Looking back, I have many precious memories of mission experience in the Dominican Republic.
I participated on my first team in 1989 and from then on was the team leader for many years until I stepped back a bit and became a facilitator for teams from churches other than my home church in Sarnia. I remember puppet dramas we recorded and Bobby and Larry from Veggie Tales in costumes that I sewed and balloon stories and balloon for Zacchaeus flying away over the fence as it was caught by the wind. I remember when I had enough Spanish to understand the jokes the youth were telling. There were construction teams and teenagers who seemed to put more paint on themselves than the wall. There were special events – sad one a funeral for a much loved pastor, and happy ones participating in weddings and baby presentations and seeing twenty people baptized in a river on a Sunday afternoon.
There was the photography team with Pastor Doug Standing on the cab of the truck to get a special picture. There are photos of the beautiful flowers, in bright reds and yellow, photos of children colouring their VBS page while they knelt on the floor and used the chair as a table, photos of a typical meal with chicken, rice, beans and salad. There are photos of people climbing trees to knock down the coconuts or to pick mangos. And of course, there are photos of aire libre (open air) evangelism services in the street or at a ball park.
Then I became pastor of a Spanish language service in Sarnia and had less time to travel to the Dominican or help churches plan for a mission or prepare a team. But now as I retire from the church, I will be able once again to come alongside churches and help them generate interest in a mission trip and be a resources person for a team and its leader as they plan a team
My husband and I will be facilitators for teams while they are in the Dominican, meeting them at the airport, providing local transportation, arranging for housing and food. The Dominican Republic is a great place for a first time mission experience and an even better place to develop a long terms partnership with a Dominican church.
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