Yesterday the Dominican mission team visited the Santa Fe school. A lot has been said about this relationship in this blog. To sum it up, this school is really a sister school of Hillcrest Academy. Their founding occured because God called a husband/wife team to train a village of people forgotten by the government. The village sits in the shadow of a sugar cane factory. Most of the adults in the village remember when they or their parents were supported by the income of the factory. Now it sits abandoned and many of the adults leave the village each day to work in the city, nearby sugar cane fields, or peddling whatever crafts or goods they can find.
The school is a Christian school. Similar to Hillcrest, Santa Fe wants to build confidence in God's word for the students. They explain the world from a Biblical perspective and work to build a faith that will last a lifetime through their daily lessons.
Since God brought the two schools together Hillcrest has seen buildings erected, students transition to high school and University, and the creation of an adult education wing on the campus for adult classes in the evening, following the day school classes for younger students.
In the evening, Hillcrest students put on their Sunday best and attended a Dominican church. Needless to say it was a cultural experience. Loud Spanish music fills the streets similar to church bells in the midwest. Where midwest churches have a short greeting time, the Dominican church spends five minutes in handshakes and hugs. The people in the front make their way to the back of the church. The people in the back move to the front. The whole process mixes the entire church and lasts for a long period of time before people slowly find their way back to their seats. Relationship is important in the Dominican Republic. It's one of the spiritual lessons most student learn on this trip, that God has created us for community. It is not good for us to be alone.