Religion & Spirituality Podcas

A podcast by missionaries for missionaries, pastors, and laypeople giving them a front-row seat to mission work in the Dominican Republic. The purpose is to encourage believers in their walk of faith and give practical missional ways to reach their own community.


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A podcast by missionaries for missionaries, pastors, and laypeople giving them a front-row seat to mission work in the Dominican Republic. The purpose is to encourage believers in their walk of faith and give practical missional ways to reach their own community.





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Ink and Influence - The Authors Who Shaped Gary and Jason's Ministries

In this enriching episode, we delve into the literary influences that have shaped the ministries of Gary and Jason. Both of them agree with the adage that "leaders are readers." Numerous authors have profoundly impacted their approach to ministry, with a special focus on the late Henry Blackaby, whose works have left an indelible mark on their spiritual leadership. They explore how reading offers new perspectives and challenges and stretches one's faith and leadership abilities. The recent passing of Henry Blackaby serves as a poignant reminder of the lasting impact that thoughtful, biblically grounded authors can have on individual lives and broader ministry practices. This episode is both a tribute to the transformative power of such writers and a call to action for listeners to engage more deeply with books that advocate solid biblical principles. Join us as Gary and Jason discuss how they have translated these teachings into practical actions within their ministries and how listeners can do the same to broaden their impact. It’s a celebration of legacy and a motivational push toward personal and spiritual growth through the disciplined pursuit of knowledge and wisdom.


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The Harvest Begins - Exciting First Fruits of a New Church Plant!!!!

This episode brings you a very exciting update from Iglesia Bautista Evangelica de Macoris, which embarked on a bold mission in October 2023 to reach an unreached area of San Pedro de Macoris. Under the leadership of missionary Doug Hodges, the church has been diligently ministering to this community for the last six months. Despite the slow start and minimal spiritual fruit initially, recent developments have ignited a wave of excitement across the congregation. We're thrilled to share that three young men have recently decided to surrender to Christ. This spiritual breakthrough comes with no coercion or emotional manipulation; instead, it results from a consistent, expositional walk through the Gospel of John. The Holy Spirit is moving powerfully among us! As we celebrate these incredible victories, we also recognize the challenges ahead. Many new believers come with spiritual baggage from their backgrounds in Catholicism and Pentecostalism, which requires careful, biblically wise discipleship. This episode celebrates the recent successes and serves as a call to action for continued prayer and support. Join us to hear more about the journey so far, the transformative power of the Gospel, and how you can be a part of this exciting phase in our church’s mission.


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Passing the Torch - From Lead Pastor to National Leadership

In this exciting episode, we spotlight the remarkable journey of missionary Gary Hale, who has served for decades as both team leader and pastor of Iglesia Bautista Evangelica de Macoris in San Pedro de Macoris. After years of dedicated service, Gary felt God's call to step down and pass the pastoral baton to Carlos Rijo, a national pastor. This transition marks an exciting new chapter for the church, albeit one filled with logistical and transitional challenges. Gary and Jason delve into the intricate leadership change process, highlighting how divine intervention perfectly timed this shift. The church community is excited with anticipation, ready to embrace Pastor Carlos's fresh perspectives and renewed energy. Listen as we discuss the strategic planning involved, the congregation's emotional responses, and the hopeful outlook for the future. This episode is a profound look at how faith-led leadership transitions can propel a church into a vibrant new era of ministry in San Pedro de Macoris. Join us as we celebrate this pivotal moment and explore what it means for everyone involved.


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Never Off Duty - The Exhausting Reality of Cross-Cultural Ministry!

This episode takes a deep dive into the often-overlooked mental and emotional toll of missionary work. Serving on the mission field isn't just about spreading faith and building communities; it also involves constant cultural and linguistic navigation that can lead to severe mental exhaustion. We explore how everyday tasks, such as a simple visit to the hardware store, become complex and draining missions. Imagine not knowing the local term for a tool you desperately need, then struggling to describe it in a second language, all while potentially facing inflated prices once vendors realize you're an outsider. These scenarios represent just a fraction of the mental labor missionaries endure daily. Through stories and expert insights, we shed light on the unseen burdens of missionary work and discuss strategies for managing this relentless cognitive load. Join us as we uncover the hidden challenges of the mission field and offer hope, support, and advice to those who face them.


