Tyler’s Journey and Support Letter

 

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Compass DR Mission Team 2016

Dear Friends and Family,

During the March break of 2016 I’m excited to be returning to Los Alcarrizos, Dominican Republic with 11 other high school students and 4 leaders for Compass Community Church. We will be going with iteams Canada, a charitable organization that helps sends youth around the world to improve the lives of others. We will be serving at the lighthouse along with 4 other church groups.

In the DR we will be visiting a local church, and spending the rest of the week working on a local construction project. There will be times during the week that we will get the unique opportunity to spend time playing with the children in a variety of ministry options.  You can learn more about the Lighthouse by clicking here.

I would love if you could pray over this missions trip. Pray for the 16 of us as we seek to grow closer to Jesus as well as each other. Pray for the people that we meet down in the DR, and that we may have the opportunity to speak into their lives. Finally, pray for me… that I would stay safe and experience all that God has in store for me. If you can commit to praying for me and the rest of the team before… during… and after our trip, please let me know.

In order for us to get down to the DR we need to raise, as a team $34,800. We cannot do this alone… we need your help. Compass Community Church covers 1/3 of the cost, we need to raise 1/3 as a team and, personally, I will need to raise a minimum of 1/3 of my costs, or $700 (more if we don’t raise enough on the team fundraisers).  Please consider supporting me financially.  Any amount is greatly appreciated. If you are considering this, click here, then click donate now.

One other way you can support the team as a whole, and maybe buy a few things as well, is to check out the silent auction fundraiser we are hosting this weekend (Jan. 30).  If you are not in the area, that is fine!  You can bid online for any item with a buy it now option.  There is even a week at Camp Kwasind up for grabs!

Thank you for considering supporting me in prayer and/or giving. This trip would be impossible without your generosity. I’m excited for this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to sharing about it with you when I return.

Thank you.

Tyler

Hannah’s Journey

Hello again.

As previously mentioned, Hannah will be participating in the Compass Community Church Windsor March Break Mission Trip for Junior High Students (that’s a mouth full).

This will be the first time Compass leads a junior high focused mission trip and there is a lot of excitement as the team has been created, details come into place and connections are made in Windsor.  One of the tasks the team members had to complete was a letter outlining the purpose of the trip and the funds needed to be raised.  Below is Hannah’s letter.

Enjoy.

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Hannah in Bolivia (2013)

Dear friends and family,

 

I am writing this letter to tell you about a unique opportunity. I have the privilege of participating in during the March break.

I will be going to Windsor with other junior high students and leaders from Compass Community Church.  The Compass junior high students and leaders will be serving alongside the Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative.

The purpose of this trip is to help children in an at risk neighborhood. We will be running a day camp for these children. This will tell them about God’s amazing love for us. Part of the trip will include making a meal to serve to these families, as well as planting a community garden. I pray that through this trip that I would become closer to God the Father. I have seen extreme poverty in Bolivia (2012-2013) and the Dominican Republic (2015) but I have never seen such poverty my own country. I know that God has called me to mission for a third time to Windsor because he wants me to know that there is poverty in Canada and they need his love just as much as the people in the Dominican and Bolivia as well as the rest of the world. This experience will stretch me and challenge me. I can’t wait to see how God change the lives of children and their parents.

In order to fulfill God’s purpose, I need some help! Prayer is a big part of this trip. I am asking for 15 people to be praying for me daily; before, during and after the trip. You can pray for things like health, safety, the rest of the team, the church in Windsor we will be partnering with, and finally for the moments when we impact others and be impacted for God’s purposes. Also I need financial support too! I need to raise $600 because that’s the cost of the trip. The church has already covered some and I have contributed too but I still need some additional money. All of the money, and any donation is be greatly appreciate

**Please know that all donations over $20 will get a tax receipt.**

Sincerely with love,

Hannah Vis

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If you would like to join Hannah’s prayer support team, you can email me and I will pass that on to her.  If you are able to support her financially, please do so via Compass Community Church (for a tax receipt).  Cheques can be mailed to, Compass Community Church, P.O. Box 86, Orangeville, Ontario, L9W 2Z5 (Put Hannah’s name and Windsor Mission Trip on the cheque).

