Juggling Life with Joy!

Juggling Life with Joy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dominican Republic Part 1...

Here are some pics that started off our week! Enjoy the post!

In the Batey, with some sweet and precious little girls!
This little boy kept wanting a hug from me...He was precious!

This and other trash were scattered everywhere we looked

The kids were so excited when we showed up. They couldn't wait until VBS!
Anna who is in the white shirt was explaining to them about the coming week. Her husband Mike and her serve as the missionaries there.

Sorry it has taken me so long to blog about our mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Since we have gotten home I have been trying to play catch up and haven't had a moment until now to post all about our trip!

Let me just say it was probably one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I was so blessed as we served the Lord there. We were the hands and feet of Christ. This is what I love...doing what he calls to do. Being a servant of the Lord doesn't mean just sitting on a pew every Sunday. Now, I know that it's important to attend church, but if we don't ever "exercise" our faith we are missing out on so many blessings and watching the Lord at work.

First, I want to thank my parents for watching the kids. They are going through so much right now. They are definitely being tested with their health. But, they were so determined that I go on this mission trip...little did I know everything they have been having to go through until I came back home. I will post more about this situation soon. Just pray for them. But I know the kids had a wonderful time. I love my parents for sacrificing their time for Hilton and I to go. They really love their grand kids and I am so blessed for that.

As you all know, I am not a fan of flying...But...I DID IT! I will admit I was a little nervous with our first flight out of RDU, but the second flight from Miami wasn't so nerve racking. Our flight into the Dominican was a little delayed, so we arrived later and at night at the DR, so I didn't get to see what the island looked like coming in. But, I will say from the moment I stepped off the plane I was in culture shock!!! First off, I know NO SPANISH...so we totally had to rely on Gregg and his wife Jessica (our worship pastor and wife) for communication. The airport was an experience. We were trying to get our luggage and get through customs, and not get in the way of some of the Dominicans in the airport! I immediately felt like a deer in headlights! It hit me, that I was probably the most fair skin person in the airport along with my fellow team. At that moment I knew what it meant to feel like a minority. I felt a little insecure, but I said a small prayer for the Lord to help me with my sudden fear and anxiety and knew He had me step out of my comfort zone for a reason.

So, then the sweet missionary family, the Doerings picked us up at the airport and we loaded on a bus with all 16 pieces of our luggage and headed to none other than... McDonald's! We travel all the way to a foreign country and end up at McDonald's! Let me say, this first...we got our first experience of what people call"Dominican driving." HA! It was dark outside and I was trying to take in what I could. The traffic was interesting. You immediately notice that no one goes the speed limit. And there is honking, honking, honking everywhere! Traffic lights...not important! The drivers made three way lanes on a one way road...you never stopped at intersection, you just pulled out and prayed we didn't get hit! It was an experience. I couldn't imagine getting away with this driving in Virginia. It was like experiencing road rage here, but for the DR it was just there way of driving. It was quite comical once we got used to it during the week. I was told that you might as well know your car is going to be dented and banged at some point if you live here. I looked at most cars around us during the week and it's so true. Every car looked dented, most cars had scraped paint, and very scratched! So once we safely arrived at the McDonald's I felt almost at home. Well almost...thank goodness Gregg and Jess understand the culture and language or I wouldn't have been able to eat that night. But, it was good. It was a chicken sandwich with fries and a Coke! Yum!

After we unloaded the luggage that carried all of our supplies for our week at the Doering house we headed to our motel. It was called the Micro hotel, and it was very nice. We walked in our room and guess what was on...Fox News! I chuckled about that for some reason. The rest of the channels were mostly in Spanish. I remember as I was laying in the bed that night, I felt so overwhelmed and missed the kids so much. I was so scared as this was my first time in a new country....but I knew that there was a mighty good reason why the Lord opened up this door for me to be there. Little did I know at this point how much impact this trip was going to be on my life...

We took a tour the next morning of the village called, the Batey that we were going to VBS in that week. This tour was my first eye opener of how blessed I am. As soon as we turned onto the dirt path of the Batey, my mouth dropped. I saw trash everywhere and children wandering everywhere. Of course, they were all curious as to why this van with a bunch of people were there. The church, Iglesia Bautista has several ministries down there so I know when they see that van they know something great is about to happen down there. We went to see about the building we were supposed to do VBS in and see what things we may need to get and plan for while there. Immediately, a crowd of children came around. I immediately fell in love. They were precious and I already could see one reason I was there. I knew the kids needed love, hugs and kisses, and most of all the love of Christ. My emotions got a hold of me as these kids would grab our hands and want a hug or their picture taken. They were all so beautiful. I couldn't help but cry as I was definitely in culture shock. I couldn't believe some of the things that I saw. Life in the states was different and I immediately saw how blessed and at times...yes at times selfish and how I take things for granted. My kids, have clothes that match, don't have tears or holes in it, well fitted shoes...many pair of well fitted shoes...these kids probably have one maybe two...I absolutely lost it. But, Pat, one of the ladies on the trip comforted me and told me that the children didn't know of my world. She reminded me that they looked happy and healthy and that we were there to show them how much Christ loved them. She was right...I started looking at them and saw they were happy and the girls had some of the cutest hair bows and looked so pretty. I say this because...sometimes we feel horrible at some of the living conditions that we are not used to...we can become so overwhelmed with it...and we can't fix every situation and take every person in that village and give them what we think they need materially. But, we can give them something better than any material item... We can lead them to Christ. They need a personal relationship with them. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with providing those in need with material things when needed. But, we also need to remember that we were commissioned when we became a Christ follower to tell others about him...

What an exciting week this was, and I can't wait to share the whole week with you. Be patient, as I hope to post something everyday for the next week about our trip. I hope I can describe it the way that I feel inside. I was so blessed on this trip! I hope that you will follow this journey with me.

Hope you enjoy the pics!

Stay tuned...


Michael C Doering said...

I enjoyed reading about what was going on in your head and heart while you were with us. We miss you guys!

Michael C Doering said...

Thought you might like to know that I went and spoke at a ladies meeting at another church. I took the extra gift bags and handed them out. They loved them and were very excited. I'll post pictures on FB one of these days. You guys are still ministering here even though you are back in the VA. From one Southern Belle to another - Love ya - Anna