By Sandra Moya
I want to tell you a story about the boy who changed the world.
He grew up in a small town called Wallingford, where he lived with his parents, brother, and sister. He loved to play sports, sing, play piano and guitar, but most of all he loved to go on mission trips. He first began going to La Romana, Dominican Republic when he was just 10 years old. He had a special place in his heart for a place called Batey 50. The people in Batey 50 had very little food to eat and were literally starving. Right then and there Matt decided to change the world. Matt learned everything he could about creating a sustainable food source for the people in Batey 50. He dedicated a summer to building and planting these gardens and creating a water source for them. And guess what? Matt saved Batey 50 from starving. It’s true; Matt was the boy who changed the world.
I want to tell you a story about the boy who changed the world. His name was Moises. Moises was born on a batey called Batey Las Cejas. He had 9 other brothers and sisters. Tragically, his mother died giving birth to his last sister. As you can imagine, his life was not an easy one. But Moises went the school, studied, prayed for his future, and never let go of his dreams of becoming someone who would help his people. He eventually did just that. You see, Moises worked for a mission called the Good Samaritan General Hospital, working with groups of Americans who had heard about the plight of the Haitians living in the Dominican Republic and wanted to help. God used Moises to tell his story and educate people who had the means to help the poor people. Matt was one of those people. So you see, because Moises is the one who inspired people to help make a better life for the Haitians, including Matt, it was really Moises who changed the world!
I want to tell you a story about the girl who changed the world. Her name was Aimee. Aimee grew up going to a church called First Baptist Church of Wallingford. She attended with her mother and two sisters. Since a young age you could tell there was something so special about her. Her heart was so kind and she was always willing to help others. One Sunday, two missionaries named Tim and Patty Long came to First Baptist to talk about a new ministry/mission that was being started in the Dominican Republic. Aimee knew that she wanted to help in a way that involved more than just giving money. So, in 1990, at the age of 27, she went to the city of La Romana and helped dig a hole and clear garbage from a plot of land. This hole would be the first footing for the hospital. Digging a hole hardly feels like much, but little things can make a big difference. Everything we do matters. Every action you take, even seemingly little things like digging a hole, can change the world.
Sure enough, Aimee changed the world. She, along with her husband John, who accompanied Aimee on the first mission trip in 1990, inspired hundreds of people over the years to travel to the beautiful island of Hispaniola to help build the hospital that would provide the ONLY healthcare available to the poor Haitians and Dominicans. Since the hospital opened its doors in 1998 it has served hundreds of thousands of people and counting.
Now let’s see here…
Matt made and watered the gardens that fed the starving people of Batey 50. But he couldn’t have done that without Moises, who got the word out about how the people in the bateys live, and told people how they can help, all the while being the administrator of the Good Samaritan Hospital. He went from being born on a batey, one of 10 children, to hospital administrator. But, he could not have become the hospital administrator without a hospital. So, had Aimee not gone to dig holes and inspire others to go, Moises could not have done what he did, and Matt would not have had the chance to grow the food to feed Batey 50. So there it is! Aimee is the girl who changed the world.
Wait, we forgot about the boy named Jean Luc Phanord!
I want to tell you about the boy who changed the world. His name was Jean Luc Phanord. He was born in a country called Haiti. At a young age he was called by God to be a pastor. When he grew up he married a woman named Elza.
God led them from Haiti to La Romana, to pastor the Haitian Missionary Baptist Church. He not only was a pastor though. He was an engineer, a tailor, a cobbler, a teacher, a husband, and a father. He began educating sugarcane workers and other men and women how to read and write so that when they were getting paid for their work they would not be cheated out of money. This made the Haitian government mad…very mad. Jean Luc was thrown in jail, and was told that he would probably never be released. An angel visited him in his tiny cell twice, and he sat in there, naked and afraid, praying to a faithful God to rescue him. For a reason still unknown to this day, a guard came, unlocked his cell, setting him free. He was told never to return to Haiti, and that he was the number one enemy of Haiti. If he returned he would be killed. So, Jean Luc and his wife Elza began their lives in La Romana.
One day while traveling in the city Jean Luc witnessed a man who had been struck by a car literally die in front of a hospital because he had no money to pay for medical treatment. It was right then and there that Jean Luc decided that he needed to do something to change this! He prayed and planned and planned and prayed. He had the vision to construct a hospital that would be opened to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. So, if Jean Luc hadn’t seen the man die and have the vision to open the hospital, Aimee would never have come to dig the footings for the hospital, then Moises would never have become the administrator of the hospital and shared his story with the groups that came. Then Matt Powers would have never been inspired to come to build a sustainable food source, and without the gardens the people of Batey 50 would have nothing to eat.
It’s crazy when you really think about it, isn’t it? Every time something happens, it causes something else to happen. That’s called the butterfly effect. When a butterfly flaps its wings, it moves tiny pieces of air that move other tiny pieces of air. And then, on the other side of the world they might feel a woosh of wind, all because a butterfly flapped its wings here a few minutes ago.
That means everything you do matters. What you did yesterday, what you do today, and what you do tomorrow. God made your life so important that every move you make matters, but not only for you…for the people around you as well. And it doesn’t matter just now in this moment. It matters for all time. When you think about it like that…wow. That means that YOU can be the boy or girl that changes the world.
For more information in how to get involved in this life-changing work with the DR Mission Team, please visit http://drmissionteam.org.