Dominican Republic – Update #2

Today we spent our last day with Pastor Wesley & his church. In the morning we installed the last of the water filters and saw parts of that community we had not yet seen. We even encountered a few goats along the way. After lunch, we put on another skit… this time about God’s mercy and forgiveness. The kids really seemed to enjoy that. We sang and danced to “Lean on Me” and learned “this little light of mine” in Spanish. we were able to connect with the kids again even with the language barrier. after that we played kickball & other games with the kids, embracing every moment we had left with them. Before we left we were graciously thanked with kind words from Pastor Wesley and his wife along with a cake. Collectively, we all put some cash together and donated $210 to help Pastor Wesley continue with his ministry in the church & school. We have built such a unique relationship with him by watching him interact with the community. He never turns a child away from his school, he feeds, educates, and loves them just like Jesus. 

It’s been very hot – but we have made the best of being sweaty and gross. After we returned to our “base church”, we had some time to relax, play with the local kids, and further build relationships with the group who we share this space with before dinner. After dinner we had a meeting with JC to reflect on the trip thus far. Many of us shared thoughts and memories that have impacted us one way or another. 

I think a big theme of this trip has been adaptability. We have taken every obstacle with grace and made it into something beautiful. I credit a lot of this to what we have learned from the people we have been serving. While they have so little possessions, they have so much love and joy. They adapt to their situation in the most wonderful way possible. They never give up on their faith, they have hope for the future, even when they literally don’t have food to eat or a bed to sleep in. We have been patient and creative in any challenge we have faced – yet these “challenges” for us are the reality of these people. Tonight during our meeting JC told us that we’re “doing”. He praised us for sleeping on air mattress, showering with buckets, and handling the heat. My instant thoughts came from the book “Love Does” by Bob Goff. In the book he says “I used to think you had to be special for God to use you. But now I know you simply need to say yes.” We all chose to be here because we said yes to the love in our hearts. We aren’t playing the role of God, we aren’t bringing God to these people, they know God and they know we are here because God’s love isn’t stationary, it does.

— Mackenzie Hodgson, Student Leader

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