January 26, 2014

Day of rest

Kitchener HANDS Team:

Happy Sunday to our "Community" family! This morning we headed to the church that Mario Matos attends and helps pastor. Mario is the director for CTM, the Centre for Transforming Missions, supported by CRWM. The name of the church was Dios Es Mi Paz-Iglesias Cristiana Reformada. We arrived at around 9:15 and they were singing, loud and bouncy. There were drums and a praise team up front and we soon recognized "Come, Now is the Time to Worship" in Spanish.

Lots of women and children with the very few men who stood at the back. It was such a beautiful thing to hear and see in this very poor, run down part of Santo Domingo. God is doing amazing things here in the CRC! Everyone is welcoming and happy we're here. The message on Stewardship was given by one of the local women leaders and translated for us by Mario. We were all encouraged and challenged to be servants to each other and those less fortunate and in need. After the service, two of the church ladies walked us around the block to show us the neighbourhood. We walked through washed out pathways and streets, many with small shops selling whatever they had, from groceries to vegetables and fruit and repuestos (parts) and basura (junk)......you know the saying about one man's trash being another man's treasure. After we left, we were humbled and challenged again by all that we saw.

Two of our team are a bit under the weather today. We think it was a type of cake that we stopped for along the highway on our way back down the mountain. We all sampled a very small piece but obviously for some that was too much. After some pasta and sandwiches for lunch we had time to relax a bit before our host Victor came to take us to the historical district of Santo Domingo. Today is Presidents Day here, so there were various celebrations going on around the city centre. We walked around the first church that was built on the island, saw the monument of Christopher Columbus who found the island and just walked around town. It reminded some of us of some of the old towns in Europe. We could certainly see more wealth here in the city compared to where we are staying and where we are working. We keep saying, there are such extreme contrasts here. Very wealthy and very poor. Some of the taxis we see shouldn't be anywhere near a road and we see new large brand North American vehicles as well. There are no lines on the roads and very few traffic lights. This is a city of 4.5 million people so they just drive all over the road and use their horns and point out the window when they need to make a left turn. Our driver Daniel certainly knows his way on the roads. I don't think any of us would care to drive here.

Back at the ministry centre again around 6, just in time for dinner. We usually try to guess what we're having since it's usually pretty much the same thing. Fried chicken or smoked pork chops or beef with beans and rice, spaghetti pasta and broccoli, carrots and "tayota" a white vegetable with a green peel that grows sort of like a cucumber. It's always good and we're hungry and thankful for it and the two ladies who make it. So, it's almost 10 o'clock and most of the team have gone to bed. We're back to mixing and slugging mortar and making scaffolding for Harley and Hank and Chris to lift into the forms. Till tomorrow........goodnight



Jan 27, 2014 at 6:35 am

Wishing you all the best, team, in your second and final week. Praying for quick healing for those who are unwell. Greetings from snowy, cold, Canada!

Jan 27, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Hi Team. Thanks for this blog - nice to be able to hear a bit on what you are doing. Know that your work is blessing the kids there and praying that those who are ill will feel better soon.

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