Friday, May 18, 2012

Missions Trip ... Dominican Republic

Hi everyone! This is Rebecca. Mom's letting do a guest blog post. Last month I had the amazing opportunity to go on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with some girls from my church. 
We left Easter morning.  Really really early Easter morning. We had a flight to Atlanta and from Atlanta to Dominican Republic. 

This was our view flying to the DR. The picture doesn't even do it justice though. SO beautiful. (I'd post a picture of our view to Atlanta but I think most of you have seen an airplane engine.)
We got to the hotel in the afternoon. It was right next to the beach.

Our first night there we had the opportunity to visit the church that was founded by the people we were working with. They had translators for us to listen to the sermon. (It was great once we got off the spanish music station we keep getting stuck on.) One thing that was really cool was that while we were singing, we recognized one of the songs as being one we sing at lot at the Summit (our church)!
The next morning we went to visit Las Palmas school. This school was founded by the daughter and her husband, of the people who helped start the church. We took a tour of the school and some of the school's property that hasn't been built on yet. They've owned the land for about six years but don't have the deeds yet so can't build on it. They were trying to get it pushed through the week after we left though so please pray that it will be worked out.
After the tour we went to a market to exchange our money and then headed back to the school where we got to hang out and play with the kids there. They were so cute and they spoke some English.(Which was good because my spanish was awful.) This little girl below sat with me and tried to teach me some spanish. (I have horrible pronunciation.)
After lunch (we ate lunch and dinner at the school each day) we split into two groups. Half of the group went to do a scavenger hunt around the city. This was to help us get to knew the country and people better. The rest of our group helped with some cleaning up around the school. By tearing down banana trees....with our bare hands!! It was very impressive 
The tree's that were left up we cut the dead leafs off of. You can see below what they looked like before.
And after

There were a lot of tree's and it was very tiring which is why I look so happy in picture below. (Kudos to Heather though for still looking cheerful. That must be why she's a leader.)
Oh in case you're wondering about the lovely accecceries my knee is sporting, that was the result of me racing a little boy earlier that day and tripping and wiping out. 
We headed back to the hotel after dinner. We didn't have anything planned during the evening so we'd do Bible studies and Skype with our families.

The next morning we headed back to the school and played with the kids some more.

*Quick side note: Are these kids not adorable? Yes!!!
After the recess we worked with the children in their reading classes. This was what we did most days while at the school.  I also had an interesting lesson in Spanish while working with the kids. We all had two or three kids to read with and I introduced myself as Rebecca to my group. I can see that they're having some trouble saying it so I, thinking I'll help them out say that they can call me Becca if that's easier. Well the boy in my group starts laughing and I'm was like "Is my name funny?" He nods and tells me, "Thats what we call a cow!" Needless to say the rest of the week I stuck to Rebecca.

That afternoon we went out to a sugar-cane village. Our group had been planning a Bible study for the kids there and we got to go with the sixth-grade class from the school.

Being in the sugar-cane village was really hard. We had another group there with us and while we had half the kids in a house doing the Bible club they would play games with the other half. While we were doing the club the kids were just crazy. They were pushing and swearing at us in Spanish. We were only able to have a certain amount of kids in the room and two of us had to stand at the door and physically hold a table there to keep kids out. (We wanted to have all of the children participate but any more in the house and we wouldn't have been able to control it at all) Once we went outside there were kids flipping us off, talking about sex, asking us girls out on dates, saying they loved us and they were all younger than me! It was really sad.  They were so poor there too. It really made me appreciate what we have here and so much that I take for granted would be a luxury to these kids. What was really cool was how the sixth grade class really stepped up and wanted to come out here and help. They were some awesome kids.

We went to a market the next morning. I don't have any pictures from that unfortaintly but it was very cool. Although the vendors were a little annoying. If you so much as glanced at an item you'd practically signed a contract to buy it. After the market we got to take a tour of the city. Mrs Paula was one of the people who helped start the church here and was big part of our trip there and she took us around the city and pointed out a lot of really neat things. The picture below is of a church.

Representing Bull City! If you couldn't tell the statue behind us is a bull.

On our way back to the school we stopped on this outlook and took some picture of the water. So pretty down there!!!

Once we got back to the school the group that had't gone on Monday went on the scavenger hunt. We had to walk around the city holding these eggs and without dropping or breaking the eggs, get pictures with different things. On the way back Mrs. Paula took us to meet an older lady who'd been one of the first people at the new church. She told us about how she'd always prayed for her family and especially her grandson. Well one day her grandson was walking on the street and suddenly turned around and walked back to the church, saying I need to find out more about Jesus. He started going and bringing his friends and now thats where most of the younger generation at church comes from!
The next morning we went to the safe house. This is a place where some of the women they help come and they make jewelry, flip flops and such. They are starting a salon and we painted the room for it.

Then we went back to the school and helped with the classes again. After we finished with the classes we said goodbye to the teachers and kids . This had to be one of the hardest parts of going on a mission trip.

After we left the school we went and had dinner with Mrs. Paula and got to hear the story of how she came here. She's is super awesome by the way!

The next morning we went out to the beach before we left for the airport.
You probably can't tell but the beach had rocks all along the edge that looks like this.
So we're all walking along the edge and I have the bright idea to go closer to the edge. Then a huge wave comes......and thats how the picture below came about.
Yes those are my flip-flops......taken off my feet at a time!

I learned so much on this trip.

God taught me that I needed to trust Him more. About all of the wealth we have here and how grateful we should be. There were so many things on the trip that we were blessed with too and it was really an awesome experience. Thank you to everyone who helped me be able to go and was praying for me while on the trip. I appreciated it so much!!

Now I will leave you with some more pictures that didn't really fit anywhere but I wanted to put in.

We weren't allowed to drink the water from the tap in the hotel and had to pump water from the jug any time we wanted to ingest it. In the picture below the water had stopped working all together while Alyssa was washing her face. But we made do.

                                           Proving that Mcdonald's are just about everywhere.

The hotel the last night we were there left this.

And this last picture is for all of my FIAR aunties! I thought of y'all as soon as I saw it!

There we go! I hope everyone enjoyed reading about my trip, I'm glad I got a chance to share about it. Now back to your regular programing!