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Oceans Apart - Balancing Missionary Work and Aging Parents

In this heartfelt episode, we delve into the deeply personal and often painful experience of serving as a missionary abroad while dealing with the health decline of parents back in the United States. Through candid and personal stories, Jason and Gary explore the emotional and logistical challenges that come with being oceans away during such critical times. This isn't a one-size-fits-all guide but a close look at how a missionary navigates these turbulent waters. We hope to provide comfort, understanding, and encouragement to others in similar situations, offering insights into maintaining a solid spiritual walk, fulfilling duties, and handling guilt and grief while committed to a mission far from home. Tune in for a powerful discussion that seeks to support and inspire those facing this tough balancing act.


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Building Bridges and Villas! DR Vision Team's Mission to Inspire Through Hospitality

Join us as we explore the exciting new venture of our mission team, DR Vision, which is constructing a mission villa designed to host visiting groups in the Dominican Republic. This episode dives into how the villa will not only serve as a retreat but also as a strategic hub for spiritual enrichment. The intentionally immersive environment aims to deeply impact guests and inspire them to consider a deeper commitment to missions. Hear how this space has been strategically designed to nurture guests' spiritual journeys and potentially draw more individuals into full-time missionary work. Whether you're a missions veteran or just curious about the process, this episode will provide a unique look into how physical spaces can be crafted with spiritual purposes in mind.


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Playing for a Higher Purpose! - Blending Sports and Salvation with Special Guests Greg and Tanner Hughes - Part 2

This is the second of two episodes featuring Greg and Tanner Hughes. Greg has been involved in sports as a platform to reach young men with the gospel for many years. Tanner has not only been privileged to see his dad's passion for using sports as a vehicle for the gospel, but he has been a direct beneficiary of that same investment through his university soccer coach. As you finish this second of two podcast episodes, you are guaranteed to be both challenged and blessed. You might even hear about a few well-known sports personalities that Greg has had the privilege of knowing through using sports as a platform to minister to the hearts of athletes!


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Playing for a Higher Purpose! - Blending Sports and Salvation with Special Guests Greg and Tanner Hughes - Part 1

Gary and Jason had the tremendous opportunity to interview Greg and Tanner Hughes. Greg has had the unique opportunity to use sports as a platform for the gospel for many years. In this episode, as well as the next, learn how the gospel permeates everything, including sports. In some countries the sports give a bridge to the gospel that otherwise would not exist. Listen in as Greg shares about the countless lives that have been eternally changed through the tremendous platform of sports. You will definitely enjoy this episode!


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Dominican Dynamics - Loud Music And A Lively Gospel

In this episode, both Gary and Jason talk about some of the things that can be a bit frustrating at times; like loud music! Latin cultures love their loud music. Often times the music is so loud that the people who are listening to it cannot even talk with each other because of the volume. Although the loud music can be a bit frustrating at times, this love for loud also spills into other areas of Dominican culture like street preaching. There are many street preachers in the Dominican who preach and yell so loud that it is nearly impossible to understand what they are saying! The discussion of loud music and loud preaching led Jason and Gary down the trail of discussing how we contextualize the gospel in a way that it is understood. Contextualization had nothing to do with a compromise on doctrine, but rather the manner in which the gospel is presented so that the hearer can understand in their own cultural way. Don't worry! Gary and Jason didn't convert into wind-sucking preachers who yell at every street corner, but their observations of culture do play a significant part in how they prepare and share. Listen to how contextualization is important in every culture including American culture!


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Beyond the Pews - A Dominican Chapel's Birth!

