Seniors at Timothy Christian School recently returned from a missions trip to the Dominican Republic. This trip has been happening annually for twenty-one years at TCS. It is 8 days of non-stop action for our students.
For many of them, it’s their first time away from home and their first time ministering God’s love in such an impactful way.
Samantha Stanley had to overcome her fear of flying and claustrophobia just to start the journey but she says the experience helped grow her faith.
“Just going on the trip was a huge leap of faith for me and putting all my trust in God,” said Stanley.
In the DR, Stanley and classmates were immediately placed into some heart-wrenching and challenging situations.
They visited a girls’ orphanage, a children’s hospital, several Christian schools, one public school and worked with a local church in poverty stricken sugarcane villages handing out needed supplies. Seniors had the chance to pray with children and adults throughout the week as they handed out food and ministered to the sick in the hospital.
Each year God shows up in a big way dictating the course of the trip.
One major part of this year’s trip was a visit to a girls’ orphanage that TCS supports. It’s an orphanage that is home to 43 girls ages 3-15. While TCS Seniors visit the orphanage each year, this class trip could not have come at a more crucial time. Just before our seniors arrived in the DR, one of the older girls in the orphanage died of cancer. Instead of just visiting the girls one day on the trip, the class spent two days with them taking the girls to the beach on one of the days.
“We sat with some of the girls from the orphanage on the beach and we just started singing worship songs and you could really feel the presence of the Lord during that time. It was an amazing moment for me,” says Senior, Charis Edmond.
“It was a joy for me to challenge them with the idea that we weren’t going to the beach for us. We’re going there for the kids. I didn’t have to say it again – to just watch them step up and make it about the orphans made me think; ‘They’ve got it, they understand!’” said TCS teacher and coordinator of the trip, Laura McKay.
If they have been at Timothy long enough, these students have been hearing about the trip since Kindergarten. The whole school is involved in supporting the trip by bringing in school supplies for the village schools and Beanie babies and toys for the children in the hospital. Elementary students hear about the trip in Chapel each year and have the chance to witness the skits our seniors perform in the DR and view photos. This is one way to get our students excited for what God will do in their Senior year.
“We want our seniors to live out what we’ve been teaching them for thirteen years and have it all culminate in their senior year on a trip to help others. Every trip is unique for that group and I can never explain to them adequately how good it’s going to be,” says McKay. “Once they go and experience it for themselves, then they understand the full impact of the trip on them and on the lives of others.”
“I asked God to touch all of our lives there and for us to experience something we never experienced before. The best part of a missions trip is to wait in expectance for God’s will,” says Edmond.
Many of our seniors come back different. No doubt, they are tired from all of the work they do such as painting, conducting chapels; which include singing and skits, and serving and witnessing all week, but they also come back stronger in their walk with God.
“I learned so many simple things that had a big impact on me,” says Senior, Michael Meleta. “For example, I hadn’t been reading my Bible every day. A speaker on the trip spoke to us and asked, “How are you supposed to know what God’s will for your life is if you’re not reading the Word that He gave you that’s right in front of you?”
On the trip, no cell phones or technology are allowed so the class goes back to the good old days of getting to know each other by communicating face to face. Friendships are formed and bonds made stronger as these young adults, who will soon be off to college, get a lesson in loving each other selflessly and taking the spotlight off of themselves.
“There’s a joy in serving Jesus – in doing His work. Nothing can replace expending yourself selflessly for the Lord. It’s a joy that can’t be satisfied anywhere else,” says McKay.
Fundraising ends for one Senior Class and starts for the current Junior Class at the Junior/Senior Fair. You can support this missions trip by attending the fair taking place at TCS on Wednesday, May 31st. View details on our events page.