Mission Trip | Dominican Republic

January 29, 2014

Walking down the dirt roads, seeing dogs and cats scurrying by or lay dormant and gazing into the eyes of the children as I pas by, my heart t breaks and feels burdened for the Dominican Republic. When hit by the reality of what the world suffers with you can’t help but sit back and grasp how incredibly fortunate you are. As the emotions all came together like an arrow through my heart I understood the grace that I have received from God and the opportunity I have to share with someone the joys of having a great savior.

“Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” John Piper’s quote that played over and over in my head as I made my way through the poor, remote villages of the Dominican Republic. The reason we go on mission trips is not to just make us feel good about ourselves for doing something right. The ultimate purpose should be a desire and burden to share with someone the joy of knowing that they have a savior that desperately loves them and died for them. In the midst of their poverty, and no matter their situation, there is a joy that eclipses all of it.

This joy radiated on the faces of hundreds of families and children that literally had nothing. Some didn’t have clothes on their back, regardless, the joy brought a smile to their face and tears to my eyes.One of the churches in a tiny remote village deep into the sugar cane fields. The church was much nicer than any of the other houses in the area. Students shared their testimony through a translator and I was able to share the gospel here. A lot of these children don’t have parents in the picture or they are constantly out working in the fields for 25 cents a day. They were ecstatic that people would even come and play with them. With as much joy that we brought to them , I recieved tenfold.

We were fortunate to have been able to hand out shoes to the kids. Many of them had over 5 siblings so they would go back home, drop of their shoes to their siblings and come get more. Who would have thought shoes would bring such joy.When not in the villages we did get a chance to enjoy the beautiful beaches of the Dominican!We went to a church that was spoken soley in spanish. We had a translator for the sermon but all of the songs were in spanish. Some songs were familiar so it was a great experience to sing them in english as the members of the church sang theirs in Spanish.

As I stood singing, I was amazed. What an incredible picture of heaven this was. All tribes, tongues, and nations worshipping together, in their own languages, praising the same God. It was incredible!
This is the burial sight of Christopher Columbus. Its shaped like a cross and on social occasions turns into a lighthouse shooting off a cross-like beam into the sky.This kid was cute! He refused to wear clothes even if they tried to put them on him. The sad thing is that some of the houses are the size of 20×20 space and have up to 10 people crammed into them. They are layered with Dirt floors, ¬†stacked in with beds made out of clothes, and everything elevated because with a small storm, houses are instantly flooded.This little boy at the orphanage had more joy in heart than the pictures could contain. He loved the camera and he loved having people that cared for him. He has no parents, so for someone to pay attention to him is great than gold.This girl never said a word. NOT ONE! I tried over and over to get her to say just one thing. I tried counting, I tried making her laugh, I tried having her repeat after me… Nothing. But once I brought out the camera, her eyes spoke volumes and said every word. You could see the joy in her heart from the look in her eyes.Baseball is everything in the Dominican. Kids didn’t have much, but they had baseball and there were fields everywhere!¬†I got the pleasure of sharing my testimony and the gospel in a couple of different churches we went into. I had to have a translator because I can’t speak fluent spanish and even if I could, Dominican Spanish is much different.The kids in our group got to pass out food and toys to the families and their kids. After passing out food, some students prayed with the families and even wrote out prayers in spanish for them.After a long week, the day before we came back we enjoyed some time at Catalina Island. It was absolutely beautiful.

I took this picture with my iPhone (the terrible 4s) when we got off of the boat.Untitled_0041

This trip was an incredible experience and for those who allowed, it was life changing.
See the full set of Hi resolution images {Here}


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