This is a guest article from Bro. Roger Jewell, missionary to the Dominican Republic. Roger Jewell’s sending church is Tabernacle Baptist Church of Lebanon, Missouri. Faith Baptist Church of Spokane is one of his supporting churches.
A Missionary’s Journey
I had a dream last night, that I was on a journey. I didn’t have the ability to make the trip on my own since I didn’t have a vehicle or the money to do so. I did, however, have some supporting pastors and friends that were going my way and helped me get started on the trip. Along the way, the person I was riding with, although the fellowship was wonderful, wanted to stop and enjoy some of the local sites.
I, however, could not stop, since I was headed back to the mission field. It was then that I saw a pastor-friend of mine and his wife who were going my way. I could ride with them the rest of the way while, while the man I was travelling with spent some time in the city we were in. I saw God’s hand each step of the journey, providing for my needs so that I could get back to Barahona, Dominican Republic.
While making this part of the journey, my Pastor friend’s wife asked me where Barahona was. I explained it to her, and she told me that she didn’t think very many people knew where it was, or knew the people we were ministering to. She told me that I should ask my supporting churches and pastors if they could find Barahona, or even the Dominican Republic on a map. She thought that if they were burdened enough to pray for the people of the Dominican Republic specifically, and support and send a missionary to these people, that they should be able to find the place on a map.
At that point, my first ride began to leave the parking lot I was in. I was sad to see him leaving. At that moment I found out that my pastor-friend wasn’t prepared to leave the city right away either, but needed to spend a few days where we were before moving on. I couldn’t wait, however. I needed to continue my journey to get back home to my family and the work I had to do. My heart sank as I saw one vehicle pulling away, and know that the friend I thought would take me the rest of the way wasn’t going to do so.
I had to get to my destination as soon as possible, but I still had a long journey ahead of me. I decided to take a Grey Hound bus the rest of the way. It wasn’t very comfortable and the people I spoke with didn’t know the Lord or understand why I was taking this journey. Many times it was cramped, and it seemed to go much slower than I was travelling before. I then realized how much I depend on our Pastors and our friends to help us along the way. At this point I awoke and decided to write down my dream before I forgot it.
We cannot do anything well without the help of our supporting churches. As a missionary, we live completely by faith. Our support comes in each month only by the grace of God. If a church decides not to help us one month with their support check, or by praying for us, we will feel the pinch. We have begun a journey together, and I hope that we will finish it together. There is a great work that needs to be done here in the Dominican Republic, and around the world. The people here are ignorant, for the most part, of the Word of God and of salvation. They are wondering around as blind men. I know that God has placed me here to help them see the truth, but it seems, at times, like they prefer their blindness to perfect sight.
It is hard work, and I get discouraged at times, but I know that our supporting pastors and churches are praying for us. We aren’t travelling alone, but have you to take the journey with us. Please keep us in your prayers. I hope you will be able to find where we live and minister on a map as easily as you could find the state you are living in. There is no such thing as a missionary that is all alone in the work. We are all dependent upon the prayers, financial support and vision of those who help us in our ministry. We are men and women of faith who have stepped out on the end of a limb to do the work of God in foreign fields because we know that you are holding onto us, and will not allow us to fall to our hurt.
I walked into the living room of my house the other day to find my 9 year old sitting on the couch with my wife. He had tears in his eyes, and was telling my wife that he wants to have friends that he can talk with (in his own language) and play with. My heart broke for him, and for the rest of my children, because I know they all want the same thing. I told him that God has brought us here to help these people get saved, and that he will learn Spanish well, and will have friends here. I could see that my wife wanted to tell him the same thing, but she knows that our 9 year old also has to sacrifice what he “could have had” to be a missionary’s kid on a foreign field.
We will be fine, but we cannot make the journey alone. We need you to help us in the journey, in fellowship, in financial support and most importantly, in prayer. The apostle Paul wrote in Philippians chapter 4 verses 10-13, “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
We missionaries can do the work, but we can’t do it alone. We need the power of God upon our lives and our ministry, and we need good churches that will help us in the journey. May God bless you for your faithfulness. Thank you for all of your help in this great work that God has called us to. I hope we will be travelling companions until we reach our Father’s house, and can rest from our journey together.