s-dr trip 2020

March 5-12, 2020 

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Thursday, March 5: FCS people, I wish you could have seen the plethora of wonderful things we unpacked sent by the Faith families for the DR trip. I wish I had taken a picture. Thanks to you, we have thousands of vitamins, clothing, medical shipment, etc. that can bless the people here. Thank you for your support and prayers. Don't stop. We want God to work in hearts and lives as well as in bodies. Tomorrow morning we will be going to Lily House to minister and paint. What a blessing to get to know these precious ladies.

BUSY, busy day. We started out hearing the sweet testimonies of some local pastors who procured food so we could put together 100 bags of groceries which will feed a family for several days. We gave the workroom at Lily House a fresh coat of paint. Later in the morning the seniors ministered to the ladies, and the ladies ministered to them. We finished with a second coat of paint in the workroom. This evening the seniors did some of their program for about 50 local young people. Tomorrow we are concentrating on baseball and baseball families. Thanks much for your prayers.

Friday-Saturday, March 6-7: Our three senior all-stars played with Dominicans and did a decent job. Jacob is giving his testimony before they have devos. Rest of the group gave out tract packets and played with the neighborhood children. It was a really great icebreaker for all. This afternoon we are giving out tracts on the beach and taking food, vitamins, and hygiene bags to the players' homes. Having a great time.

The end of another very busy day. Only time and skill will tell who will go home happier. Our Carolina guys did a great job assisting the team to a win in the baseball game this morning while the rest of the group gave out tracks and surpassed a language barrier by playing with some of the children.

After lunch we loaded up with tract packets and headed for the beach, after which we loaded the bus with food bags,hygiene bags, and vitamins for many of Robersey's baseball guys' families. Many of them graciously invited us in, and the students and adults became quieter as they realized how very much they had compared to some of these families.

One lady, who had just had a baby had nothing to make for supper. The food bag provided that for the family. Another bag was left at the home of a particularly sad situation. The mother had moved away, and the father, when he came around, was abusive. This bag of food provided for him.
Tomorrow we will be going to a village church to present the program, eat lunch, and paint a bit in their church.

My heart is full while still feeling a bit guilty for God's grace in my life compared to some of these situations. We just have no idea.

Sunday, March 8: What an eventful day! We went to a little village where we were invited by a local pastor. The students did much of their program before they exited with a large group of children. After Robersey Lara gave a great message, we adults changed clothes to paint the bottom part of the sanctuary walls and several rooms. After lunch we delivered food bags to every family in the village--about 30 families. We asked if how we could pray for their families and prayed for each one. So precious.

When we came back to SCORE, we stopped at Robersey and Sarah Lara’s house where they had a huge palm tree filled with coconuts. What a great experience. Former coconut haters loved eating it.

Precious devos tonight as the students shared their blessings and impressions of things. Pray for the group tomorrow as they go to Casa de Luz, an orphanage for handicapped children. Having an amazing time.

Monday, March 9: Sometimes we have to do hard things as we minister. I'm pretty sure taking the seniors to a handicapped orphanage wasn't top on the list of exciting things to do while on a mission trip. I'm sure there were thoughts of "I'm afraid I won't know what to do or how to act." I know that because they were my thoughts once upon a time as well. But we are obligated to consider the whole counsel of God, not merely the ones that makes us feel good or the ones we prefer.

So we started the day with a stop at a grocery store to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and diapers of all sizes to add to the 150 pounds of rice, 50 pounds of beans and other bulk foods we had already purchased.
Then we headed to Casa de Luz (house of light) to visit about 40 severely handicapped Dominican children of all ages. It wasn't easy, but the students were wonderful as they loved on and played with these children who were left by their parents because they could not or would not care for them.

We were told by the pastor/director they were "given" $2000 a month by the government for their care, while being taxed the same amount each month. But for a couple of hours, we tried to bring some joy into these young lives and encourage their care givers.

It was quiet as we left to continue on to busy Santo Domingo to shop and distribute tracts. Several had opportunities to talk to people and feed pigeons. But my heart keeps running back to Casa de Luz.

Tuesday, March 10: There is definitely a story behind this picture. You see, Adeline lives a bit dangerously, so Rob is trying to "train" her to respond to his resounding "NO!!!!!!" This morning Rob had his sunglasses on so she didn't recognize him. She was fun and funny with him because she didn't know him. Once he took the glasses off, it was game on again.

Great morning at Jumbo as the seniors bought them out of Dominican suckers and coffee for souvenirs while Hector and I bought fresh produce for the nursing home. Then we headed to Monte Cristy nursing home. The residents there enjoyed the program, and they taught us some of their Haitian songs as well. Sweet morning.

Great afternoon. We "blessed" the teachers at the local school, as Sarah Lara put it. During their lunch break between shifts, we did the program, Mr. H shared the plan of salvation, and we have them food bags and treat bags full of goodies. After lunch we took all the bulk food down to Lily House, after which the seniors enjoyed the new Skate Park, while the adults laughed at the skate newbies. Good day, good day. SCORE night tonight; then we head out to Samana for whale watching. These kids are having the time of their lives.

Wednesday, March 11: 500 a.m. came early as we made our way to Samana for a morning of whale watching. Two whales hovered closely to our circle of boats and showed off magnificently. We've seen more whales on previous trips, but never so closely. We then enjoyed several hours at an island paradise before making our way back to SCORE. Now, for Hector's pizza.

Thursday, March 12: Last day in the Dominican Republic. As is tradition, we headed down to the beach to see the sun rise. We challenged these eleven to allow the things they learned to change them--to see the world differently--to see what they can do to go, to give, to pray. To see the missionaries who visit their churches in the States differently, to be a blessing in school as they were a blessing to these newly found Dominican friends. May they be more grateful for the privileges they have, and may their hearts be enlarged to spread the love of Jesus Christ to all they meet. We leave the DR at 3:30. Please pray for safe travels and a good recovery from a busy week.

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