Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Day 6 - Our Final Day

What an incredible week it has been here in the Dominican Republic. We have helped so many people and touched so many lives as they have touched ours as well. I have mostly worked at the construction site at La Lechosa this week, It has been hard work, but we made a lot of progress and it is awesome to know that one day the school will be filled with children. This has been an amazing experience for me and I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity. I know that God's will has been done through us this week and it is a wonderful feeling to know that we are truly making a difference in the lives of these people.
                           -Samuel Oliver

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Day 5 - Tuesday

So I've been trying to think all week of some way to describe how I feel when I'm on mission trips , but I still can't find a way to put it into words. Instead, I'm going to try to describe the feeling I get when I'm working with the people in this country.

This metaphor has a bit of a story behind it and will be really obscure and completely random but I hope it will make sense in the end. As a lot of you will already know, the team took a few hours off on Sunday to relax at the beach. The best part about that experience, in my mind, was the mother of all sunburns that I got in the short 3 hour period we were there. Needless to say, I put layers upon layers of aloe vera on my burn and collapsed onto my bed (without showering or changing clothes). The feeling that I get when I work with the amazing people here is the same feeling I will get tonight when I climb into bed: the sudden realization that I still have a layer of sand in my bed.

What I mean by that is that we are only with these groups of people for a short time (like the short 3 hours we spent at the beach), whether working in different bateys every day or on the same site with construction, but I always get the feeling that weeks from now, or even years from now, someone that I had an impact on (hopefully not one that is as uncomfortable as sand in the bed) will remember that a random group of Americans came to them and showed them a small glimpse of God's love. Just like how I tell myself to wash off the sand before sleeping, maybe they will think of the way that we touched their lives and will make an effort to do the same to someone else in their own lives.

Jake Perkins

Monday, June 1, 2015

Day 4 - Monday

After a somewhat slow start with water filter distribution, we truly hit our stride today.  Although I used the descriptor "slower", we nevertheless have installed roughly two-thirds of the filters we brought.  We are working at Batay Peligro.  It is a large batay and it is on the low end of the poverty scale for batays (yes, there are relative differences in batay poverty).  What has significantly helped our filter distribution effort is the placement of "Health Promoters" at the batays.  These folks are batay residents who are affiliated with Good Samaritan Hospital.  Our first stop is with the promoter who will develop a list of residents with locations for filter installation.  The list becomes a "living" document since it grows in length as word circulates about the filters.

Today, our team included in addition to myself, Chris and Olivia Carroll plus two staff members from the mission.  I took the first visit while Chris observed.  After completing the filter pitch, I requested Alex (our interpreter) to tell the resident that I would like to pray for her.  She wasted no time telling Alex that she wanted to invite Jesus into her heart! After praying with her, I walked out of her residence with Chris saying, " Talk about a baptism under fire!"  The story gets better: Chris had the identical experience with his first visit!

We continued installing and praying with the residents until we depleted the number of filters transported for today.  There are some pictures of our day provided below (the first three).  Note Olivia interacting with the children: she was great!  We intend to pick up at Batay Peligro tomorrow morning. Glenn just interrupted me as I am writing this blog to offer a word of support concerning the great day we had today.  We agreed that our filter installation rate could be much  faster than what we have established.  However, our experience today has confirmed that taking the time to pray with these folks is much more important than a filter per hour metric.

Mike K.

(Edited 6/1/2015 @ 9:21 pm CST to add additional pictures of construction team)