2019 Dominican Republic Mission Trip
Over the summer of 2019, a group of 18 students traveled to the Dominican Republic to spread the Word of The Lord to Gasper Hernandez, Luperon, and Puerta Plata. While the trip was a blessing the students did have a few fears leading up to the trip, “When going to any foreign country there can be worries about how the culture may react and how comfortable I’ll feel; however, as soon as we arrived my nerves were gone and I enjoyed every moment.” stated Sam Devane. Other students were worried about the massive language barrier that would come with going to a different country. Zoë Suderman said this about the language barrier, “ [The language barrier] scared me I knew some Spanish but I knew that what I learned wasn’t enough to have a super long conversations with the kids. Once we were there for a while it became easier to talk with them. But really, you don’t need to speak to them in order to show them God’s love. You can show God’s love through actions not just words and it will affect the kids the same way.”
As they ministered to children their hearts were touched at how grateful these children were for everything they have. Grace Whitaker said, “I saw God really show up in how joyful everyone was even though they basically have nothing. It was interesting how different we are because we have so much but we are still not as joyful.” wherever they went each student had a different job in the churches, Brogan Scott shared stories with the kids, “Everytime I told the kids a story the kids were just really engaged and eager to listen and answer questions.”
This trip opened the eyes of many of our team members. They were able to see how different our cultures really are. Many of the students had never been out of the country so to see how different people live allowed them to widen their perspective. When they saw how grateful and happy the people were with what they had it made the team appreciative of what they have taken for granted.
This trip was such a blessing and an amazing experience that have placed lasting memories in the hearts of those who went. Emmie Jacobus laughed and said “My favorite memories from the trip were the fun bus rides with our group. Spending time with all of the people and friends who went to the DR. Riding on the bus and singinging with everyone was great too!” While the bus rides have given happy memories, the people there left the biggest impact on our team. “At this one church we went to I had a long conversation with a little girl who afterwards told me in Spanish, “I love you”” Jessica Nelson said with a smile at the memory.
All those who went on the trip this year happily said that they would go back. Many of them said that they wanted to go and see how the churches were doing and to reconnect with friends that they had made while they were in the DR. Zoë Suderman said, “I would love to see all the kids I met. To reconnect with everyone. The whole DR team we were with was amazing so I wanna see how they’re doing. The trip was just amazing and I would be so blessed to go again!”