Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 25

We are all packed up and have  finished breakfast. We are cleaning up our rooms and will be loading up and heading to the airport soon. Our flight departs the DR at 1:15pm. We are scheduled to land in Miami at 3:35. Then we leave to head home to San Francisco at 8:05pm and arrive 10:45 local time. Please pray for the flight schedules to be on time and for an easy trip through customs. We miss all of you and will see you soon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 24

Hi I'm Monica and I wanted to share what I did today. Today we went to Pastor Juan's church and worked with the children. I got to see tons of little kids (about 100) who have so many needs that, we in America, take for granted. Children who didn't have a bath, had barely any clothes, and whose health needs weren't met. I met this little girl named Jasmine. She is 11 and was watching her 3 little siblings. She had very little clothes on and yet she was so happy. She didn't smile much, but when her siblings smiled and laughed her smile just glowed. To see how content and happy she was to see her siblings happy made me realize that she didn't care what happened to her, but as long as her siblings were happy. It made me think about how selfish I am. I'm always thinking about myself and never about my siblings or others around me. It really changed my view on love, selflessness and God. Hello this is Hipster Colby Jack ,Wagglin' in to tell you about our day. Today was our last full day in the Dominican Republic! I'm extremely sad to leave all the amazing people here, but naturally, I am excited to see my family again. After we went to Pastor Juan's church and played with all the amazing children, we continued on to the next church. There, we met new kids and played, and sang songs, and danced. It rocked. Except I became the victim of mulitple 'Tickle Attacks', by almost every kid there... During my stay in the Dominican Republic, I was continuously aware of all the things I take for granted in America. During our talk tonight about the impact this trip had on us, I realized that I was here because God wanted me to be here. Not because I happened to be fully funded, but because this was part of God's plan for me. Leaving here, I think I have done what God sent me here to do. I won't be leaving empty-handed. I'm going to miss the friends I made and all the laughs created here, in the Dominican Republic. Thank you to everyone who supported me! I am eternally grateful for this opportunity. See you in America homies! Colby Wagg' signin' out. Hey hey, its Janay here! Today was one of my favorite days that I've experienced here in the Dominican Republic. We had the opportunity to meet new friends, be silly with them and just show them God's love. It was such a touching day for me to see how grateful the kids are for what they have, even if its only the clothes on their bodies, family and maybe a meal per day. The past few days were great too, but last night, Jon, the speaker, told us to put all of our energy into our last day. What great advice! If you put everything you have into serving God, He will bless you tremendously. I wish I could've gotten to know the kids a little bit better, but I'm very thankful that I had the opportunity to share the love of God with those less fortunate than me. The ten days flew by but it was such a great experience. I definitely want to come back! God is such a wonderful God... He is worthy of all of our praise. Well, time for bed! Long day ahead of us tomorrow!

Monday, July 23, 2012

July 23 a.m.

Whaddup y'all, Clairene here! This morning we dragged ourselves out of bed, had breakfast (PANCAKES WHADDUP), and hopped on a bus to do ministry in San Pedro. First we toured a private Christian K-5 school that is run by the wife of the pastor of the church we attended yesterday. It was super nifty to see the kids getting the education that they desperately need and that most kids here unfortunately don't recieve. After that, the chicos and chicas split up and the boys headed out to move some furniture and the girls walked a few blocks away to Mercy House, a safe house for prostitutes that want to get off the street. Here they get to learn about God and how to provide for themselves by making jewelry and gorgeous flip flops. Eventually they are able to transition out of the safe house and are given a sewing machine and are told that Mercy House will buy the items that they make. Today we girls re-painted the living room and dining room of the safe house because the (ADORABLE) kids that come there with their mothers apparently enjoy using their coloring crayons on the walls. It was a lot of work but it was fun playing with the kids and knowing that we were making the house even more inviting for these women that need somewhere to come and be loved with the love of God through other people. Right now we're sitting under the stars at the YWAM base with some Dominican teens having a little impromptu worship session. I've really enjoyed getting to know them this week and it makes me SO SAD to think that we have to leave Wednesday. Sorry mi familia, but I don't miss you or America at all HAHAHA. I'm actually digging the humidity and sudden rainshowers and the tarantulas at night and hearing Spanish everywhere (no sarcasm intended). Although, today when we went to Jumbo, the grocery store, I realized that they don't have gallons of milk here like they do back home. I'm not sure if you know, but I'm half Dutch so milk runs in my blood. Frankly, I was appalled and I have yet to figure out a way to have milk shipped here when I live here in the future...Or I can just get a cow...Anyways, I'm out for now, time to go hang out with the Dominican homies. Much love xoxo P.S. No joke, she was crying in the middle of the grocery store. -Abigail

July 23 p.m.

