Dominican Republic Spring Break Update 3
Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Tuesday was a day many of us were looking forward to! We started the day a bit earlier than Monday so we ate breakfast and loaded up the bus. During the drive, Olivia led the team in a short devotional thought before we spent some quiet time with Jesus.
We drove about an hour and a half north of Santo Domingo to Cotui. The drive was beautiful as we were in the mountains and driving through tropical land and farms growing pineapple and other citrus.
Once we got to Cotui, a small village in the mountains, we split into a few different groups. About half of the team were at an elementary school—this is a private Christian school that El Circulo supports in a big way by helping sponsor children and pay teacher salaries. About 100 kids ages 2-8 attend the school, and we spent the morning with them doing a Bible lesson, craft, and games. We learned that kids are kids no matter where they live. They’re full of energy, have the cutest smiles, can be very sassy, but are so easy to love.
The other half of the team we to two different house right down the street from the school. The church in Cotui arranged for these work projects to happen to help people in their community. The first house was a small, wooden structure that was leaning and didn’t have very much support. The crew tore that house completely down (demolition day!) and it’s going to be rebuilt with cinder block. The other house we worked at was nearing completion, the church in Cotui had come alongside this man to help finish his home. The crew there mixed a lot of concrete and poured the whole flooring in the house.
We broke for lunch at the school and then for the rest of the afternoon the whole team was at the house finishing the concrete, along with people from the local church. As the final bit was poured, we learned that Poncho, the man who lived there and who had been helping the whole time, had been working for 10 years to complete this house. He’d been building it as he had the money, until the church came along to support him and help get it finished quickly. We finished the day praying over Poncho and his new home.
After cleaning up we drove back to Santo Domingo for dinner at the mission house and then team debrief time. We shared about the day and how we were impacted at different points by seeing the ways God is working here. It’s an honor and joy to get to join in on this and realizing we are a part of a Church and Kingdom that is so much bigger than just us. We also spent a lot of time sharing and discussing poverty—understating that poverty is much more than just a lack of material things...spiritual poverty, relational poverty, emotional poverty, etc. In talking about this, we brought it closer to home and talked about the poverty that exists in our context at home and then about the richness we saw and experienced in Cotui today. A lot to think about, and it changes our perspective of how we see and value people (to see them as Jesus sees them). We’re all poor in once sense or another. And there’s a lot to learn from the richness we see here, richness in faith and community.
Thanks for your continued prayers. As we get to the middle of the trip please be praying for energy and servant attitude as tiredness begins to hit. It’s been a great trip and seeing the team come together and serve as one has been incredible to watch. They’re doing awesome!