As many have already heard, a new chapel ministry has been started in San Pedro De Macoris, Dominican Republic. In this episode, Gary and Jason talk about the dynamics of starting an outreach ministry and delve into some of the finer points of training up leaders to send them out to do the work of the ministry. If you like pioneer missions and discipleship in motion, you are sure to love this episode!


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Cultivating Growth Circles: The Delicate Dance of Choosing Your Tribe

Our company can profoundly influence the patterns we create in the vibrant mosaic of life. Gary and Jason delve deep into a seemingly simple yet significant question: How crucial is it to curate a circle that resonates with our values and catalyzes our growth? This episode isn’t just a contemplation; it’s a navigation guide through the intricate labyrinth of human relationships. As our dynamic duo unpacks the question, they shine a light on the dual-edged sword of community. While the right tribe can propel you to unparalleled heights of growth, a misstep in this selection can lead to a dilemma of complications. The conversation takes a critical turn as they broach the silent, often unnoticed specter of covert narcissism lurking in some church corners. With wisdom and discernment, they explore its manifestations and offer sage advice on guarding against its subtle influences. But it's not all cautionary tales. At the heart of this episode is the beautiful affirmation of the power of constructive criticism. Inviting candid feedback, when sourced from trusted quarters, can be the crucible in which leadership is refined and spiritual journeys are enriched. Join Gary and Jason in this riveting discussion, packed with actionable insights, and discover the art and science of curating a circle that challenges, cherishes, and champions your growth. As you tune in, be prepared to reflect, recalibrate, and reimagine the possibilities of your personal and spiritual evolution.


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Navigating Faith’s Framework: The Multi-faceted Ministry Approach

Dive into an illuminating journey as Gary and Jason tackle a profound and often unspoken question: Why might pastors harbor reservations about discipleship? The ministry landscape is vast and varied, and understanding the intricate web of emotions, traditions, and strategies is no simple feat. This episode unfolds the rich tapestry of ministry approaches that Gary, Jason, and their dedicated team adopted. While the pulpit's voice is undeniably vital, it is one note in the symphony of spiritual growth. Alongside it, the intimate circles of small groups and the profound depths of personal discipleship play pivotal roles, each thread coming together harmoniously to craft a comprehensive strategy for nurturing disciples of Jesus. Yet, there are undercurrents of apprehension in some pastoral corners. Is it the daunting weight of control? Or perhaps age-old traditions casting long shadows that curtail believers' growth? Gary and Jason, with wisdom and compassion, delve into these nuances, urging pastors and church leaders to reflect, realign, and rejuvenate their approaches. This episode is more than a conversation; it's a heartfelt invitation. A call to pastors and believers alike to introspect, to challenge the status quo, and to continually seek the most impactful avenues to guide souls towards the embrace of Jesus Christ. Join our hosts on this enlightening journey, and let’s together champion the cause of authentic discipleship.


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From Pulpit to Personal: The Tapestry of Faith

In the intricate dance of faith, every step, grand or gentle, plays a crucial role. In this evocative episode, Gary and Jason delve into the harmonious synergy between pulpit ministry, intimate small groups, and one-on-one discipleship – and how they weave a potent tapestry of spiritual growth and transformation in the journey of following Jesus. Amidst this rich discussion, our hosts unveil a recent, profound chapter from the annals of IBEM. A moment that shook the very foundations of the congregation: a beloved female member faced the life-altering specter of a brain aneurysm. A situation that many would see as a shadow of impending tragedy instead shone a light on divine intervention and the resilient spirit of the church. As you listen, be prepared to be moved by the awe-inspiring account of how God miraculously intervened and harnessed this event as a beacon of hope, unity, and motivation. Witness how a potential crisis transformed into an unparalleled testament of faith, uniting believers closer than ever and reinforcing the belief in God, grace, and His omnipotence. This isn't just an episode; it's a pilgrimage through the valleys and peaks of faith, a story of unwavering trust and the indomitable power of community. Join Gary and Jason as they celebrate this testament to God's love and its role in fortifying the faithful, challenging them to see the silver linings even in the stormiest clouds.