Whats GUCCI my American homies, Sarah Checking in! Missing home but absolutely loving it here! This is my first Mission trip and I am crazy in love with missions now! Speaking of Missions.. Tonight was "Mission Night" over here at the DR YWAM base. Testimonies about the Mission field were shared and it gets me pumped about my possible future as a Missionary. We also watched videos about whats going on around the world. These people pretty much only own the dirt beneath their feet. I am constantly being reminded of how fortunate we are in America. We have so much and are still discontent, these people have so little and have the biggest smiles on their faces. It's defintly a humbling experience being here in the Dominican Republic. We learned about the 10-40 Window (Google it). You will be amazed about what is going on in this world that we have no idea about. We are having so much fun over here. We've made new friends, and reconnected with the old ones. I can see the Love of God in each person here. Its amazing how people from total different sides of the world can connect through the Worship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Together we can conquer anything. Through this whole trip I've noticed we are all the same, we are all Children of The One. We had alot of fun during our days here. I am definatly going to miss it. God has done so much in my life. I cant believe i have to say my Goodbyes so soon. I feel like we just got here. On a happy note, Hipster Colbz (Colby Waggle), the other girls, and I have been having the time of our lives. We got our hair done, almost eaten by Tarantulas, and Singing our hearts out to One Direction. This week has been THE best! Well its almost 10:30 pm here, Time for bed, we got a big day ahead of us. Lots of VBS stuff tomorrow. Bring it on! Love you all. Keep it real! SARAH CHECKIN' OUT!

Birthday Shoutouts

Hipster Colby checkin' in! Just wanted to wish my dad, Jon, a very happy birthday! I miss you and will see you very soon! I love you! Jake, Matt, Josh, Ashley, Rod & Donna would like to wish Grammy Judy a Happy Birthday as well. Hope it's a wonderful day for you. We love you!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 20

Today, we went to a local church and spent the entire day working on a building that the church uses for their children's programs. We worked on putting a ceiling up, framing an interior wall and demolishing a section of a concrete block wall. We ended up having quite a bit of idle time during the work, due to not having all of the neccesary supplies for the project. Once we were missing items, the Dominicans we were working with would run out to get the neccesary item, which happened several different times throughout the day. We also had to make do with the tools we had available to perform the work. The block wall we ended up taking down with framing hammers. We ended up having paint rollers but no trays. Throughout the challenges, each of the team members kept a good attitude and worked hard, when there was work to do. The weather today was clear in the morning and a little more humid than yesterday. After lunch it rained hard several times. This actually helps to relieve the humidity some during the rain, but when it stops raining it is more humid. Many of us run outside when it begins to rain to cool off a bit. We are adjusting to the weather, but it does tire us out quicker than we would like. We all have a greater appreciation for air conditioning. We have also learned that cold showers are a blessing. Not much need for hot water here. At the end of the day we returned to the base to a nearly full swimming pool and enjoyed a refreshing swim in the pool. During our evening session we spent time in small groups praying for the 7 spheres of the Dominican Nation. The 7 spheres were: Business; Family; Media & Communications; Arts & Entertainment; Government & Law; Education and Church. We followed up the prayer time with worship. After worship we and the Ywam staff prayed over a young man by the name of Bobby who had come to the base a couple of days before us. He is 20 years old and will soon be starting his third year at Indiana. He left out earlier today to head home to Chicago. We are looking forward to a day off tomorrow to go explore the beach and some of the city here. After a long hot days work, this will be very refreshing.

July 21

Hello, this is Abigail, writing today's post. Today was an awesome day! We got to sleep in an entire hour later (8:30 whoop whoop!) and then we prepared to go to the beach. The beach is about a 10 minute walk from the base where we are staying. It was beautiful! Light colored sand and blue, clear, warm water (Total opposite to the beach in California). We all had a great time playing in the water and splashing around. John, our YWAM leader, warned us about swimming to the areas where the bottom was covered in seaweed in case there were sea urchins (Because they would sting). All was going fairly well, we had a chance to buy some souvenirs and then it was back in the water. I was with Josh and Matt in the water when I sorta tripped onto the seaweed. Oh my goodness! Instant pain shooting up my leg, and first with the shock of the hurting I wasn't sure what happened. I stood up out of the water and yelled out, "Is this what it feels like to be stung by a sea urchin?!" No one was quite sure. Within minutes it seemed to be inflamed or something because it was bright red and clearly, very swollen. After a painful walk up out of the water and onto the beach, I was able to lay down. I took some benyadryl and advil (Don't worry mom, I'm fine.) and slept for a bit while my Clairene rubbed my back and took good care of me (What else are bestfriends for?). John later said that he could tell I was a shopper because everytime a vendor walked by I would sit up and say, "What are they selling? Is it a good deal?". After resting a bit I felt much better and there was no more swelling and we all managed to walk to a restaurant for lunch where we got some AMAZING pizza and pasta. After another 10 minute walk back to the base we all got to rest for a while before eating super good tacos. We started a great game of Silent Football (Whaddup, Mark?) before a crazy/freaky/awesome/exciting discovery was made. A HUGE TARANTULA!! The YWAMers who were near by were shocked at its ginormous size! So, after taking what seemed like a million pictures it was time to "take care of it". Rod found a large board and killed it so that it wouldn't poison anyone/thing and, as one of the Spanish speaking girls living on base, described to her brother "He went KABOOM KABOOM on the tarantula". So, it's been an eventful day and I hope everything at home is going well. Te amo mas, Abigail.