Dominican Republic trip – mission accomplished!

By Reneé Wegman DominicanRepublicMissionTrip2016_Amy_Renee_paintingOur mission trip group consisted of five individuals: Brittney Collins, Cooper Nordeen, Amy Wegman, Ann Nordeen and myself. It took us to a small rural town outside of Puerto Plata called Mosavi. To get to Mosavi we traveled daily several miles down a rocky dirt road that, at times, becomes impassable due to flooding caused by large amounts of rain that can come on very short notice. Once the road floods no one is able to leave the village, and so fortunately for us, our weather was very warm, and mostly dry. Upon arriving at the village each day, we were greeted, welcomed, and taken care of by the community until our work for the day was done. DominicanRepublicMissionTrip2016_1Our main job for the week was to clean and seal the roof. To paint the inside and outside of the church, and help clean and get a small clinic building and surrounding area ready for use. Each day would begin with prayer asking for God’s help with the goal set before us for that day and hopefully accomplishing the greater goal for our week there. Mosavi itself was an eye opening experience for our little group. The housing was well below what we Americans would consider poverty level. Tiny little homes had dirt floors and lacked both doors and glass or screens in the windows. Trash was piled up everywhere. There were chickens, cows and dogs roaming everywhere, including in and out of the open doors! To our way of living this was very hard to accept. DominicanRepublicMissionTrip2016_GroupShotWhat we found though is that the people of Mosavi are extremely proud of what they have. They have such an astounding faith in God, in each other and the whole community there. They look past what they don’t have and look forward to what God is doing for them every day. We found that the little church is the center of the community and the adhesive that holds them together. They sing, celebrate God and plan for their future. The Episcopal Church Divina Gracia is a growing and thriving community that wants to incorporate a daycare and has many other plans for the future. We met many people of all ages, from the little girls who followed us around and were eager to assist us in any way they could with our task for the day, to a young man named Antaoni who had just graduated and spoke a little English, and told us about his brother, sister and cousin. And then there were the older women who made sure we had fresh fruit each day and watched over us for heat exhaustion. At the end of our week they invited us into their homes and cooked a meal for us. They did not think of what they could afford to offer us; as their guests they gave all they had from their hearts and souls. There was no holding back, no fear that they would not have enough the next day….just faith in God and his Grace! For us, it was an experience that we will remember for a lifetime, and a mission accomplished!