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Biblical Perspectives Of Eternity - Celebration of Life Service for Carol Smith (Message by Greg Smith)

Hey there, it's Jason! Today's episode is a bit different. There's no polished introduction, and I'm flying solo without Gary. But it's special because it's centered around someone who holds a profound place in my life - Greg Smith. This is an audio of him preaching the celebration of life service for his beloved late wife, Carol. Let's journey back to 1992. I was lucky enough to cross paths with Greg Smith during a mission trip to Cancun, Mexico, an experience organized for our high school graduating class. It was there where Greg had devoted many years of his life to serving the people of Cancun. Though our time together was brief, life had other plans for us. The whirlwind of my youth and the absence of social media meant we lost touch. I was just a young, clueless 18-year-old then, with a lot to learn. Time flew, and I found my calling. My first immersive experience was at a language school in Costa Rica. From there, my journey took me to Venezuela for four soul-enriching years, and now, my heart has found its home in the Dominican Republic. God, with His mysterious ways, reconnected me with Greg. Was it through Facebook? Honesty, I don't remember. Our conversations moved from typed words to video chats, eventually becoming our cherished weekly tradition. We dive deep into discussions about language, culture, and, above all, our faith in Jesus. I'm grateful to have Greg as not just a friend but also as a guiding mentor in my life. His wisdom is unparalleled. If there's one thing I'd want for all of you, it's to have a friend like Greg. Someone who doesn't just speak about the gospel but embodies it in every action, every thought, every breath. I offer this episode as a source of challenge and encouragement. It touched the deepest corners of my heart, and I hope it does the same for you. Don't just preach the gospel; live it!


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Reliving Old Memories: Funny Moments From Gary and Jason's Youth!

This light-hearted episode goes back into Gary and Jason's youth. They talk about things that they did as kids. They also share some interesting outdoor anecdotes and experiences that are a bit humorous! This episode is guaranteed to make you laugh!


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Unity in Diversity: Heartfelt Chronicles of a Transcultural Ministry Team

In the tapestry of ministry, the threads of diverse experiences, backgrounds, and cultures often weave the most vivid and touching stories. For Jason and Gary, their journey has been dotted with vibrant hues of camaraderie and collaboration that transcends borders and boundaries. This episode delves deep into what it means to be part of a ministry team that is a melting pot of cultures and personalities. From the Dominican Republic's passionate rhythms to the Americans' eclectic energies, this collective is a living testament to unity in diversity. But it's not just about differences. It's about a shared purpose, a common heartbeat, and a genuine love that binds everyone together, whether they're "gringos" or Dominicans. Listen in as Gary and Jason recount soul-stirring narratives of deep-seated bonds they've forged. This episode isn't just a chronicle of ministry adventures; it's a celebration of human connections, of the kind of relationships that remind us that, at our core, we all seek understanding, acceptance, and love. Dive into this heartwarming journey with Gary and Jason and discover the magic that happens when diverse souls unite for a shared mission.


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From Inspection to Inspiration: The Unexpected Pathways of Mission Life in the Dominican Republic

Missionary adventures aren’t always about the adrenaline-charged moments or the grand gestures. More often than not, it’s the quiet undertones, the patient efforts, and the deliberate weaving of threads that connect souls. In the vast landscape of missionary endeavors, the "low and slow" process of nurturing community relationships truly stands the test of time. Gary and Jason pull back the curtain on one such serendipitous episode in this captivating episode. A routine ministry inspection by the Dominican government, an event most would consider bureaucratic and mundane, transformed into a providential platform for the Gospel. Journey with them as they narrate how an encounter with an inspector became so much more - a stirring testament to God's ability to work in every situation. But there’s more. The commitment to transparency, compliance, and genuine partnership with local authorities speaks volumes. As Gary and Jason delve into their experience, it becomes clear that their dedication isn't just to the letter of the law but, more importantly, to represent the spirit of Christ in every interaction. Their tale is one of faith, integrity, and divine orchestration. Join us for this episode as we explore how the genuine desire to collaborate and build bridges in the Dominican Republic creates opportunities for the Gospel and exemplifies the very essence of Christ’s teachings. It’s a story of hope, resilience, and the unexpected blessings that emerge when faith meets action.


