Twenty seniors are set to leave the comforts of home to befriend strangers in a third-world country. Its scary, intimidating, and completely exciting.
Hillcrest's senior class is offered the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic as part of their senior class mission experience. The group's preparation started in August with prayer teams and paperwork and is culminating in street testimony scenarios and singing songs in Spanish.
Hillcrest adopted the Santa Fe school in the Dominican Republic in 2007. Diverting their mission work from Chihuahua, Mexico after nearly 10 years or ministry, Hillcrest selected the Dominican Republic as a new mission location as Mexico grew unsafe due to drug cartels south of the border. Since starting their relationship with Hillcrest, Santa Fe has purchased land from the Dominican government, built two new school buildings with classrooms, is starting to offer adult education, and is looking forward to building business opportunities for people in their surrounding village.
In Monday's commissioning service for the 2015 Dominican team, trip leader Gregg Preston recounted how Hillcrest's friendship with the school is impacting the community surrounding Santa Fe. "We have gone down and we share Christ with them. What happens after we left is that the school said, 'this group from the states shares the Gospel with us. What we should do is share it with our neighborhood.'" Preston outlined how the leadership at Santa Fe is taking their students to the surrounding community where vodoo and witchcraft rule. The leadership take their students door to door and share the Gospel. One day they were going to to share the Gospel in the neighborhoods the parents stopped the administration and said they wanted to join them. Preston testifies that he and his colleagues have witnessed the Gospel transform the neighborhoods in the Dominican Republic.
The group is set to depart at 2pm on Wednesday, March 25. The group will return Wednesday, April 1 and will share their mission experiences in April and May to surrounding churches, schools, and business leaders.