Slow Motion in a Fast Paced World

My church, 2nd Baptist Church, has a partnership with One Vision that allowed me to get connected with them, and it made all the difference in my life. Last year, I was able to go on One Vision's medical mission trip to Brazil, and I've been telling everyone I can to get involved with missions ever since.

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This trip, in and of itself, was a practical trip. I played with a couple kids during a rare moment of down time, but for the most part, I was working as a nurse and assisting the doctors to make sure we could take care of as many patients as possible. By the end of our time in Brazil, I was blown away by how grateful the people were toward us. The moment we met them, they were so excited - many hadn't had a doctor's visit in close to a year - and we were treated like rock-stars, which is an uncommon experience for the majority of doctors in America. 

The spiritual high that ensued from this trip made coming back feel like a big letdown at first. But I made it a point to work a little harder, encourage people to get involved with missions, and prepare myself to do more for the global mission of promoting the gospel. I've been preparing myself to go back and have stayed in contact with our friends in Brazil, even learning a little bit of Portuguese for One Vision's next medical trip. 

In May of this year, my husband and I were able to host some of One Vision's Brazilian partners in our home and had an absolutely phenomenal time. It was hands down one of the best experiences of my life. They looked at everything with such a child-like wonder and I loved getting the chance to really sit down and get to know them outside of the busyness that exists on a typical mission trip. Through talking with them, I was really impacted by the vast cultural differences that exist between America and Brazil. We live in such a fast-paced society - something that doesn't play a role in the Brazilian way of life - that we often forget to slow down and focus on the most important thing in our life - our relationship with Christ. While Jesieus was telling us about how he spends his quiet times, I was convicted to really put in an effort to take life at a little bit slower pace and take the time to spend with God. 

My experience with One Vision is one that I tell anybody and everybody about. I've build relationships that I will treasure forever, and I've been so prepared and encouraged to continue to go and serve the people of God. 

-Sherry Pyatt

Unexpected Calling

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One Sunday morning at church, Stephanie McMahan asked me to join her on a sewing trip with One Vision. At first I said no, but here I am, 8 years later, still doing these trips. The first one was honestly a disaster, simply because we didn't know what to expect. But as we persevered and kept going to the DR, we now have 11 women that we work with. We started out by taking down sewing machines and a few supplies, but with each trip we continue to bring new things for the women to work with. We've taught them how to make things like aprons and tote bags, and now they're making purses and dresses and are even selling them! 

On the last trip, we began to work with different women than the ones we started out with, and they can really see how much learning to sew is helping them. They make things and sell them to help support their families, and one is even making clothes for her two little girls! For these women, knowing that they can do something that helps their families is tremendous. They're just so excited and appreciative, and we constantly get pictures of what they've been working on since we saw them. Watching them work together and cooperate to help one another has been incredible. That's not something that we do here. But I love to sew, so I love to see them love to sew. 

Above all, I just love going down and building relationships with these women. After one trip, I felt like I knew them all! These people are just so special, and I love seeing them every time we go. It's not about teaching them something else, but just spending time with them. Despite the poverty they live in, these women are just so happy. They aren't expecting anything from us, they're just content to spend time with us, which gives us a chance to really show them God's love. Sometimes we even get to spend time with the kids in the community, and there's one little girl who's considered a problem child. She told me once that she doesn't like many people, but she loves me. And I just have a deep love for her too. 

These trips aren't something I ever imagined myself doing, but they're something that God's called me to do and I can't wait to go back. 

- Jackie Beckner

The Universal Love of God

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In 2016, I had the opportunity to travel with One Vision to Piripiri, Brazil, where a new church was being planted. Our main purpose for going was to host a VBS and we went from school to school to share our testimonies with the kids and invite them to the event. Ultimately, we were able to use this time to introduce the community to this new church.

One of the things that struck me about this small community was how almost competitive it felt because of its predominately Catholic tradition. Instead of churches working together for the promotion of the gospel, it felt like every man for himself. Few churches were setting the example of Christ for the people of Piripiri, which is why it's so critical to continue ministering to them. Coming back from this trip, it really put everything into perspective. I can see the blessings that we have here which we so often take for granted. People in places like Piripiri go without many of the conveniences we have, yet they live their lives with such joy and intention. It shows me the trap of materialism that we so often fall into and that robs us of the necessity of true dependency on Christ. Going to Brazil helped me to change the lens through which I view Christ and to focus in on his calling.

I have the blessing of sponsoring two children through One Vision. This opportunity is so special to me because it allows us to have a personal connection with specific children in these communities of Brazil and the DR. I love that we get updates on how the children are doing and that I have a picture of each of my children hung up in my house. I just feel so connected to these kids, as if they're truly a part of my family. It's such a rewarding experience to have a direct impact on a specific life. Sadly, I haven't gotten the chance to meet my sponsor kids yet, but I'm hoping to go next year to do exactly that!

Through sponsoring two children, God has shown me how universal his love is. I feel like it sometimes gets lost in all the blessings that we experience here, but it's overwhelming to see his grace and mercy overflowing for these children. I get emotional just thinking about how much he's working in the lives of people who truly need it. 

To me, One Vision is truly an organization that is different. They focus on developing long-term relationships in order to make a long-term impact in the communities in which they work. This is so crucial, especially considering how many organizations apply a one-and-done mentality to their trips. I can especially see this in the Seed Project, One Vision's sponsorship program in Brazil. The Seed Project primarily works in the lives of the children in the sponsorship program, but it also uses the children to reach their own parents and bring them into a relationship where they'll be exposed to the love of Christ daily. 

- Sherry Bryan

Lets Get Intentional

Lets Get Intentional

Every Christian knows that scripture tells us to share the Gospel with the world. Most Christians want to do this, but few are actually going into their communities to do it. However, if you ask a believer what exactly that conversation looks like you may get varying answers and tentative responses. Especially if you are sharing the Gospel within a different culture with a language barrier!

Hurricane Maria Relief

We Need Your Help!

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"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ."
Galatians 6:2

Dear Friends, 

I am writing to you from the team house in La Vega, Dominican Republic. We are incredibly grateful that the Lord led the eye of Hurricane Maria north of the DR last week. We experienced a lot of heavy rain and some strong winds, but praise God, our friends and staff in La Vega and surrounding areas are safe and well! 

Despite the redirection of the hurricane, many towns in the DR have been greatly affected by floods due to the rain that the storm brought to the area. Our friend, Pastor Ignacio, has 6 families in his congregation in San Francisco de Macorís that have been personally affected by these floods. Their homes have been flooded and many of them have lost almost everything in their homes.

We want to be the church to these dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Our goal is to provide some necessities for each of the 6 families in Pastor Ignacio's church that have been affected by these floods. 

The needs that Pastor Ignacio has expressed to us include blankets, sheets, towels, children's clothes, adult clothes, and mattresses for them to sleep on. 

Please prayerfully consider giving to help us carry some of the burden of our brothers and sisters in San Francisco de Macorís. Thank you in advance for your generosity! 

In Him, 

Abbey Golden

To Give:

Use Designation - "Hurricane Maria Relief"

Mail checks to: 2915 Alcoa Highway, Knoxville, TN 37920

Make payment by phone at: (865) 579-3353

Give online:

https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/onevisionintl