Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Layover in Miami

Because we had an eight hour layover in Miami, we decided to take a tour of south beach. We rented a 12 person van so our whole group could go together. A bagel at panera was the first stop for breakfast since we were up at 3 am to catch our early flight from santo Domingo. One of the highlights was the architecture in the art deco neighborhood. Since we were too late to join the walking tour, I took some pics on my own and then walked along the water on the beach. I was surprised how nice the area was. The water felt like bathwater and the beach uncrowded. It was fun to see the ornamental buildings and bright pastel colors. Some terms used were eyebrows for the ledges jutting out.There were young people out and about, roller blading, biking, and on segways. It was a nice drive Along highway 1A looking at all the fancy homes and yachts . Finally we had lunch at a Recommended Cuban restaurant called Larios on the beach. The rental guy told us about it and that Gloria Esteban owned it. Relaxing in the bright green beach benches was a great way to finish off the trip. The water was so aqua blue and I hope to come back and do the walking tour.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sabada Perdita

The parenting class was held at night and was well attended.

Sabata Perdita is the church/school we have been working at this week. It is in a poorer neighborhood of santo domingo where VisionTrust has a project. Our church has sponsored many children that attend the school ages K-7th grade. Today was the final day we will visit and spent our last afternoon at lunch with the administrator Estephania. She is an amazing cook and baker. She showed us wedding cakes she did on her laptop. We were invited to her lovely home to share closing thoughts. It was unusual to see the chickens, rooster and wild turkey residing in her front yard. We sang some songs together in both Spanish and English. Our group prayed for each other and the future joining of hearts. Later tonight we held our last parenting class up on the roof. There were 60 attendees that listened to Bible references on parenting, discipline, and living as husband /wife. We had a Spanish translator and sang some praise songs in both languages. We saw many kids at church with their Beaded cross necklace from
VBS that morning. After our last goodbyes it was time to head back to the hotel. Tomorrow is a leisure day touring the town and market.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our mission Team

One of the benefits of serving in the mission field is forming relationships with those you are serving with. This is my first time organizing a mission trip at PEPC and of course I am learning as I go. On our team we have 7 men and two women. The ages span from 20 to 70's and in-between. Getting to know everyone whether it be working side by side painting, eating breakfast, or riding in our van through dangerous near death intersections, has been a fun part of our trip. Jim can always entertain us with a story from one of the 60 countries he has lived and it's always an adventure what he will say next.  Learning to be flexible with dominican timetables has not been difficult with our team.  We are all being stretched in our abilities as we share the work and needs of the school whether it be praying with our Dominican families via a translator, organizing games with 75 kids on a roof in 95 degree heat, leading devotions,
Painting faces on a mural, leading worship songs in another language with unfamiliar tunes or communicating with an 8 year old in Spanish.  God has used each one of us for his work beyond what we thought we were able to do. Working with our team have been wonderful (and necessary) translators along with the VisionTrust staff who are with us to and from our destinations on the agenda. It has been great getting to hear their stories and the countries they have served in. I know we will form friendships that will bind us together and we will share our stories in church so others may be involved in missions next time. http://i442.photobucket.com/albums/qq150/dacke8175/0bad05c1.jpg

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hospitality in Sabana Perdita

We were given an opportunity to visit the community surrounding the project Sabana Perdita. This is an outlying area near Santo Domingo.Several pastors and a translator, Naucho, went along with our group,of 6. We sat down and visited in their homes or out in their backyard area on plastic deck chairs. We asked about their family, children and line of work. One was a manicurist another an ice cream seller. We recognized several of the children that attended the bible school that morning. After asking for any prayer requests, along with a translator we lifted them up to God. Some of the sights were a group of men playing dominos under the shade of a big tree and an unusual vendor announcing his wares on a speaker for buying things. All of a sudden a computer monitor came crashing down from an upstairs window. One house had four generations living under one tiny roof. I took some interesting pictures of the homes and gardens. There was a lot of wrought iron designs in many shapes. All the electricity is obtained illegally as seen in the jumble of wires overhead. The city routinely turns off the electricity to punish those that are tapped in. Many little markets were open for business in the blocks we traveled. All the people seemed happy and content and were very friendly to shake our hands. It was a unique experience to have three native Dominicans show us around and to feel completely safe.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Worship the Dominican way

Sunday worship in the Dominican republic is usually held in the evening. Tonight we attended Sabada Perdita church (where we will be doing our mission work this week). The music was pretty much awesome as the spirit of God filled the church. Worship started off with a praise team and guitar. After several songs they moved onto soloists leading the congregation one song each, and added keyboard. The people kept coming in with their sunday best until the entire church was full with no seats left. Just about everyone was participating in the singing. Some songs we stood up and then sat down. The music lasted over an hour and the sermon began by pastor Ernie. He had so much energy as he engaged the church members for three hours . He preached on integrity in a corrupt country. I wished we could understand the Spanish of the message. The music was great in any language. Afterwards the Dominicans loved to shake our hands. Since it was pouring, we watched colorful umbrellas bob down the street on their way home. Earlier in the day, I  loved walking the neighborhood and seeing how all the houses were built on hills. Our legs got a workout climbing the steep stairs.