Friday, July 18, 2008

Dominican Republic Mission Trip

 

Hello, I(liz) am back from my mission trip to Bombita, Dominican Republic. Evidently I cannot post more than 4 pictures at a time, so several more posts will follow this one. The pictures don't tell the whole story, and I am not sure I can express it as I am not really a writer. I chaperoned this same trip 2 years ago with a different group of kids. What we saw then was a very poor village much like what you see in the third picture. The children are clothed in rags if they are clothed at all. There is no running water or indoor toilet facilities. Animals run loose and their droppings litter the "streets" such as they are. Do you have a picture in your mind? How could that picture be worse?

November 2007, Hurrican Noel sits over the DR dropping tremendous amounts of rain for several days. The village floods. People who have nothing lose everything. The men will not leave because people who have less will come and take what they can while the village is unguarded. Eventually, the waters receed leaving 18 inches of mud in every house (most of which had dirt floors to begin with). How do you clean a house with a dirt floor after that many days of rain? Mud has also filled most of the shared latrines. There are now only 18 working latrines for 1300 villagers.

Our group of 20 worked very hard to make a difference. We built a wall that had been knocked down, we cleared debris, we repainted classrooms and refinished ruined doors on the school. There were endless jobs that we could have done. The most important thing I think we gave, is ourselves. For one week, we worked hard to show these people that we care about them. Our kids (and us chaperones) formed lasting relationships with kids from the village and missionaries on site. I think we made a difference. I also think we wish we could have done more. I don't think we could have ever done enough. Look at the faces. It is hard for me too look at the first picture in this post and not cry. You see those ads for "save the children" and such, but they just aren't real until you see it in person. Hug your kids, be thankful for all God has blessed you with, do good whenever you can. We are all so lucky.


 

 

 
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6 comments:

lelly said...

wow. the pictures say so much. i've never been to a part of the world like this, and it really is hard to imagine.

Peggy said...

Liz - I'm very proud of you for all you did to help our world family. You are an inspiration and thank you for sharing your pictures.

Paula Prass said...

Thanks so much for sharing this incredible experience.

Cindy said...

Well done. Well written. Your light shines through your words. The pictures only tell a part of the story, I imagine. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

At Home Redesigns said...

Incredible work and photos.

Erin said...

great job, you are a hero and should be soooo proud!!!