Hillcrest Takes Mission Day to Reflect on Hillcrest's History in the Dominican Republic

After hearing the story the students were given a report on the water factory that has been created as a capstone of Hillcrest's financial support for the school. The goal being to equip Santa Fe to be completely self-sufficient. Now, the Hillcrest teams visit Santa Fe because of the decades old friendship, a marker of the unique partnership in the Gospel that the two schools share.

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Wayne StenderComment
Dominican Team Feeds the Hungry and Shares the Gospel in Day Three

To close the night the team celebrated Zach Jacobson's birthday. The team bought one cake to celebrate, but were surprised by one of the Principals of a school they visited earlier in their trip, who shared two ice cream cakes with the Hillcrest team. The Principal, Bolivar, visited Hillcrest last year. He has a vision to start an exchange program with Hillcrest Academy, and Principal Isaac, Mr. Preston, and Erick Sede sat down to talk about the relationship God is fostering between the schools with Bolivar, Grisbeer Sosa and Ramon Diaz. Be in prayer for this group as they continue to follow the Lord's leading in how He is uniting the two schools around Christ.

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Wayne StenderComment
Dominican Mission Visits Handicap Orphanage in Full Day of Ministry

Following lunch, the Hillcrest team boarded the bus to venture to Casa de Luz. Many students have heard of this mission stop. It's an orphanage for physically and mentally disabled children. Hillcrest students jumped in to play games, sing songs, and talk with the children of the orphanage who are forgotten by many in society. It was a memorable place where students weren't able to communicate verbally, but shared the touch and presence of Christ with the orphans in true acts of love, concern, and care. 

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Wayne StenderComment
Dominican Mission Team Launches

Throughout the coming week Hillcrest seniors will report back to share how the Lord is working in their lives and in the various communities of our brothers and sisters living in the Dominican Republic. For some of the students this experience will whet an appetite for intercultural ministries. For others, this trip will solidify a confidence in the Lord to boldly share their faith with friends, neighbors, and various people they will come in contact with throughout the rest of their lives. 

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Hillcrest AcademyComment
Mission Team Wraps-up Ministry with Outreach to Public School

As we are packing up to go, we ask anyone who would like a Spanish Bible to come and talk to us. We run out of Bibles in minutes. Addresses, emails, and Facebook contact information is exchanged and everyone is all smiles as we part. Doors are miraculously opening up for Hillcrest to do more and more visits in school and even universities in upcoming visits. We marvel at what God is doing. 

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Dawn SynstelienComment
Students Excperience a New Resurrection Day; Yearning to See the Broken and Disabled Running to Jesus

Our students interact with the many children of all ages, pushing their wheelchairs out into the sun, combing their hair, or simply holding their hands. We present the staff with a gift of money we brought along and pray for them. One student prays, "oh God, bless these women who care for these children who are made in Your Image. Bless these children that you love so dearly until we see them running and playing in heaven."

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Dawn SynstelienComment
Comets Settle in and Fortify Friendships in Reaching-out on Day 3

After our service, we feed all the children and mommies and babies buttered bread and pear-flavored Kool-aid. As we are handing out our meager lunch, I ask two of the students how it feels to feed Jesus. They look at me as if they haven't heard me quite right. It IS hot, after all, and we are all increasingly saying heat-induced silly things. "The least of these--that's who we are feeding right now. Jesus said when we do that, we are feeing HIM. Plus," I continue, "Anyone who offers a cup of cold water to a child, is really blessing God." I am humbled by this revelation from my own mouth.

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Dawn SynstelienComment
The Journey Draws Comets to Consider True Home

Landing at the airport in Santa Domingo is vastly different from the one we left hours ago at JFK. We left the cement and skyscrapers of NYC and landed in a field surrounded by palm trees.  I smell food I can't identify and the scent of something burning. I feel like I have been dropped into the middle of a new planet.

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On Being Sent

Today, I watched parents embracing their sons and daughters. Parents who are doctors and carpenters, police officers, teachers, and pastors. Along with moms and dads, there were school staff, cousins, aunts and uncles and plenty of friends on hand for the send off. “God be with you--we’ll be praying” was the resounding message.

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