Last August, I toured the construction site for the new worship center for Iglesia Bautista Internacional (IBI) in Santo Domingo. IBI was the hosting church for an international conference I was attending called Por Su Causa, which drew thousands of people from numerous Latin American nations to the capital city of the Dominican Republic. During Por Su Causa, held in a conference center downtown, the event organizers ran advertisements for a women's conference to be held the following February with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. The building was still just a shell, but everyone on the team had a big dream: to finish in time to host the coming Revive Our Hearts Conference in their new building.
Tonight I landed in Santo Domingo once again and walked into the Revive Our Hearts Conference--which was being held in the new IBI building. It was an impressive feat, and a physical representation of the faithful perseverance and Godward trust of the people of IBI. The building, gleaming in the warm Dominican evening, was faintly redolent of new paint. Inside were 3,000 women eager to hear Nancy encourage them with the Word of God. I've found that Dominicans are among the most hospitable of peoples, but it's my opinion that the members of IBI are superlative in this regard.
After an extended time of passionate worship in Spanish, Nancy greeted the women assembled with the news that this was actually her second trip to the Dominican Republic. The first was when Nancy's mother, a new bride in her first trimester of pregnancy, toured the country with her husband to share the gospel. This elicited waves of appreciative laughter from the women assembled as her words were translated into Spanish.
"Satisfying Our Thirst" was Nancy's first message of the conference, based on the account of the Samaritan woman who encountered Jesus at the well. After teaching through this John 4 passage, Nancy asked the women to consider the things they run to for satisfaction and why that happens. "It's our need that makes us a candidate for God's grace," she said. "Anything that makes me need God is a blessing."
After exploring the many distractions and empty comforts of this life, Nancy then took us to the wonderful promise of John 7:37-38 when Jesus stood up in the temple and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" Jesus does not leave us thirsting after things that don't satisfy. He is faithful to satisfy our deepest longings in Him.
I am eager to see what the Lord will be doing as this conference unfolds. It's a privilege to participate in it.
Photos: The photo at the top is of Marcia Calderon, who was managing the construction of the new IBI building. She is standing in the center of the IBI church building last August. And the photo below is inside IBI tonight!