Our feet touched Dominican soil; we can officially say that we are here! We are grateful to God that are flight went smoothly and we had no issues. After our plane landed we were met by long immigration lines. After presenting our crisp $10 bill to the immigration officers we could say that our mission had begun. We were met by Student International Representatives in buses who escorted us to the base. On this beautiful journey, we were able to see just a small token of Dominican beauty which included: mountains, indigenous trees and flowers of summery hues, varying fruit-bearing plants like bananas. During this journey to the base, the topic of culture was discussed. With quite a few internationals students, from Rwanda to the Bahamas, we were able to engage in dialogue about the similarities & differences of the countries.
After arriving on base, we attended various orientations to inform us about Dominican Republic culture, customs and relationships and also the camp regulations. On Sunday, we attended a Dominican church in which we participated in a service that was conducted mostly in Spanish. This is where many of us began to test our knowledge of Spanish which for most of us was nonexistent.
Later that night, we learnt how to dance to Meringue and Bachata; these are typical Dominican dances. We swayed our hips and attempted to keep our movements as fluid as liquid. Some of us we naturally talented such as Nick and Clementine who won the dance competition that night. This placed righteous pride in the hearts of the Taylor Trojans.
Finally, Monday is here! Now, it is time to serve; the thing that all of our hearts are yearning to do; it is the reason we came here. However, before we serve we must be spiritually prepared. To prepare each morning we meet at 6:30AM in the Chapel on base. We pray for one of the site’s then we embark on Quiet Time. This time allows us to read a chapter out of the book of James and pray to God. This is great because it stills our hearts and quiets our fears before the attack of the day is launched. Immediately following Quiet time is worship which is includes songs in both English and Spanish. Following worship we are shipped off to breakfast then it’s off to our sites!
Our sites vary from Men’s Sport to Women’s Social Work. From the hustle and bustle in our room, it can be heard that each sites has it challenges and yet of all of them having proved to be quite rewarding. From the joys of working with little children at the various education sites to the meticulous details of Micro-finances. You should see the faces of the DR team when we arrive at the base at 4PM! We are exhausted but honestly, that is exactly what we want to be! Exhausted for God; for his kingdom; his ministries!
We must admit, we are working hard but we are also enjoying the beauty that God has placed before our eyes. You haven’t seen God’s glory until you have been on top of a mountain. It is breath-taking. You haven’t felt God’s glory until you have been on top of mountain with fellow christians who gave up of their spring break to advance the Kingdom of Heaven!
With great team leaders like Jeff and Nick, we are spending our days living out Isaiah 52:7 and we are loving it all: our sites, the camp base, our team members, the Dominican people, food and culture! We are grateful to SI International for this opportunity to serve such beautiful people who are serving us more than we could ever give them. We love the DR and cannot wait to see God’s plans for the remainder of our trip unfold before our eyes.
To God be the glory,