They will rebuild the ancient ruins; they will restore the former devastations; they will renew the ruined cities the devastations of many generations.
This was our theme as we traveled to Puerto Rico. We believe God is not only restoring physically but is bringing a revival to the island. Our mission was to bring hope and joy everywhere we went.
Our team was in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico from February 2-12. It was an incredible experience as we worked with local people and churches that had been impacted by Hurricane Irma. We spent a lot of time working on construction projects but we were also able to speak in schools, help with food distribution and minister in churches nearly every evening.
We saw God moving in powerful ways. Every person we worked with or came in contact with was touched by the presence of God. The construction projects were a blessing to the people. We saw hundreds of students come to know Jesus in the public schools we spoke at. And countless people were ministered to and healed in the services. Literally the deaf could hear, the blind could see and the lame walked. God is doing powerful things in Puerto Rico, but what He did there He will do here. What He did for them He will do for you.
Here are a few of the stories.
On our first stop we visited an elderly woman whose home was severely damaged. Her husband suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and was unable to do any work. This woman had been working since the hurricane trying to put her house back together on her own but was making little progress. She asked us to come help her with her roof. A few days before we arrived her house was inspected and she was told if she put a new roof on it the structure would not hold up. The whole house had to come down! We arrived thinking we were putting a new roof on, instead we had to take her house to the ground. In her words, “I felt like God had forgotten about me. I was here working on my own and was frustrated and depressed. But now I see God has sent you here to me and I am so thankful.” She broke down in tears as she repeatedly thanked us for the work.
Our next job had us working with a 93 year old widow. Her roof had been damaged when a balcony from the house next door flew off in the storm and landed on top of her house. It had been leaking ever since and her ceiling was covered in mold. She had no one to help her but she said, “It’s ok. I know that God will help me.” We were able to replace her roof, tear out all the moldy ceiling panels and replace them.
Our next jobs had us clearing trees and replacing a fence at a local church. Then it was off to fix another roof and then work on a house that was in need of major repair.
We split the team up a couple of days and while one group was putting on roofs the other group was able to minister in four schools. We went to one of the high schools and the team shared dramas and skits and we presented the gospel message to over two hundred students. At the end of the time I gave an altar call. I’m never sure how it’s going to go. This is a public school. These are high schoolers who are all about acting too cool for school. But as we ministered you could see the walls coming down. I asked the students to raise their hands if they wanted to receive Jesus in their hearts. I was hoping for one or two. Nearly every student raised their hands to give their lives to Jesus.
We saw this over and over again at each school we visited. Students were hungry for God.
Each evening we were in churches. The team ministered in music and drama and then we preached the Word of God. At the end of each service we had a time for prayer. We saw God do miracle after miracle. In one service a woman who was nearly blind in one eye had her eye healed. It went from completely bloodshot to a pure white color in front of our eyes. Another man was deaf in one ear and was healed instantly and able to hear.
One story sticks out in my mind. On our last Sunday morning many people were being healed. One man came up on the stage. He said he had four herniated discs and had been in constant pain for seven years. Doctors had given him strong medicine but it didn’t touch the pain. We prayed and I asked him to bend over. He bent over but didn’t stand back up. He just stood there, bent over. I have to admit I was hoping we wouldn’t have to carry him away. After a minute he stood back up with tears running down his face. He said, “I haven’t been able to do that for seven years. I haven’t been able to bend over. And now all the pain is gone!” He was totally healed. He threw his cane across the stage and danced off crying, and thanking God for touching him.
It’s hard to believe all the work that took place in a short amount of time. The Lord showed up and did the work. I want to thank everyone who had a part in this trip. Many of you gave to the work in Puerto Rico. I want to tell you we had a goal of raising $5,000. We well exceeded that goal. In fact we raised more money than we could spend during the time we were there, so we will be sending the local pastor we worked with a check to continue to help with the projects.
Thank you for giving, and for praying for the team as they traveled and worked. I believe what you sowed into during this trip will be paying eternal reward for you. The work we did was planting seeds and watering, the fruit will be growing for years to come. We give all the glory to God!
Blessings, Dave Snyder
As we set foot in Puerto Rico we were believing three simple words, “Every need met.” It became real as we met people and prayed with them. In every service we were in, we literally saw every physical need met. There was not one person who came up to be prayed for who did not leave healed or changed. It was amazing to see the hand of God impacting such wonderful people.
- Josef Everett
My first missions trip changed me forever. I saw young people, and their leaders, so willing to allow God to use them and a people so hungry for more. I saw blind eyes see, deaf ears hear, the lame walk, and wheelchairs and canes left at the altars! I left Arizona with a cold, dead spirit and came home alive and on fire with a purpose. I’m forever grateful I was able to accompany these amazing students and be a part of what happened in Puerto Rico
This trip changed my life... again. I have been on other missions trips but every time I am sent out, my life changes. It’s a time of taking eyes off ourselves and purposing to serve others. The story I keep sharing the most is of an elderly widow who was 93 years old. She is a sweet soul who loves Jesus. A portion of her roof had been destroyed in the hurricane. She did not have anyone to help her or the money to hire anyone. She said, "that's ok, I trust God and I know he will take care of me and will send someone to help me." She then proceeded to tell us "You are the ones God sent..." That absolutely touched my heart. We were able to supply the materials and fix the roof for her. It may seem like a small thing to some, but to her it was a major blessing from God. Jesus said, as you do it unto the least of these my brethren, you do it onto me. We blessed Jesus as we blessed this lady.
I had always heard that God could use anyone no matter the age, but I had never realized the weight of that statement. I’ve always had a heart for hurting people, and seeing someone in a walker or wheelchair really weighs on me. However, I never knew how to do anything about it until I came to Masters. They were teaching me to pray differently in a couple of ways: first that we already know it is God’s will to heal so we don’t have to ask if it is, and second that God wants to see faith, and a faith filled prayer does not beg, it declares. During an altar call I started praying for people and they said they were feeling better. Someone asked me to pray for a man with a walker, so I did. The man was totally healed. I was amazed. That whole statement about God being able to use anyone showed itself to be true.