While no senior missions trip to the Dominican Republic looks exactly the same, this year’s 25th annual trip was exceptionally different. With Covid still a concern for many, eleven brave seniors, along with Mrs. Nelson, Mrs. Johnson, Miss McKay and Mr. and Mrs. Coords, chose to put their faith into action and headed to the DR on April 24. When they got there, they knew God had rewarded the risk they took by providing them with a beautiful villa right on the ocean where they took in gorgeous mountain views and breathtaking sunsets.
Even though the team was smaller than usual and they missed many of their classmates, they accomplished great things for the Lord during the week. The entire team sang Spanish praise choruses, taught action-packed kids’ songs and acted out the story of Moses and the Israelites. In this Covid year, they brought the message that, “God is always with us and nothing can separate us from God’s love.” Romans 8:38-39 In each sugarcane village, seniors prayed with Haitian families as they handed out food, hygiene packs and diapers. A highlight for many of the seniors was visiting a girls’ orphanage. It was here, that the seniors witnessed a girl who had recently arrived at the orphanage receive Christ as her Savior. Students enjoyed playing soccer, jumping rope, flying frisbees, braiding hair and dancing with over 30 girls who had not had any outside contact with people since Timothy’s mission trip last year. For many places the team went, Timothy was the last in and the first back.
Students hauled and spread gravel for an entire day to lay the foundation for a basketball and volleyball court for the Handfuls of Hope Christian School in the remote village of Catalina. Not wanting to quit, they worked well past the designated time until the entire court was covered with stone. They excitedly watched the next day as the cement was poured over their hours of labor. By the following day, the cement had dried so the seniors were able to play volleyball (and win) against a local village team on their court!
The seniors were challenged each morning and night with devotional thoughts from Scripture. They were given opportunities each day for personal alone time with God for them to listen to and reflect on all that God was showing them during the week. The sharing time on Friday night was sweet as seniors shared personally with each other their hurts and fears and what God was teaching them through all they experienced and saw God doing during their week in the Dominican Republic. Continue to pray for our seniors that the impact of the trip would truly be a life-changing experience spurring them onto a deeper walk with God.