Praise the Lord for a wonderful adventure to Las Colinas in the Dominican Republic over the last 10 days. We have been blessed to return to Colegio Moriah (www.ColegioMoriah.org) and serve alongside our brothers and sisters for many years. The Lord is at work as we've seen the impact the school and church is having on the community - Praise the Lord!
We were especially blessed on this particular trip to have a part in a variety of activities and projects. All of our work is intended to deepen our connections to the body of Christ, both to one another and to our friends in the Dominican.
To give you a bit of insight into our time in the Dominican I'll try to summarize what we did, but please know it is really about being present and less about accomplishing projects. We can easily get caught up in being "human-doings" and want to exchange that notion and strive to be "human-beings".
• Helping teach english in the school. Currently there are over 425 students in the K-12 school that is providing education to those who would not necessarily have this available to them. The prayer is that education helps to "raise the tide" which will have a long-term impact on the community for God's glory.
• Teaching an art class in the school. Lots of fun was had by the students and teachers. Art is certainly a universal language and provided for some great connections.
• Building some beautiful new pulpits for the church plants in Esperanza and Molinito. As soon as the pastor of Esperanza saw it, he stood behind it with a huge smile on his face.
• Organizing donations and supplies. Due to some changes in baggage fees we've done a little less when it comes to bringing donations, however we still had a bunch to sort and ultimately to share (we leave that to the church once we've left so it is about the Lord's provision and not ours). Lot's of lovely dresses and much more.
•Sharing from God's Word at church services and in Bible Studies. It is fun to preach through a translator for some and for others a bit of a new experience. There is a lot of church opportunities and Bible studies/small groups throughout the week. This is a wonderful connection and an opportunity to share as the church leaders invite us; according to the Lord's leading, their needs and requests.
• New tables (Picnic style) were constructed for the school cafeteria (10 total). This was a huge need that some of our youth helped to construct with a few members of a team from Northern Maine. It was great to see them working together, and then to see the tables instantly filled once they were in place.
• 100s of students went through a Hygiene class. I think the teachers must have had dreams about hygiene as they shared the information so many times. It was clearly a well-received topic and lots of soap, shampoo and deodorant were shared in response.
• A group helped prepare and share meals at two jails along with a local churches ministry. This was an overwhelming experience as there was overcrowding and pretty rough conditions.
• We finished pouring concrete floors and the finish coat on the walls of a home we started last year. Funds we brought provided the electric, plumbing, doors and windows. I was impressed with the patience of the people who lived in a falling down home for an entire year as they waited for construction of the new home to be completed. It was on the second floor of the church in Esperanza, so there were lots of buckets of sand, rock and concrete passed up a flight of stairs.
• A pastor/leaders conference was held, and helped prepare and provide a meal for the leaders.
• Meetings with members of the Friends of Colegio Moriah board were had with the parents of the school, the deacons of the church and the teachers. These were encouraging meetings.
• Many of us visited homes; to pray and to provide some food supplies. It was a special opportunity to connect and be welcomed into homes.
• Hours of basketball were played with both youth from our team and those in the community. This was a special opportunity for connection.
• We were able to celebrate 2 birthdays; one from our team and one of the women who helps care for our team while we are there.
• Funds we raised helped to repair the school roof. We didn't actually go up and do the work, but were blessed to be a part of this repair. It involved a special coating and special paint.
• We helped to prepare and install a sidewalk in the back of the property.
• We visited a batey called Molinito and had the chance to pray for members of the community. Later we returned for a worship service which was quite lively.
There were many other things as well, it seems difficult to capture all of the connectoions that were made and the opportunities that were had. It is clear that the Lord was at work and allowed for a great deal to happen in 10 short days. While I can summarize the projects, it is difficult to calculate or communicate the depth of connects and conversations that were had over the course of our trip. Praise the Lord.
Thank you for join us in this journey. Your support is essential and valuable. God is awesome, all the time! Adrian A@BYC.cc