Day 8

Social Media Post: This last week has literally changed us all from the first day we met with the parents just before school started to today. God has kindly met all needs for each one who is on this trip--physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually--just as He promised he would. Yesterday we enjoyed the wonders of creation at Samana and returned to find our big project--fixing up the much used church nursery and back SS room with items in them ready to be used. This morning we will be seeing the sun rise, another great promise God never fails to bring about. And then we will head to the village around the baseball field to take the last of the food and vitamins.

Post 2: We headed down to the beach this morning for one last Dominican sunrise. The seniors took the time to pray for each place they ministered, asking the Lord to use their acts of service to bless each one we touched. Thankful for each one who prayed, who gave, who bought a balloon or a cake ball so we could give and leave something in this place. In a few hours we fly home, hopefully to be better servants of the Lord. Praising Him for what He has done in this place.

Day 7 

Last evening in the DR. We had some great adventures today at Samana. We saw lots of whales, had a lovely buffet, and an afternoon in the bluest water in the world. Our bags are packed, and tomorrow morning we will head out to the village near where Robersey has the baseball ministry to deliver the last of the food bags, which will include a bottle of vitamins this time. While we were gone today, Sarah Lara finished putting things back in the nursery and SS room which was our big project for the week. We are a little sad, excited to see family, and blessed beyond measure. Thank you, SCORE International for a wonderful week, to the dozens of people who graced us with their testimonies, Erica Jude, whose week happened to coincide with ours, to the special people of this wonderful country who welcomed us with open arms, Angelo, Karleigh Jenko, and especially, Robersey and Sarah Lara who disrupted their lives to arrange the events of this week. Our hearts are full.

Day 6 

Social Media Posts: Working at the Lily House is bringing back memories to the 15 guys and four girls who made up the FCS Class of 2014. Do you remember cutting down all the brush and putting down gravel for a couple of days? It will soon be scraped up and used for a new project because the new roller skating area will be built soon. We were privileged to see the Lily execs break ground on this project today.

The seniors had the privilege of doing the program for the sweet ladies at Lily House, and we broke up in groups to be honored to pray with them. After that, they painted three bedrooms and a hall area at LH before heading out to Paloma for a service. We had a precious last devo time as each one shared what especially blessed them during this week, and we closed with singing "It Is Well with my Soul." What a beautiful way to close the evening. We will be leaving for Samana for whale watching at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow. Please continue to pray.

Post from Lily House: Ground breaking day for Lily House! After months and months of waiting (exactly 2 years to be exact), we signed contracts and dedicated the new skating rink project! Faith Christian School purchased our first skates and happened to be here to participate! We are thankful for their partnership.

God has worked in our hearts to build character and prepare each of us while we waited on Him!
Isaiah 40:31 - "But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run (skate) and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." 

Day 5

Posts on social media: Sorry to be so late with our post today, but it has been intensely busy. We started out the morning with a Jumbo run to buy fruits and vegetables as well as other supplies for the sweet people at Monte Cristi. There MIGHT have been some other shopping being done as well. I almost had to rip some DR suckers out of Mrs. Roberts’ hands to get some of my own. 

With a loaded bus and van, we headed out to the nursing home, and what a lot of things we were able to bring thanks to the help of so many people. The leaders there were VERY touched for the help. So if any of you gave adult diapers, Ensure, or medical supplies for the elders, we thank you from the bottom of their hearts.
What a blessing to have the elderly join with us on many of the songs the seniors sang. They might not have been on key, but they were right on point. Then we went to the church for a concert. First, some of their folks sang to us, and then the seniors gave their powerful drama for Pastor Geraldo, who loves the Lord and good drama. 

After a late lunch, the seniors went to the Straw Market and intended to pass out tracts on the Conde. Unfortunately, a powerful rain storm cut that short. 

No matter, the bus brought them back to SCORE just in time for the Argentine Barbeque, which helps support the national pastors who work in the churches without pay. What a blessing their testimonies were to us. We were able to bring them some great men’s ties and long sleeved dress shirts and nice shoes to enhance their Sunday wardrobes. 

