A Glimpse into Ministry in Jarabacoa

Hola amigos y familia! Kayla and Danie here! We just wanted to give you a little update about our week and about our wet and wonderful day today. We finished up with our sites yesterday. I (Kayla) was at the Special Education site (Genesis) and Danie was doing Social Work in Los Higos. The work at Genesis was tough but so rewarding. I was able to tutor special needs children in Spanish (yikes), play Pato, Pato, Ganso (Duck, Duck, Goose), and visit the homes of two children in the school. One of those visits included a PHENOMENAL dinner called “la bandera” (rice, chicken and beans) as well as “tostones” (look it up, they’re great). As for me (Danie), I had the opportunity to spend the day at the river with the little girls from Los Higos and experience some super sun. The last day spent at my site was spent playing volleyball, soccer, and an interesting version of “steal the bacon” with ties (muy dificil) with some of the teenage and young adult guys in the village. Today, we had the opportunity to go into town and put together a small carnival that had a bounce house, balloon animals, face painting, and games. We also got to share a couple of songs that we learned in Spanish and perform a skit that we learned today. All in all, this week has been amazing so far and has taught us so much about the Dominican Republic culture. The people here are fantastic and we feel as though we have been blessed every day to be spending the week with them! We hope you are doing well and we will be back in the states in just 3 days!

Hey all! This is Lyndsey. :) I’ve been working at the preschool in El Callejon with Shayna, Sarah, and Nkirote. Our site leader, Yocasta, has such a passion for the kids and on the very first day challenged us girls to “know why we want to be here.” The preschool is a tiny building with a cement patio and a small, chipped-paint playset in a dirt yard. We walked past the chain link fence and immediately a little girl ran up and hugged my legs. Yes, I melted. All the kids were 3-4 years old and one of their favorite things was to drag one of us to the swings and insist, “Puhame! Puhame!” (Push me! Push me!). I was a little nervous about the language barrier, but honestly just holding a 3-year-old, playing tag, or drying the lunch dishes speaks deeper than words can express. Pretty sure all four of us were overwhelmed by the love we felt from the kids and staff, and we loved pouring back every part of ourselves. But one of my favorite parts was on Wednesday night. Everyone on the team had dinner in the home of a leader from their ministry site. Nkirote, Shayna, Sarah, and I had dinner at the home of two preschool workers, Alberto and Carolina (they’re siblings.) Yocasta came too, and the six of us just sat around talking waaaay past dinner. Literally, I laughed so much my cheeks hurt! Alberto and Yocasta speak English and they translated for Carolina. We talked about everything from our personal testimonies and where we want to be in five years to what we look for in a spouse! It was seriously one of the most fun nights and I was personally so touched by their passion for life and Christ. It’s so crazy to think that our work directly with Students International is finished. We head out tomorrow morning for the resort nearby in Jarabacoa. I know we’re all so excited to come home and share a million more stories!

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