As always, thank you for your time and support.  We are able to do the work we do only because of the generous support of others.

Missions

handsHere we are again.

To be honest, I don’t even know where to start this time… other than to simply say that Tyler, Hannah and I (Rod) will be participating in a March Break Mission Trips once again.  This time in very different ways, but still short term missions.

Once again, we have to surround ourselves with prayer support and raise some significant dollars.  More about that later.

The Ask

I’m not sure where to start in “the ask” this time because, to be honest, I know I ask often.  This has caused me to reflect and seek why God would once again ask me (and Tyler and Hannah) to participate again.  Doesn’t God know that people get tired of being asked to pray for and financially support others doing missions (locally or cross-culturally)?  Doesn’t He know that people are busy, our economy is battered, and people don’t want another thing to add to the list?

I was sharing this with someone the other day, someone I didn’t know well.  He said something that has echoed thru my thoughts since.  What he said was not new to me, but his conviction (I think) stood out to me.  He simply reminded me that, “God calls some to go and gives the rest the opportunity to support those that are called to go.”

I’ve heard that said before in a variety of ways.  In the past I often cringed at it because for many it is used as an excuse to not go.  I would hear this most often when talking about our family’s ten month mission trip to Bolivia.  So many saying, “We could never do that!” would make me want to push back and say why not?  I agree, not everyone could, but to dismiss it without a look is not the right answer either.  Too many times we said the same thing before Bolivia… “We could never do that!  How can we take the kids out of school for a year?  What about our house, we can’t sell it and we can’t raise donations to pay the mortgage in our absence!  We have to raise $55,000?!  In four months?!  We could never do that!”

We had so many opportunities to back out of the Bolivia trip, but chose to seek God’s direction each step.  And, being honest, many times did not know how God was going to take care of some ‘big’ details till His timing.

Yet, here we stand, with our Bolivia trip already over two years behind us.  We still have conversations and ‘ah ha’ moments about the incredible impact on us individually and as a family.  We have a deeper prayer life and understanding for long term missionaries and our kids have an educational experience no school, public or Christian, could give them.

God is good.

Back to the earlier comment.  I felt as I was hearing it again, that maybe it’s ok to be the one called to go.  I feel, as I reflect back, I always wanted to be the one who supported the one called to go… that, in my warped sense of pride, there is something great about saying, “I financially support X number of missionaries!”  It just sounds nicer, again, in my pride, than saying “I have had to depend on $$$ of support.”

My new friend in the above conversation was unknowingly giving me, perhaps for one of the first time, a glimpse of that pride in my life and the reverse side of the coin.  You see, he also showed me that others were doing what I was doing to them.  While I was secretly wishing I could be proud that I was supporting a bunch of missionaries, he (as someone supporting missionaries) was secretly wishing he could be the one God called to “go” to the mission field and was somewhat envious that was the one going.

I guess, in all of this, I am saying that God seems to have it all figured out.  In His Kingdom economics, He has us where we need to be… that the real challenge is more about listening to his calling in our lives.  You see, I am confident in my call to “go.”  I am confident in our family’s call to serve others, locally and cross culturally.  Just as confident as my friends call to financially and prayerfully support those who were called to go.

One more thing before I wrap this up.  As I typed this, I ended up revisiting a bunch of our Bolivian posts.  Check out our Merry Christmas from Bolivia video here.  Our kids look sooo young!

A few Details

This year, Tyler will be going back to the Dominican Republic LightHouse Projects with Compass Community Church.  Hannah is joining the Junior High Mission Trip to Windsor to help with a VBS style week and some community work with at risk kids.  Finally, I (Rod) am leading the CBOQ (Canadian Baptist of Ontario and Quebec) Youth Mission trip to the LightHouse Project as well (Tyler and I will be on the same trip, but with different teams).

