Dominican Team Feeds the Hungry and Shares the Gospel in Day Three
Following a late night of worship, the Dominican team took a few hours Thursday to refuel. As the sun started to peak over the Caribbean, however, the roosters caw stirred the team awake. After fueling up on their Dominican style breakfast, the students boarded the buses with water bottles in tow for an afternoon with Pan y Palabra, a ministry that gives food and support to a low income village outside of San Pedro. The morning mission would be one of deed and Word that called the hearts of students into a deeper love for the Dominican Republic.
As students filed off the buses the children rushed to see "los americanos." Arriving in the La Jagua village pulled the curtain back even further for some students who are experiencing another perspective of existence on earth. For many, their imaginations could never create a place that had such joy without convenience.
As the students filed into a room filled with white chairs decorated with balloons ornately crafted to look like flowers, the team from Pan y Palabra started organizing the children from the village.
Little children bustled in to sit on the chairs, some patiently waiting with eyes fixated on the Americans with their huge backpacks and big smiles. The Hillcrest started passing out food and drink to the children. Orange juice and a pastry drew the students in, some who would later have their hair washed by the team of Hillcrest students handing out breakfast.
The team from Pan y Palabra set up rows of chairs outside in the blinding sunlight. The children rushed from the room where they received breakfast to the chairs outside. Towels were draped over the shoulders of the children as the Hillcrest team grabbed shampoo and ventured over uneven ground to wash the hair of the little girls. The clean hair was braided by the Hillcrest team.
After providing food and drink, and once the team finished washing the hair of the children, shouts were heard inside a classroom in the village. The Hillcrest team started calling all of the children to the room for the program. There was singing, which sounds more like aggressive chanting. Two testimonies were given, one by Ethan Bock and another by Sam Ihrke. Both Hillcrest students have experienced the loss of a parent. The testimonies of God's faithfulness and comfort were perfectly timed for this community.
The team gave food to supply the village church with resources to reach out to the community in the coming days before boarding the bus for lunch at the mission house. Their next time on the bus would be a longer trip, going to San Romano where the team would visit a hospital to pray with patients.
After the time at the hospital the team connected with an orphanage, Funacion Ninas y Ninos de Christo before connecting with some peers at Iglesia Evangelical church at a youth church service. Molly Dirks and Alexis Tungseth shared their testimonies with the youth, giving a perspective that God's love reaches out to students around the world.
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.