This past March, the 2024 senior class embarked on TCS’ 28th annual Dominican Republic Missions Trip. With Miss McKay, Mrs. Dagnall, Miss Arnesen, Mr. DiSebastian, and the trip’s beloved leaders Don and Janis Coords at the helm, the seniors set off for a week of ministry. 

Timothy Christian School partners with a non-profit Gospel centered organization called Handfuls of Hope (HOH), started by Don & Janis Coords. Several of the ministries our seniors take part in are run by HOH. This trip serves as a way for our seniors to share the Gospel, serve others, and prepare them for serving their local churches and Christian communities in the years to come.  

The trip started out with what is always a highlight; seniors shopped at the Mercado [Market] Modelo in the heart of Santo Domingo, DR’s capital city, where they practiced their bargaining skills buying souvenirs.  

They then jumped right into ministry which carried them through each day of the trip. In the capital city, they handed out tracts and took part in open-air ministry singing worship songs in Spanish. Our seniors enjoyed saying “Dios te ama” which translates to “God loves you,” as they handed out the tracts. They were in awe of how receptive the locals were and enjoyed passing by people reading the tracts.  

Back at the hotel, seniors had their first devotional night, a pattern that would continue each night. They worshipped together, received a short message or charge from one of their chaperones and had a chance to reflect and discuss their impressions from the day.  

Some highlights in the days to follow were mainly focused on kids. Right outside the capital city, students helped paint houses and ran their kids’ program singing songs in Spanish, performing a skit, and doing the puppet show – all centered around their class theme of forgiveness. The village kids especially loved the puppets! Our seniors were amazed at how cheerful the kids were and how welcoming the local church community was.  

Much time was spent at the Handfuls of Hope School. Our seniors spent hours performing their kids’ program for the different age groups, running games, playing basketball and volleyball, face painting and just delighting in the joy and youthfulness of the village students. Our senior girls had the unique opportunity to run a Bible study for the older female students focused on the Fruit of the Spirit and how to live them out day-to-day. Our seniors met some children that Timothy Christian School sponsors, handed out gifts, and got to learn about their experience at the school! Some seniors were moved to sponsor students of their own.  

For the first time in a few years, our seniors visited the Robert Reed Children’s Hospital where they sang, handed out diapers, toys, and prayed with the families in the hospital. Our seniors were extremely moved and humbled as they quickly realized the stark differences in this DR hospital’s facilities and access to supplies versus their local hospitals in New Jersey. 

A highlight of the trip for every class is visiting the Pasitos Girls Orphanage. Timothy Christian School has a long legacy of ministry there. Our seniors enjoyed playing with the girls, dancing, and exchanging cultures. Our seniors were again in awe of the welcoming spirit and Christ-like joy that was evident through the whole orphanage.  

Some points of ministry were harder than others. This was clear at a village called LaRigola. LaRigola is so named for the river that runs through the village. Surrounded by poor infrastructure serving as homes, this river is the main source of bathing, drinking, and playing water for the community. As our seniors participated in HOH’s Isaiah 58 Ministry handing out Manna packs and praying, they were struck with the sobering truth that this is life for the community and again contrasted it to their ease of living in New Jersey. As the seniors walked through the village, young children started tagging along and the day ended with impromptu singing, jump roping, and balloon making with the kids. It was incredibly hard to leave that community as the sense of purpose and love for the kids was felt deeply by our seniors.  

The seniors Dominican Republic Trip always ends with a beach day! This year, they brought the Pasitos Girls Orphanage girls with them and had a blast playing in the water, sand, and once again sharing cultures and singing.  

It was so clear through this whole trip that we serve a good and faithful Father. Day in and day out, the seniors witnessed how God has sustained communities in the DR that seemed like they had little to nothing but still relied on the Lord for provision and strength. From the moments of exciting ministry to independent and group reflection, our seniors walked away feeling a newfound sense of thankfulness for their privilege as Americans, humility before The Lord, and perspective about ways they can serve people at home.