Overcoming Obstacles

Dominique DuPar, National Acteens Panelist

“I can do all things through Christ Jesus that strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13, ESV)

Every year my church sends missionaries out to share the gospel with people around the world. I happen to be one of the youngest missionaries who is sent, and I try to go on each and every missionary trip.

This summer, we went to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Our plan was to go to the villages and schools to speak of God's power and wonder and to tell others how Jesus died for our sins.


For over 6 months, we labored over learning stories and songs and how to share our own testimonies. We had no idea that the location we were going to was Muslim territory. When we got to Tanzania, we learned we could not even mention Jesus’ name. This was so stressful for us. We didn't know how to share the word of God without mentioning His Son.

The next obstacle we faced was the size of the school we would visit. We thought the schools had around 150-200 students. When we got there, we learned the school had around 700 kids.

With multiple obstacles, our team started to become weary and discouraged. At that point I knew I had to step up and lead them. I could not let the others know that I was just as worried as them. I wanted to do all I could to help everyone remain positive. Actually, my positivity was so overwhelming, that my team thought I was a little crazy!

When they asked me why I was not worried about this situation, I simply stated Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”


This verse became very real to me four years ago when I had major brain surgery to remove a tumor the size of a tennis ball. My illness started with a headache. After a month, it went from headache to migraine. It grew worse and worse, until I could not take the pain anymore. My parents took me to different doctors, but they always came back with the same results: “She has a sinus infection.”

The night we found out about the tumor, I was getting ready to go to my band concert. When my mom was combing my hair, she noticed my forehead was protruding. She said I looked like a character from Star Trek. Instantly, Mom rushed me to the hospital. A CT-scan revealed a mass, but the doctors needed a closer look.

After having an MRI, at around 1:00 a.m. a nurse burst into my room and yelled, “We gotta' get you out of here!” At first, I honestly thought she had the wrong room, but she did not.

They rushed me to ICU, and a nurse came in to explain what was about to happen, “We are going to shave your hair off in the front, cut your scalp from side to side, cut your skull, remove the tumor, replace your skull with a plate, and then we’ll staple you back up.” My procedure would begin that morning at 6:00 a.m.

The week after surgery, it was difficult for me to return to my routine, but I managed to pull through. I was supposed to be homeschooled for a year, but I went back to school three months after my surgery. 

This experience changed my entire family’s outlook on life. We now understand that a loved one can leave your life in the blink of an eye, so we should appreciate every moment.

And, God's promise continues to carry me. Truly, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

By Dominique DuPar, 2019 National Acteens Panelist


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