This post was written by Joe Sabella, a college student who went on a CURE University trip to the Dominican Republic. If you are a college student and would like to learn more about bringing CURE U to your campus, visit cure.org/u.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it,” (1 Corinthians 12:27, NIV). Nervously reading this verse on the plane from New York City to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, I realize that my lifelong dream of living this verse out is about to become reality. But I would soon realize that this verse has a much deeper meaning than I could ever imagine.
Growing up in church, you would always hear, “Go out and be the hands and feet of Christ.” Hearing this and believing that you understand it is one thing; but actually living it out is one of the most incredible and eye-opening things that someone could ever experience. As Christ told us, we are challenged to go out and make disciples of all nations, and to be His hands and feet. One of the most astonishing things that I witnessed is that through CURE, we were able to be the hands and feet of Christ by literally healing the hands and feet of His children. It is so inspiring to see these children being healed and realizing the potential and plans that Christ has for their lives. There is no better feeling in this world than witnessing the cast removal for a 5-year-old girl who previously had clubfoot and watching her run circles around the exam room. How great is our God?
Walking around villages, speaking with these children, and seeing the pure joy in their hearts challenged every moment in my life where I thought I was struggling or my life was difficult in any way. Everyone from the Dominican Republic was so kind and humbly accepted the things we brought to them. One child we had the honor and privilege of meeting was a girl named Nasly. She previously had clubfoot, and it was amazing to see her walk around her house and hug each and every one of us. We gave her some “Play-Doh,” and it was amazing to see how excited she was over that since she had never seen anything like it before. While this may seem irrelevant, it will quickly strike you how unappreciative we are for the luxuries we have. I am so burdened as I currently sit here in my room, with unlimited access to food, water, a bed, internet… while others have nothing.
Returning home was especially difficult for my team and me. Our hearts were left in the Dominican Republic and are still there. As I laid in my bed at home after two flights, attempting to comprehend everything I had just witnessed, I was able to grasp the reality of what I had just seen the past week. The people we saw and the struggles that they deal with daily are real. The life changing surgeries we witnessed are real. The tears, the laughs, the pain, the joy, the love we were shown—all real.
Everything that CURE is, and everything that CURE represents, is founded in Jesus. Christ died for our salvation by being nailed to a cross; His hands and feet were pierced because of the love He has for us. As my team and I were in the Dominican Republic being Christ’s hands and feet, we soon realized that our hearts were pierced by Christ’s love displayed through these people. It may seem like they have nothing, but they shine the love of Christ, and it is such a joy to be a part of. CURE’s mission is “Healing the sick and proclaiming the kingdom of God,” but one of the most humbling things is the fact that the “sick” were able to give me more than I was able to give them. I am forever grateful for the people of the Dominican Republic, and for CURE for presenting me with the opportunity to see God’s work being done, and His light being shown through His people.