Hallelujah Moment from the Dominican Republic
A House of Blessing
by Connie L. DiLeo
As I neared the house, I could see lots of people gathering around, trying to get in or at least get close enough to be part of this house blessing in the village of Bombita in the Dominican Republic.
In the small dwelling, I sat and watched people sing praises to God at the top of their lungs, sweating up a storm due to the intense heat and number of people crammed in the house. I was moved by the depth of their faith.
Fermin led the service with his usual ease and profound faith. I watched his face, thinking that perhaps he wasn’t feeling well, and I worried for him, but the serious problems with his liver, spleen, blood, and stomach were not a concern to him. His only concern was praising his Lord.
Different people came forward to offer a song or chorus, then the family was brought forward and oil was passed around. Everyone put a drop of oil on their hand and touched either the house or the family, wanting to dedicate the lives and the house to God.
Tears came to my eyes as I looked around at the many people whom I have come to love, people who have witnessed to me through their faith. I thought about young Fermin, just 25 years old, and his probable death from his liver problem. I thought what a blessing it would be for him when he goes to be with the Lord, but what a loss it would be for his family, his friends, his village, and for me.
I have come here to help, yet it is they who have helped me.
The Rev. Connie L. DiLeo serves as Project Director and Chaplain of Community Partners (COPA) in Barahona, Dominican Republic. The agency is a joint project of churches in the United States and Great Britain.
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Learn more about Connie L. DiLeo and other United Methodist missionaries at: http://resources.gbgm-umc.org/missionarybios/
Date posted: May 15, 2007