On my first mission trip overseas, I was filled with much confidence. I knew our goals and I felt well prepared
to accomplish our objectives. This level of confidence lasted up till the moment I stepped off the plane. It was then
that I was humbled by the magnitude of the work. I realized that there was nothing in my own power I could do to create a lasting
impact on the lives of those I would minister to. All I could do was be a willing vessel to be used by God. This experience
has been the same on each of our missionary journeys; proving true the words of God:
"Did I not command you to be strong and of good courage? Do not be afraid nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever he sends you." (Joshua 1:9)
I have been able to understand the Bible better by observing and living in cultures that have changed very little from the days of Christ. I have seen miracles performed, individuals healed through prayer, souls delivered from the bondages of sin, and many individuals give their hearts to Christ. Yet, the biggest miracles that I have experienced are the effects of these experiences in my own spiritual journey. It is these experiences that have kept me going, kept me believing, kept me serving, and kept me hoping for the soon return of the Savior.
In India, I have seen a piece of land develop into a school designed to help children, who would otherwise be denied an education of value, overcome the challenges of their social class. In this school I saw the harmony of children from diverse backgrounds (Christians, Hindus, and Muslims) working together and worshiping together. I saw these children making logical decisions about the spiritual roads they would themselves walk. I've experienced the power of tongues; even though I could not speak the language, I watched that barrier as it broke down with little effort. And I've experienced how a life of little can produce an abundance of blessings.
In Belize, I've seen individuals struggle with rock bottom conditions; individuals who have turned to drugs and alcohol as a way of escape. I've seen broken families and marriages mended through the words of God. I've seen the young and old alike making life changing decisions to follow Christ and grab hold of the peace that God offers in the storms of life.
In the Dominican Republic, I have been privileged to work hand in hand with my own students. I've heard the testimony of a church who prayed for years that God would provide them with a decent church. Each year the church would flood during the rainy season and these faithful members would still come to church with cinder blocks to hold up their chairs above the waters. Through Greater Boston Academy and Peace above the Storm, we were able to rebuild the church. The effects of our ministry was far reaching, further than we could have imagined. The church grew rapidly during the construction period and the community as a whole felt the effects. The property value of the entire area jumped up because of the improvements made to the church. The improved church helped to create a stronger community, both spiritually and literally.
The work I have been involved in with Peace Above the Storm has been filled with amazing experiences. The joys of these experiences will be everlasting, a constant reminder of the power and love of God.
- Gavin G. Gaynair