Embraced by God’s Love

We last posted with the hopes of our journey on the horizon. We chased that horizon by boarding an 11:00 pm flight from Phoenix to Charlotte. Getting some rest on the plane ride to Charlotte, we then boarded our last flight to get to the Dominican Republic. Many of us thought this third flight flew by (pun intended). We napped and filled out our customs forms in route.

As we touched down and walked into the airport in Punta Cana, our senses were on overdrive; the smell of island air, the bright colors of the painted walls, and the jubilation that we had finally arrived in the Dominican Republic. After gathering our checked bags (and using Maria’s Spanish abilities to track down an oversize-bag) we walked out to find a string of dozens of friendly taxi-drivers competing for our attention. For me personally, it felt like the seas parted when Edwin and Franklin stepped through the crowd. The COTN logo embroidered on their polo’s was like a familiar face among the whirls of sights and sounds. Franklin saw our matching COTN shirts and beamed with joy. He literally picked me up off the ground with a hug.

Our group was then continually showered with God’s love through Franklin. We loaded a charter bus and drove to Santo Domingo. On the way we sang “Feliz Cumpleaños” to Carson who’s birthday it was today. Franklin said, “Welcome to Our Dominican Republic which is also now your Dominican Republic.” He so abundantly shared God’s love with us and was so excited we were there, it reignited our group in incredible ways.

Further extending this open-arm embrace, we checked into our hotel and were treated to a Dominican style buffet and some chose to cool off in the hotel’s swimming pool. We are off to bed to get a full (hopefully 8 hour) night of rest. Tomorrow we will arrive at Casa Bethesda, settle into our rooms and jump right into our schedule (which Edwin has readjusted incredibly) to grow and meet others as the body of Christ.  Thanks and praise be to God.

Taran Denning


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