SRT in the Dominican Republic

 

A friend of Silver Ring Thing, Bethany, is currently serving as a missionary in the Dominican Republic. Bethany attended an SRT event when she was in seventh grade and has been wearing a silver ring ever since.

In August, she had an amazing opportunity to talk to pre-teens and teens about relationships and saving sex for marriage. Check out her story below and how she took Silver Ring Thing all the way to the Dominican Republic!

With every team that comes to the Dominican Republic there are always ‘charlas’ or chats planned for the community. Some are for men on how to be a Godly father and others for women on prayer and fellowship. Our biggest focus this year was talking with teenagers about relationships and abstaining from sex.

The Dominican Republic ranks number five in the world for teenage pregnancies and many start to explore or are exposed to sexual relationships by the age of 12. In response to these statistics, schools and pastors have allowed our team to speak freely about the topic.

Through these talks we hope to bring awareness to teen pregnancy, to break the teen pregnancy cycle and to show teens there is another way, God’s way.

Using various visual aids, photos and testimonies we shared our hearts and the Lord’s heart for relationships and sex. In a large group setting we discuss the creation of man, woman and God’s plan for sex. We talked about The Fall where sin entered the world and how our physical choices in relationships can have negative effects on our hearts, minds and bodies.

From there, we talked about anatomy, physiology, STD’s and the emotional baggage we can carry as a result. We also incorporate a testimony from a team member that illustrations their struggle with God, relationships, sex and how the Lord has redeemed their story.

We always end the group discussion with the hope, love and redemption of Jesus Christ.

We then split up into boys and girls and had them write anonymous questions for us to answer. The question and answer time is my favorite part of the teen talk. It allows for more vulnerability from the girls and it is a time I got to share my testimony of waiting for my husband.

IMG_8697 “On my wedding day,” I shared, “I cannot wait to take off my ring and hand it to him saying ‘I waited for you.’”

I showed them my silver ring, challenged them to find an accountability partner and a piece of jewelry they already own to illustrate the commitment (or re-commitment) to wait for their husband.

This beautiful Dominican woman came to the front and shared her testimony as well.

She moved in with an older man at the age of 12, by 14 she was pregnant and the man abandoned them shortly after her son was born. Years later, she met a good man and is now married to him. She expressed how important it is to talk with your family and reach out if you are in trouble. She pleaded with the group to not ignore what we are saying because in end you can save yourself from a lot of heartache.

Wow. Her testimony was the perfect way to end our questions and answer segment. I praise God for her boldness to share her story.

It came as a shock to our group to have a church full of 70+ teenage boys and girls waiting for us! In the past, we’ve had less than 40 teens attend.

Each child was glued to our speakers and especially during the testimony at the end of the large group. I will never forget the part when our speaker said, “Boys, take a look at your sisters in Christ. Take care of them, respect them, and protect them!” I still get goosebumps just thinking about how the Holy Spirit worked that day.

Please join me in praying for the teens and young people in the Dominican Republic. The Lord is in the business of redemption and making beauty out of ashes. I am excited to see what God can do in this next generation.

¡Dios de bendiga!

– Bethany

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