February 18, 2015

It's almost here

HDCH Choir HANDS Team:

It's almost here.

Just a few short weeks from now, our team of weird and wonderful humans is going to be hopping on a plane and taking off on an incredible adventure to the Dominican Republic.

To be honest, the whole concept still seems pretty surreal yet. For so long now, this trip has just seemed like a crazy dream, and the fact that it's going to become a reality in such a short time is both exciting and overwhelming. Honestly, it's hard not to get excited when thinking about what we're going to be doing down there: whether it's learning more about music in a camp we're attending, getting to know the people in Los Alcarrizos and doing some community service projects alongside them, or even just experiencing the rich culture that the Dominican has to offer. The experience seems more fun and rich than anything I've had the opportunity to do in my sixteen years of being alive, and I, for one, am super stoked and very thankful to be able to be go. Also, not gonna lie, the idea of getting to go to somewhere warm soon is pretty nice. (I mean, snow is pretty and all, but if I have the option of being someplace where I don't have to worry about getting frostbite after standing outside for ten minutes, I'm a-okay with that.) Of course, incredible experiences like this don't come without their fair share of hard work. This is the season our team is living in now: a season of hard work, deadlines, and scrambling to get everything prepared before we leave. It's easy to get stressed out in times like this, when there seems to be so many things to do in so little time. However, you can either let high-pressure situations bring you down, or you can use them as learning experiences. And boy have we ever been doing a ton of learning in the past couple months! How, you ask? Well, here are just some of the many valuable life lessons that I, for one, have learned throughout this experience so far:

1) Procrastination isn't the greatest thing. When you're in a situation that has very strict deadlines on when forms have to be handed in, when money has to be deposited, etc., leaving things till the last minute isn't gonna help you, or anyone else. Get things done on time so you're not that person who's left panicking and/or crying at the last second. (Yes, I have been that person. Judge me as you will.)

2) Nothing brings people together like sharing a meal with each other. Some of the most fun I've had with this team is on those long, hectic nights where we've stayed after school, had a meal together, and just talked. I feel like each time we do this, we grow together as a family, which is so vital when you're taking on such a big project like this trip. There's something about being together and eating that makes you loosen up. The conversation flows more naturally, the laughs come easier, and the friendship comes closer together. Pizza=excellent bonding tool. Enough said.

3) Teamwork. This is a biggie. Asking other people for help isn't a sign of weakness. If anything, it's the opposite. Learning how to work with others well is such an important life tool. When you know how to cooperate and collaborate successfully with a team of people, then you have the ability to flourish in so many situations. Don't be afraid to ask questions, or offer a hand to someone who looks like they need help. It brings you together and, in the end, is super rewarding.

4) Spanish is a beautiful language. That's just a fact. Everything sounds better in Spanish.

5) Don't be afraid of trying new things. Spending your entire life inside your comfort zone isn't healthy. Learn how to break out of your shell and experience new things, no matter how weird, hard, or scary they initially seem. This is probably the biggest lesson that I personally have learned. Don't be afraid of taking risks. Even if you take that risk and fail, it's okay, because you can learn from your mistakes and use them as motivation to improve. Be okay with putting yourself in a seemingly uncomfortable situation every now and then, because at the end of the day, you'll learn more from experiencing life at its crazy points then you would from playing it safe all the time. Seize opportunities as they come to you. You won't regret it. 

Now obviously, these are not all the lessons we've learned so far. There have been so many other growing experiences that we've had over the past few months as we've been prepping for this trip, and honestly, not all of them have been easy. There's been bumps and bruises along the way, and you know, maybe that's the best part about this whole ordeal. The fact that we've been able to use these tougher times to grow as individuals says a lot about this team. We've come a long way since our first couple meetings back in September, and it's exciting to think how much farther we'll go as this journey progresses. The process may not always be pretty, but when it's all said and done, the end result will be something awesome, something that, hopefully, we can walk away from as changed people.

Of course, this experience would not be possible without all of our amazing supporters. Thank you so much to everyone who'shelped us over the past few months: whether you've donated to our team, supported us in prayer, helped us in our fundraisers, or even driven us to and from our early morning and late-night meetings. Your contributions have not gone unnoticed. Also, thank you to EduDeo ministries for giving us this opportunity in the first place. (You should go check them out at: https://edudeo.com because they really are quite fabulous.)

As for now, please pray that God will continue to work in this team, and that everything that happens, whether it's in our planning, our rehearsing, or in what we do with our time down in the Dominican Republic, will all be honouring to Him, because He's ultimately the reason why we're doing this.  It's all a process, but with God at the centre, something amazing is bound to come from it.


For more details, check out our blog!



Mar 15, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Glad to receive the emails that you have arrived and are doing well. We hope you were blessed in worship today as you participated in the service. I must confess that adjusting to the humidity would be a challenge I'm ready to accept after our Canada winter. Praying that it does not prohibit you from singing and giving all you have.

We would love to see some pictures or a post on the blog if Internet connection enables you to post.

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