If you are able to financially support one of us, we thank you.  If you are able to support each of us, it is a bit complicated.  Because we are essentially on three different teams, you’d have to send three different supports.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact me via email at rod_vis@hotmail.com.

Lastly, but most importantly, we covet your prayers.  Our family is able to do missions because of the prayer support we have had over the years.  I know God has a reason for these rich experiences in my children’s lives and He will use them in significant ways as they become adults, so your prayers are needed.

TylerSupport for Tyler:

Iteams International – click here.

HannahSupport for Hannah:

Compass Community Church – Mail a cheque to (Put Hannah’s name and Windsor Mission Trip on the cheque), Compass Community Church, P.O. Box 86, Orangeville, Ontario, L9W 2Z5

Support for Rod

Iteams International – Click here.

 

 

Here we go again!

Her We Go Again

How many times have I said “Here we go again!” in the last few years?  Too many times to count, I’m sure.

Every time I visit the LightHouse Project in the Dominican Republic, I feel like it will be my last time.  Not because I don’t want to return, but because I’m not sure if God will open doors for me to return again.  The last trip was to introduce my church to the ministry and work of the LightHouse Projects and train new leaders to lead future teams.  So, in a way I was passing the torch.

 

I also decided that I could not do these trips anymore without part or all of my family.  Time with my kids is at a stage when I need to be present in their lives more intentionally as they enter their teen years.  Second, having gone to the mission field as a family, I have seen first hand the power of serving together as a family and I missed that on my last trip to the DR.  So, when asked about going back in a support role for the new leaders of the team, I was in if I could bring one or two of my kids.

On March 13th, Tyler, Hannah and I will (with the team from Compass Community Church), head down to the Dominican Republic for one week to serve with International Teams and The LightHouse Projects.  We will have a variety of opportunities to join in some construction work, help in the school(s) and simply love on the people living in Los Alcarrizos.  This will be an opportunity for Tyler and Hannah to see, first hand, the community that God used to stir my love for the mission field that ultimately led to our time in Bolivia.

I am not oblivious to the fact that we now have to raise funds for 3 people, so this is an exercise in faith for us that God will provide.  I believe without a doubt that God has called Tyler, Hannah and I to be on this trip, so my confidence is in God to provide the resources.

A few Sundays ago we heard a sermon about praying with persistence.  To pray audaciously. To pray specifically.  One of may favourite examples was when funds were needed to keep a seminary open, a prayer was voiced, “God, you own the cattle on a thousand hills.  Please sell a few so the funds can keep this school open.”  The next day, someone showed up from the cattle auction with a cheque saying, “Someone just sold two trailers of cattle and felt compelled to give you the cheque.”  God hears our prayers.

I invite you to join us in prayer over the next few months as we prepare for this trip.  Pray for the team from Compass Community Church, the LightHouse Projects in the Dominican, and for divine moments to impact and be impacted for God’s Kingdom purposes through this experience.

If you are able to support us financially or would like to track our progress, you can go to the International Teams support page by clicking here.

Be Blessed!

Christmas Cards, Camp Adventures, DR Missions Trip and Rod’s Health!

To say that January has been a busy month is an understatment!  I don’t even know where to start, so I will try to categorize things for you.

Christmas Cards

Listening to the instructions

Listening to the instructions

Tyler, Hannah, Carter and Abby all worked hard before Christmas to make and sell Christmas cards with the goal to raise a bit of month for a Centre in Cochabamba, Bolivia. We had an opportunity to serve at the centre and became friends with the directors (The Quinteros Family), so we have had time to meet and know a number of the kids from the community.

The Vis kids raised an over 3,900 Bolivianos!  While this is definately worth celebrating, the bigger thing (to me) is the countless times

Hannah and two friends

Hannah and two friends

they created opportunities to share their God story about Bolivia!  Our kids attend public schools and were given opportunities to talk about the Centre and the reasons we were there.  I believe seeds where planted as they were public about their faith!

