Saturday, March 19, 2016

Back Home

We arrived back home safely late last night.  The mission trip team would like to thank everyone for their prayers during the trip and we look forward to sharing with the church some of the experiences from the trip in an upcoming worship service.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Day 5 - 3/17/16

WOW!  What a week!
I have not had the varied experiences of others in our group because I have been working in the medical clinic all week. But I have so enjoyed our devotional time each night where we learn what the rest of our group has done that day.  And the work in the clinic has been a very rewarding, and yet sombering experience.  Each day we have set up a medical clinic in a location that does not usually have anything to do with medicine: twice in a church, once in a tiny three room schoolhouse, and today in a structure with 4 walls, a dirt floor and half a roof.  And each time, it has worked somehow.  When we arrived at today’s site, it took some imagining and pondering to figure out how in the world we could set up the two doctors, dentist, blood pressure station, deworming station and pharmacy on the rocky, uneven dirt floor in the space we had to work with.  But Glenn, along with the wise and experienced Dominican folks quickly figured out a workable setup.  Then, we were told that VBS, which is usually held in a nearby but separate location, would have to be held within the same 4 walls and half roof as the medical clinic!  But God and His people can always make things happen, and over the next hours, 113 patients were seen (the most we’ve seen in one day all week), over 300 prescriptions were dispensed, multiple teeth were pulled, and a great Bible School was held! 
This week, we have seen people struggle to get to a medical clinic, wait in both rain and blazing sun to see a doctor, and we’ve seen the relief and gratitude on their faces when they’ve received medication to ease their pain and suffering.  Others in our group have seen faces light up when they taste clean water in their own home for the first time.  Still others have felt the satisfaction of helping build sturdy homes for sugarcane workers in Batey 106, and a school in a desperately poor barrio.  We’ve all seen the joy and excitement felt by the local children when we come to their neighborhood, whether it’s for VBS, construction, water or medical clinic.  They know that we will play with them, hold them, paint their fingernails, sing with them, color with them, share snacks with them, and do our very best to share God’s love with them.  We have also made new friendships with the students and their leaders from Schreiner University, as well as the interpreters, doctors, and all the staff of Casa Pastoral. 
WOW!  What a week!

Julie Wills

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Day 4 - 3/16/16

Today was my first experience with the water purification system installation.  Jeff and I decided to stretch ourselves and do something other than construction.  The assembly of the systems went very quickly and we were ready to get started distributing them to the designated families.  Keith Woodard did the first installation, then we looked up and the other translator and a good chunk of the team were off at another home.  I instructed the next installation after only hearing the presentation one time.  Thank goodness for translator Alex, who filled in the gaps.  It was so precious to pray for these families.  One young lady asked us to pray about persecution.  That was touching as we hear on the news about the governmental desires to deport all of the Haitian refugees.  Mary Oliver entertained the children with coloring sheets, necklaces and bracelets, and manicures. Mary even got her nails painted by Jessica.  After installing twelve systems, Alex took us on a tour of the batey prior to lunch.  We completed the remaining eight installations after lunch, including one at the school.  We traveled from house to house with our ever growing entourage of children.  We had help from young ladies from Schriener University.  They were very helpful and enjoyed blowing bubbles with the children.  Lousia, the batey health coordinator, asked if we could give our lunch leftovers to the children, which we enthusiastically agreed.  Mary and I helped make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  We loved being able to share our lunch with the children.  It was a very good day!!
Susan Spencer

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Day 3 - 3/15/16

Today was a good day.  After an awesome breakfast of eggs, bacon and croissants, we divided into our assigned teams for construction, water purification, VBS and medical clinic.  This is my first trip to the DR so everything is new to me.  Today, I helped with the medical clinic.  We saw 55 very patient patients before lunch.  It started to rain, but they waited in the rain when necessary for their chance to see a doctor and/or dentist.  I think I will think twice before complaining too much about a few minutes wait at my doctors.  I was assisting Mike Boersma and Jonathon Oliver (have to be specific since we have 3 Mikes and 2 Jonathans with us) at the blood pressure station where I got to hold a tiny new baby as her Mom was being checked.

VBS was located at the same Batey Peligro.  It was very muddy so we witnessed the flexibility Glenn preaches in action as soccer was played in the mud and crafts were prepared on the bus.  The rain also caused a change of plans for the construction crew.  After a morning of mixing cement and hoisting it to the third floor of the school near Ebinezer Church, they were forced inside to do cleanup work on the second floor.  The water purification crew successfully installed 20 water filter systems in homes today, demonstrating how to maintain the system and praying with families in each home.

This week is very busy at the mission house as they host about 15 groups.  We are getting to know new folks from Schreiner University in Texas as they work with us at each project site.

Thank you so much for all your thoughts and prayers.  I think it was mentioned before, but I'd like to say again that the goody bags and sweet notes of encouragement and promised prayers mean so much to me and others here.  Thanks!

Melinda Melton

Monday, March 14, 2016

Day 2 - 3/14/16

Today we helped mix and pour concrete for the school across from the Ebenezer Church. It was an amazing experience working to help bring opportunities to so many children. We spoke to some people who shared their struggles with finding jobs, and opportunities without knowing any English. Our hopes are that with the construction of this new school the children will have new opportunities that were not available to their parents. God’s presence is very strong in this place. There is an extremely outward faith shown by the people here. They are committed to spreading the word, and doing God’s work. We are all very tired after the first day of mission work, but it is without a doubt well worth all of the aches and pains.