Kudos to David Gregg who stayed with me and missed the “fun” at the Straw Market, and we were able to paint some of the rooms at the church.

Tomorrow is Lily House, and the girls are fixing gift bags for them. (Shhhhhhh. Don’t tell). This will be the last day of ministry. Hard to believe this very special week is almost over! Love to all.

Day 4

Morning: This is after church this morning. The seniors were packed in a relatively small room with 53 kiddos. They were impressed with the Dominican discipline system. If they didn't listen, they were banished to big church. We adults were in comfort with mostly adults. Only problem was we had to formulate our own sermons out of the book of Philippians. It was a great message the Apostle Paul gave me, and the Dominicans enjoyed Yolander.

Additional posts: I know why they call the gospel the good news--it's good news when someone accepts the Lord as Saviour. And that happened today as the seniors gave out tracts and shared the Lord at the beach today. Praise the Lord, and pray for this young lady.

Evening Post: God gave Christians a great mandate when He told His children to keep the Sabbath. For most Christians, it is a day of rest and recovery, encouragement, fellowship, and setting aside work for another day. Not so today. After the seniors did one of their children’s programs for 53 children in a rather small room, they ate lunch, took a short break, and headed back to the Juan Dolio church to work. While some of them hauled chairs outside for a good cleaning, others cleaned out the two rooms at the back of the church, which are used for nursery and preschoolers. 
FCS Class of 2011, remember painting the walls in that nursery with all manner of sea creatures and a lighthouse? Well, that much used artwork is no more. It now sports a coat of primer and is ready for a new more calming color, which will be put on tomorrow. A most interesting thing happened though: the primer neatly coated most of the images, but as hard as we tried to cover up the raised hand of Christ which was uplifted toward Peter in the scene on the seashore, the hand kept reappearing.  Almost everything else was cleanly covered (except one “AA+cad,” left there by one graffiti artist). We are going back to the paint store tomorrow to see if there is anything else we can do, except cover this artwork with a picture.

Anyway, the kids headed down to the beach, where they gave out the Wordless Book tract packets, but instead of merely handing them out, they were able to explain the tract to the recipients, and some were even prayed with. Just before they left the area, Sarah and Robersey had the kids pray over the tracts that they might find lodging in the hearts of the receivers.

Last Post: We head to Monte Christi tomorrow morning with FIVE huge suitcases of adult diapers and several large bags of medicated mouth swabs, which are used in nursing homes when the patients get mouth sores. And we are going to stop at Jumbo to get some fresh fruits and vegetables for the folks at the nursing home as well. I don't know if we’ll have room in the bus for all the coffee I hear is to be purchased.

Pray for the students as they head to Santo Domingo tomorrow to pass out tracts, try out their “flash mob,” and unload lots of pesos at the Straw Market.

Day 3

Morning Report: Beautiful morning at Los Fundos. Lots of tears shed as I was reminded that we first set foot on that place when Mali Jude was weeks old, and she is now 12. Precious time for the seniors to color the wordless book coloring tracts and hear them personally explain the meaning of each color to them.

Afternoon Report: Talk about a blast from the past, It's been two years since we were at this sweet village. Los Fundos is about a million miles from a town. The people remembered us from having been there at least 11 or 12 times. Our students played easily with the children. In fact, Alexis had to do the program with a little girl in her arms. The students shared God's gift of salvation using the Wordless Book, after which we passed those out for the children to have their own. Sarah Lara urged the students to sit with the children as they colored and pray for them. I heard Brandon McPherson explain what the colors were and reminded his little guy what they all meant. Then Sarah told me to look at the back of the church, where teenagers were watching. She said, "When you first started coming here, they were very young. Now they are teachers and youth leaders in this church." How I needed that great perspective! Faith Christian School has touched every part of this precious village--from the stain on the church, the wooden benches, the paint on the walls (many times), the Sunday School classroom, the new fence, the swing set, but, most of all, the people. As we loaded the bus to leave, I took a picture of the yard where under a tree, which isn't there any longer, it all started. I cried most of the way back to SCORE.

