Dominican Republic Mission
Returning from LaCumbre, DR
Craig and Shirley arrived uneventfuyllly in the Dominican Republic on July 12 full of excitement and enthusiasm. We ended the day exhausted and overwhelmed wondering if we were in over our heads.
Melanie Spence, Director of World Servants, Dominican, had given us a whirlwind tour of Santo Domingo and LaCumbre (quite an adventure) and overview of what we needed to know to facilitate this trip. We had some good Dominican food and stayed at Carmen's guesthouse with the family that lives there full-time except...... we did not know they were there until 7am the next morning. We felt rather foolish for leaving our bags strewn around their home.
If you are one of the people that has heard us say "you will be out of your comfort zone on a servant trip but that's ok because then God can really shine" you will be tickled to hear we were definitely out of our comfort zone and had not even met the trip participants yet. We had met the pastor of the church and started to share the vision for LaCumbre.
We met the groups at the airport and boarded a bus for Los Manantiales. Willie, Franklin, Tony, and Aris joined us as support and thranslators and we were off. Saturday evening and Sunday were training days and then the mission began in LaCumbre.
We worshipped with and worked alongside the Dominican people, loved on and were loved by the children of LaCumbre, sweat profusely, worked HARD, learned much, and were deeply touched by the passion the people of Evangelical Church of The Good Samaritan have for each other, for us, and most obviously for their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The group from the United States ranged in age from 11- 70 years and was from West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. They, as a group, had a great passion for sharing the Gospel with the lost, a love for the people and in very short time a renewed appreciation for the simple amenities of life in the United States.
We said goodbye to the participants Friday at the airport. Our last night was spent at a Dominican resort for Domincans. It was very interesting to us how a resort for the Dominicans differed from those in other parts of the country for tourists. Hmmmmm! Our time was spent with Patty Juarez who debriefed our experience. Patty is the one responsible (along with our Heavenly Father) for us being in the DR, so it was great to see her. We flew back with only a few hour delay in Atlanta and were greeted with warm hugs by a great friend at the airport.
God used Craig's sense of humor and Shirley's organization in mighty ways throughout the week. His power, grace, and love for us and the Domincan people did shine brightly over and over as He used us to help the people of LaCumbre and as the people of LaCumbre and the servants from the U.S. touched our lives deeply. Our parting learning from this trip is do not ever think you have learned all God has for you to learn. In His love and grace, He has "new mercies every morning".