Hola from the Dominican Republic!

Buenos tardes!! Sorry it took a while to post a blog, on the base internet has been hard to acquire. We arrived in the Dominican Republic safe and sound Saturday night. Now we have all been at our sites for 5 days and have loved growing in the community of Jarabacoa.  I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we are all growing in our relationships with Christ and enjoying the opportunity to show Gods love through actions to people we interact with at our mission sites. A couple of us are going to share some stories and experiences from different sites that we are at. I, Amy, will start with sharing about my mission site, Genesis, which is the special education school here in Jarabacoa.

I have spent the last five days with students with disabilities between the ages of 2-20.  I am going to share about a boy who is by far one of the cutest kids I have worked with. He is 8 years old and has endless joy! This boy comes to school each day with a smile on his face ready to give each student and teacher hugs.  On Monday, this adorable kid came to me and immediately loved on me. He is not a sturdy walker because of his disability but he loves dancing. So he asked me to dance while he sang Spanish songs. My heart melted and although I am a horrible dancer, I of course danced with him for at  least 10 minutes. Through out the day this little guy gave me hugs, blew kisses to me, and danced. At the end of the day he was sitting next to me and in the warmest way possible asked me if I would come back tomorrow. I said yes and he in clear English said “I love you”. I said it back to him and gave him a hug. Its funny how quickly you can get attached to children! The next morning started off great when the bus came this boy stepped off and we made eye contact right away, and tears of joy poured from him and then he quickly came to give me a hug. Being in this school I have an amazing opportunity to love on students who may not always get the love and attention they need. I am excited to be in the classroom tomorrow and continue to love on them just as Jesus loves us!

Como estas??? Lauren Solito here! For the past 5 days, I have been traveling around with Hannah Dissinger, MacKenzie Bedor, Nathaniel Ryan, Nate White, and Anice from the California group! When we aren’t praying or worshipping with patients, you can find us at one of several communities around Jarabacoa taking BP (blood pressure), HR (heart rate), RR (respiration rate), distributing medication, or laughing at the guys’ faces during pap smears. We have all had a wonderful time learning Spanish and building relationships over a plate of rice and beans. Yum! We love what God is doing in the lives of others around us and hope that some of the loving Dominican culture rubs off on us before we have to head back go the states!!!

It is the afternoon of the 28th, our 7th day here. It’s amazing how fast this week has gone. God is truly evident here at Students International. My site leader, Silvio, is a Physical Therapist who serves our Father by allowing the nationals cheap treatment through an atmosphere that genuinely loves and cares about them . It amazes me how passionate he is in using his gifts for the kingdom of God. I have been fortunate to have been working beside him, his assistant, Christian, a fellow TU student, Miranda, and two other high-school students. I have been greatly involved with all the patients that come in, and on one occasion I had the chance to evangelize to a young boy who had broken his ankle. Another highlight of my week was working with several 7 year olds who had cerebral palsy. It was an amazing feeling to love on these kids and laugh with them as I worked on their legs. God has broken my heart for these kids. There is a joy and satisfaction in serving our Lord through missions that can’t be found anywhere else. This week has been a huge blessing for me and everyone else on my team. I love this team, I love the SI leaders serving here, I love the Dominican people, and I love my God for He is always good. Always. - Zach Hershberger

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