Day 2

The team reports that they had beautiful travels and arrived safely in Santo Domingo. They are already quite busy, and began their day preparing 150 bags of food to take to churches and village people. Mr. Hohneisen has enjoyed reuniting with old missionary friends since he missed the trip last year, and the students are taking everything in as scheduled and "rolling with the punches." 

After the students did their program at Guayacanes this morning, they enjoyed having some fun with the students there. They will be going back this afternoon to minister to a different group of students.

Another report and summary of  Day 2:  Is today only Friday? The seniors have done all or parts of their program three times today in an intense DR heat wave (for this time of year), and they have been troopers! Let’s see—we started out by making 100 bags of food to disperse throughout the week. Then we headed to the first shift of a school at Guyescanes, where they did their program for the first time. After a lunch break they went back to that school to do the program for an entirely new group of children. What is wonderful about children of any age or origin, they know how to connect. 

We returned to Juan Dolio, made a fast run to the beach just to scope it out, back for supper, and over to the Juan Dolio church to enjoy some “friendly” competition with the youth group there. Although the Dominicans outnumbered our group by three or four times, they had a contest to see who was the loudest. Obviously, we were the underdogs, and the Dominicans gleefully shouted that we were the losers—in perfect English. It was great!

Kudos to Mr. Jones, who preached three different messages today (transplanted by our SCORE guy, Angelo.
We finally got back to the hotel, and everyone jumped into the pool—with clothes on. The kids are having a great time, and we are now preparing for tomorrow. We are going to Los Fundos, where, we understand, they are eagerly awaiting our coming. It’s to be a fun day with them in the morning, and the afternoon will be a time at Pasitos Girls Home, where we have planned to give Mr. Jones a rest, and the students will be doing their Wordless Book presentation. Pray for a wonderful day there.

To all the parents who are wondering how their seniors are—THEY ARE GREAT! You would be so proud of them.

When the Senior parents met last August on Open House night and started the process of thinking about the senior mission trip, it seemed like an eternity away.  So here we are 6 1/2 months later, and we will be leaving early Thursday morning to head to Santo Domingo for a week-long adventure, experiencing the marvelous things God has prepared for us.  We are thankful for so many things; let me count the ways:

1.  Our student body has supported these seniors in many ways--the Fall Festival, the Valentine's Day fundraiser.  Some families have sacrificially given to individuals going on the trip.  We do not take this for granted.

2.  We especially want to thank the Seventh Graders who held--not one, but TWO bake sales to help feed a village.  They raised a total of $263.75!  What we loved is that effort demonstrated their putting feet to their prayers.

3.  As we go to the Dominican Republic, we can feel the support and the prayers of God's people in so many ways.  Our suitcases will be filled with items that you have sacrificially given for people you don't even know.  Thank you.

The best thing you can do for us now is to pray--hard--sacrifically--for a number of things.

The group needs to be healthy.  Many have had illnesses in the last few weeks, and this is a grueling trip.  Pray that God's hand might be upon them and heal their bodies.

Pray for receptive hearts.  The program they have worked on for many months will reach hearts who need the Lord.  We want souls to come to a saving knowledge of Christ.

  We ask that you pray for the students as they do work projects in the DR.  May their work be neat and tidy and glorifying to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pray for each team member that their desires would truly be God's desires in their lives.

Above is their prayer card picture and a link with a tentative schedule.  Pray each day for whatever they will be doing.  Sit down and pray with your children for this endeavor so they will truly be a spiritual part of this trip.  Only Heaven will know all that will be accomplished in the great things HE has done.

We dearly love our Faith Family and covet your prayers as we go.  Thank you again for enabling us to be salt and light in this dark world.

Mrs. Sherri Hohneisen, DR Trip Coordinator