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A Tapestry of Tales: Culture, Language, and the Vibrancy of Field Family Life

Navigating family life amidst the vast expanse of global terrains can weave stories that are nothing short of extraordinary. When the rich tapestry of diverse cultures and linguistic nuances merge with the day-to-day intricacies of life, it births tales that are both heartwarming and hilariously unpredictable. In this somewhat humorous episode, our dynamic duo, Gary and Jason, delve deep into their treasure trove of memories from the field. From navigating perplexing health challenges in uncharted territories to the comedic pitfalls of grappling with new languages - their stories promise a roller-coaster of emotions. So, buckle up for a journey across borders and into the heart of family life with Gary and Jason. It’s not just an episode; it’s a testament to the beautiful chaos that defines life on the field. Whether you've lived it or just dreamt of it, this episode will leave you enriched, amused, and craving for more.


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Unshakable Faith: The Life and Legacy of Margarita

In this podcast episode, hosts Jason and Gary delve into the profound impact of a church member named Margarita who recently lost her battle with cancer. Gary and Jason talk about Margarita's life and how even in her death, Christ was magnified. They also address the unique challenges missionaries face when dealing with deaths and funerals, mainly due to cultural differences and nuances. Funerals can be uncomfortable for missionaries due to unfamiliar cultural customs and traditions. However, they emphasize that despite these cultural variations, the most important thing for believers is to rally around those who have lost a loved one and demonstrate the love and support of Christ. As Jason and Gary reflect on Margarita's funeral, they highlight how her life was a powerful testimony for Christ. Her unwavering faith, love for others, and commitment to living for Christ indelibly impacted everyone who knew her. Tears may have been shed, but her funeral was anything but ordinary. It became a celebration of her extraordinary journey and the eternal hope she found in Christ. Join Jason and Gary as they delve into Margarita's remarkable story, drawing important lessons about living wholeheartedly for Christ, even in death. Prepare to be encouraged, inspired, and challenged to magnify Christ in your own life.


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Empowering Connections: The Role of the Local Sending Church in Missionary Life

Join Gary and Jason, two seasoned missionaries serving in the Dominican Republic, as they delve into the pivotal role of the local sending church in the life of a missionary. In this episode of "Empowering Connections," explore the sending church's profound impact on both the missionary and the local congregation. Discover how the sending church serves as a vital support system, uplifting and encouraging the missionary and their family and reaping significant benefits for the local church itself. Gary and Jason share personal experiences and heartfelt stories highlighting the transformative power of establishing a direct connection between the sending church and the missionary in the field. Uncover how the sending church is pivotal in building up and equipping the missionary, providing the necessary spiritual, emotional, and practical support they need to fulfill their calling. From prayer networks and financial assistance to regular communication and visits, they explore how the sending church can strengthen the missionary's resolve and impact on the mission field. Moreover, Gary and Jason delve into the symbiotic relationship between the sending church and the local congregation. They discuss how supporting a missionary allows the church members to engage with missions on a personal and organic level, cultivating a heart for global outreach within the congregation. By directly connecting to the missionary and witnessing the transformative work firsthand, church members are inspired and challenged to serve in mission work themselves. Discover the ripple effect of missionary support as it permeates the local church, fostering a missions-minded culture that extends far beyond the missionary's specific field of service. Gary and Jason share stories of how mission involvement has renewed passion, purpose, and unity in congregations, ultimately fueling the Great Commission. Explore the profound role of the local sending church in the life of a missionary. Gain insights into how investing in the missionary's journey not only encourages the missionary and their family but also ignites a missional flame within the church, prompting members to engage in global outreach and fulfill their own calling in spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Get ready to be inspired, challenged, and equipped as Gary and Jason shed light on the incredible synergy that emerges when the local sending church and the missionary work hand in hand, creating a powerful force for global impact and transformation.