Monday, March 30, 2015

Report from mission team

  We give thanks that our team has returned safely from the Dominican Republic, carrying a few bruises, the odd sunburn and a host of stories.  After our service on Sunday, the team presented a report, with slides.  Their excitement was so great they never stopped smiling.  They talked over each other as each recalled a special moment, their faces glowed and their hearts were full.  Not only for the work they had done, but to the congregation for its wholehearted support of the venture including these Spanish/English Bibles arranged for by Lloyd Warkentin of SPPC. 

    Their main task while in the DR was to build houses, using cement blocks.  At the top of this post is one they started from the ground up and took to the top of the doorway.  Below is one that they finished from the top of the doorway to the roof.   Mixing mortar, hauling it to the roof via a bucket brigade and doing it all in blazing heat created some sore muscles but more smiles.

Felicity earned a reputation as master bender of rebar.  Those triangles are essential for attaching the roof part of the house to the block walls.

Of course, building houses was only one purpose for the trip.  Another was to build relationships.  

Those relationships allowed The House Upon the Rock, our host, to fulfill it's call to God's work in Pedgregal.
The children especially were eager for hugs and cuddles.

Cameras and minds are full of photos and impressions that will take a while to process. 

Heat, poverty, joy, mosquitoes, peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, a marvellous swimming hole, aching muscles, scratched hands, friendships and amazing stories of faith.

Before the team left home, word was received that the church, which operates on rented land, was to be evicted.  The landlord had sold the space.  The minister, who lived on the land, and the congregation who worshipped there, had no idea where they would end up, or even if they could continue.
A few hours later, a donor from here came forward with $20,000.00 to buy land for the church so they would never face eviction again.  Our team arrived in the Dominican Republic as bearers of a miracle.

Another wonder concerned the medical clinic.  When our team arrived, the medicine cabinet was bare.
 But our people had packed extra suitcases, (which got through customs with no questions, a miracle in itself) full of medicines.  The empty cupboard was soon transformed to this, filled and overflowing.

The mission trip to the Dominican Republic has been a tremendous endeavour both for the people who went and for the congregation of SPPC.   Even as the lives of the team members  have been changed, SPPC has changed as well.  We aren't done with the children of Pedregal.  Supplies will always be needed, prayers will always be needed, and, if you want to sponsor a child, you can give her/him an education that will benefit the whole community.  Talk to Linda for how you can help.

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