December 17th, 2016 fifteen men and women started their week long adventure in the mission field. Because of its proximity to the United States and the fact that you do not need passports to travel there, Puerto Rico serves as a perfect first step into the world of international missions. It is located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the US Virgin Islands. Praying Pelican Missions (www.prayingpelicanmissions.org) is a short-term international missions organization serving the needs of indigenous local churches, pastors, and communities around the world. This group of people worked alongside people that live and work in the community. The group joined in on the work God was already doing through the people of Praying Pelican Missions.

 

"Each one of us had skills we didn't know we had that helped with the mission for this Church.”
- Debbie Stigers
"When we landed it was evident how vibrant the country of Puerto Rico is. Everyday at meal times there were always people joining and sharing life stories. Their culture connects in the form of sharing testimonies. They truly exemplify Romans 1 when Paul talks about other believers being encouraged by one another’s faith.”
- Bailey Brurud

 

Our Puerto Rico team spent the week at Iglesia Methodista San Pablo (St. Paul Methodist Church) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In the mornings they spent time working on painting murals, installing air conditioning units, organizing donations and whatever else the church needed. In the afternoon they spent time sharing the joy of the birth of our savior Jesus Christ by putting on a Christmas themed Vacation Bible School for 25-35 local children. They also helped many members of the community by handing out packaged meals to those that wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford it and praying for them.

 

"The Pastora of this Church is an amazing Godly woman and her small congregation are the sweetest, friendliest and most grateful people I have ever met. I am truly Blessed to have met them.”
- Debbie Stigers
"The Lord worked through our team and gave us many opportunities to share his love through sharing testimonies and praying for the community nightly. But ultimately, He was glorified through just the simple smiles and hugs of people trying to communicate through a language barrier. It was so evident that the spirit of the Lord is truly working in Puerto Rico.”
- Carolyn Baker

 

Although the language barrier was difficult to overcome our Puerto Rico team recognized early on that God was assisting in their communication in other ways. Not only was our team able to help with needs around Iglesia Methodista San Pablo and their community, but the Lord was working in them as well.

 

"The most meaningful part of the trip was all the people we were able to meet, pray for, talk to, and share the beauty of the gospel with. We will never forget our time in Puerto Rico, but we will also never forget that God is the God of all nations, people, languages, and races.”
- James Taylor
 
"I learned that kids are kids everywhere they like singing and dancing and playing flip cup and making friends and hugging and laughing regardless of language barrier they welcomed my team with giant hugs and kisses on the cheek. I got to see the same God that I serve in Oklahoma be praised in a new culture and language. He is a universal God who truly is seeking after all people.”
- Bailey Brurud