Camp Kwasind

Our next family adventure has begun!  If you haven’t heard yet, I accepted the ManagingDirector role at Camp Kwasind, beginning January 1st.  What camp ministry experience do I have, you ask?  Great question!  I have been the Spiritual Director for a few Sports Camps at Camp Norland and Jen and I were the speakers at a

Dock Conversations

Camp Kwasind family camp, but that is about it.

To be honest, I did wonder why I would be asked for this role.  My background is in
Pastoral Ministry and a family business (Bright Spot Drycleaners), so how does camp fit in?  My short time here has shown me that the answer is “perfectly.”  At Camp, I will be able to put to use my full toolbelt of experience, education and interests.  In fact, the more I learn about Camp Ministry, the more excited I get!  And I haven’t even mentioned how perfect we believe this will be for our family as a whole!

Stay tuned to hear about some of our camp adventures and discoveries in the days ahead!

Back to the Mission Field

Prayer

Before going to Bolivia, I (Rod) had been part of 4 short term teams to the Dominican Republic with the Canadian Baptist of Ontario and Quebec and Careforce International (wow, that’s a mouthful!).  While I was in the Interim Family Director position at Compass Community Church, I was asked to lead a March Break youth mission trip.  Naturally, it made sense to connect again with the Lighthouse School in the DR.

From March 7th to the 14th I will be part of a team of 12 people traveling and serving at the Lighthouse School in Los Alcarrizos, Dominican Republic.  This is a community of over 250,000 people, many living in extreme poverty and poor living conditions.  Education is one of the best ways to break generational cycles of poverty and the lighthouse has had incredible impact in this community over its 20+ year history.  I am excited to be returning to once again participate in all that God is doing there.

You can read more about the Lighthouse by visiting Careforce International’s website (here) or their facebook page (here).

One of the many joys of any mission experiences is raising support, both financial and prayer.  So many of you have been part of our support during our time in Bolivia and I would covet your support once again.

Finacial donations can be made via my Careforce page (here).  Tax receipts will be issued by Careforce International.

If you are able to commit to praying for me and the team from Compass, I would love to know.  Please comment here or send me an email at rod_vis@hotmail.com.

Lastly, the Lighthouse always has specific item needs… from paint brushes to ink for their printers.  If you are able to help somehow in this need, please read the list (here) and let me know if you are able to help.

My Health

In short, I am still not 100%.  I am walking better and more each day, but I still can not run or manage stairs very well.  Most days I feel fine and I am ok to move at my own pace.  I am still confident that I will be running by summer.

Well, that has been our month… and the year is just starting!  Talk to you soon!

Short Christmas Card Update

Overlooking Cochabamba

When our kids decided to raise some money to send to Bolivia, I was proud of their initiative and motivation to help others.  I also thought they might raise $100 – $200… assuming they were able to follow through (let’s be honest, they are still kids and, like most kids, are prone to be distracted over time).

While we did have days when we had to remind the kids why we were spending evenings making cards to sell, they did a great job and each found their groove in unique ways.  For example, we learned Tyler had no desire or ability at making cards… and, to be honest, I don’t think many would have bought cards he made.  But, on his own, he became the sales man at his school by telling everyone the story behind why we were making the cards and who was getting the money in Bolivia.

Well, like I said, I expected a best case scenario of up to $200.  Well, we tallied the numbers and the Vislets have raised about $650 (that is over 300 cards)!!  We still have a few outstanding IOU’s, so it could be slightly more if that money comes in.

I am very proud of the work my children have done.  I believe God placed a challenge/idea on their hearts and has blessed them (and children in Bolivia) because they responded to God.

I will give a more detailed update and some of my reflections in the next week.  For now, Thank you to everyone who has supported us in the past year and especially during this past month with the kids Christmas Cards Fundraiser.

Be Blessed.

Vislets in Bolivia