Greetings from the Dominican Republic!
Jk – I'm in the JFK airport. At first I wasn't going to cough up the money for wifi, and thought I'd be better off without access to the internet, aka without the distraction of blog scrolling, facebook stalking, buzzfeed scrolling. But I caved. Because Spotify. And John Piper Youtube videos. And actually logging into Wordpress to press “post.”
This week is Spring Break for Fairfax County schools, and some families from our church decided instead of going on a “just” a family vacation, they wanted to do something intentional with their families and their free time. So, our DR Family Spring Break Trip was born.
This is my first time heading down to the Dominican Republic, after years of watching my youth group travel down each summer to serve. This week, we will be working with our partners from SCORE International and Empowering Action to get around town. I'm pretty excited to see what the Lord is doing down in the DR.
I wanted to give a quick overview as to what we are going to be doing, and ask for some prayer requests. Later on, I'd like to post about short term trips – the pros and cons, the exciting and awkward parts. This will obviously be a personal opinion and not strictly the beliefs of my church. Something that McLean Bible does REALLY well is how they encourage every believer to wrestle through their own purpose in carrying out the Great Commission. Staff aren't excluded from this wrestling. I'm trying to figure it out for myself.
But for now, I wanted to post an overview of what we are doing, because I have failed at looping in my family and friends on this trip. Confession, my mom (who is a very good friend) texted me last night and said, “Your sister told me you were going to the Dominican Republic...?”
For some reason, I am pretty inconsistent with the information I share. I'm working on it.
So – the DR this week.
Parents, individuals, and children are all heading down. Essentially, we go out during the day for ministry, and at night we gather together as a team to worship/pray/process/encourage. There will be evening testimonies of incredible men and women who are serving in the DR, and we will be processing what all this MEANS to us as DC-dwellers... Part of my responsibility on this trip is overseeing/playing with/being a friend to/leading the (adorable) kids we are bringing along. Yes, their parents are here, but at night I am going to spend some special time with them to let each child have a place to share what they are learning.
Overall, the point I hope to communicate to these kids is.... this is not poverty tourism. The purpose of this trip is life change – both in the people we visit and also in ourselves. Hopefully we can drop the “us” and “them” mentality to see the work God needs to do in a human heart, and the work that was done on the cross. Life change does not come from being shocked by difference.... but through the work of the Holy Spirit. Our purpose in going is to get a better picture of God, that we might know him better, understand him, love him more. We are giving people reasons to praise God and we are believing this (and learning this) ourselves.
Okay, off my purpose soap box, because it's still undeveloped and I can't get ahead of myself.
So, scheduling. This is a little bit of what our team will be doing.
- Sunday – Most of our team is already down there, visiting church with SCORE, and visiting Emanuel House (which I believe is the after-school program) and surrounding neighborhoods.
- Monday – Ministry at Pasitos de Jesus, an orphanage run by this amazing woman. We will be heading out to the community for an Easter program and food distribution. In the afternoon, we are going to Monte Cristy Nursing Home. I'm a little nervous about this, based on what I've heard from other people. Will have to post an update with you guys.
- Tuesday – In the morning, we'll go out with one of our contacts for ministry, and in the afternoon we will get to visit Lily House, which is a restoration house for girls coming out of prostitution. This might be one of the things I am most excited about.
- Wednesday – Back to Emmanuel House to do a program for the siblings of the children enrolled, and then go out into the community for home visits. In the afternoon, we are going to take some of the kids from the orphanage to a MOVIE! And potentially walk around a mall a little bit. Excited to share this experience with these kids.
- Thursday – traveling home.
So, it's a short trip, but a full one.
I would LOVE your prayers along this journey.
Team unity and growth
Logistics and leadership
Personal spiritual growth in adults and kids
That I would be intentional to lead well and respond intuitively
Oh yeah – safety and health and all that boring stuff.
Thank you in advance for your prayers and support :) Excited to send some updates!