidden talents during a June mission trip to the Dominican Republic. From evangelism to medical work to brick laying, the group of 34 exercised old skills and developed new ones during a 10-day stay in the coastal city of San Pedro de Macorís.

Paul Cole, retired pastor, and Jean Aguilar, Lents church member, organized the trip, which supported three separate projects. Each day, the group split into teams. One team assisted at free medical clinics held throughout the city by Restaurando Corazones (Restoring Hearts)—a health ministry supported by the local conference. As news of the clinics spread over an Adventist radio station, the team stayed busy providing basic health screenings to more than 1,000 patients.

Members of the second team laid the groundwork for six new classrooms at an Adventist school on the outskirts of town. Several months prior to the group’s arrival, workers had begun digging the foundation, but a severe storm had filled it with water, halting the project. Despite stifling heat and a lack of pumps, team members spent days bailing water by hand and laying rows of cinder block. As the trip ended, the foundation was nearing completion.

In the evenings, the medical and construction teams joined forces and traveled to five local churches delivering sermons and health presentations. For many, it was the first time they had ever preached. Other group members translated the messages from English into Spanish. “It was amazing how God used our group,” comments Ashley Wilkening, Lents youth leader. “The Lents Church will really benefit from the spiritual gifts that our members discovered on this trip.”

The trip was especially memorable for one member in the group. Larry Skinner, Lents elder, had the privilege of helping Cole baptize his son Eric, his daughter-in-law Heidi and his grandson Austin in the Caribbean Sea. Charlene, his wife and Lents music director, and Jordan, his granddaughter, were also there to share in the family’s joy.

September 01, 2008 / Oregon Conference