After years of “talking about doing it,” my wife and I sold nearly everything (read as: God got rid of all our excuses) and went into medical missions. We have been in the Methodist Church for years and regularly pick up The Upper Room to read daily.
Our first place to work overseas was in Santo Domingo, The Dominican Republic and before going, I checked the United Methodist Church web site for churches or gatherings around Santo Domingo and found one. We arrived on December 29th so that the next two-month edition of The Upper Room had come out and we took that with us. However, we started to feel a little lost toward the end of February as we got closer and closer to the end of that issue.
One day while I was in the Supermercado Nacional (supermarket), the cover of a booklet in a rack next to the checkout counter caught my eye. The writing was in Spanish and was not familiar, but the way the cover was designed looked awfully familiar. "Hmm—El Aposento Alto—I wonder what that is?" I though.
The word “Aposento” was not familiar but turned out to be another word for “room.” “Aposento Alto” = “Upper Room”. Wow! Right there in Santo Domingo and even where I could find nothing about the Methodist Church, there was The Upper Room, and an early morning Spanish lesson rolled into one. Later, the magazine stopped appearing every two months, but I found it on the Internet so that I could continue to read it every day, I could read meditations there even after we moved to Honduras for five months and now I read it in Beijing, China (although most of the time there is this thing known as “The Great Firewall of China” which prevents us).
The greatest thing about the discovery of El Aposento Alto was that when I met someone who natively spoke and read in Spanish, I could recommend a daily devotional that they could find in their native tongue. Great work there at The Upper Room!
Ted Beemer, MD and Susan Beemer are currently with CURE International in Beijing, China.