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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Adios Dominican! 1 comment

Our Team:

We greatly enjoyed our work and experience in the Dominican this past week. We have formed new relationships with the people there, and gained new friends along the way, who we hope can come to visit or we can go visit again. Our work has left an impact on those we came to work alongside, and has impacted us as well. 

3:00am, and on our way home already. Our wonderful driver came to pick us up, and we made our way to the airport for our flight just after 6:00am. After checking our bags and making our way through security, we found our gate and boarded shortly thereafter. We managed to get some sleep on the plane, as most of us only had less than three hours of sleep. In just under four hours, we arrived again in New York, where we had to transfer our checked baggage, go through customs, and again make our way through security. 

Quickly stopping to grab burgers and milkshakes for lunch, we then hustled to the entire other end of the terminal to get to our gate. We were the last to board, and relieved to get some more time to rest. 

Finally landing in Buffalo about an hour later, we met up with our drivers who were as excited to see us as we were to see them. After grabbing our baggage, we made plans for who was driving with who back to Woodstock. An hour or so after, we made it across the border, finally back in Canada! 

A few hours drive and we had all made our way back home, ready to get some rest and unpack our bags over the coming days. We were very thankful for our safe travels. 

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Day 6: Going Away Party 0 comments

Our final day here in the Dominican was equally as great as the rest of our stay. After our interaction with the students and staff, and the workers throughout the past week, we were able to go out with our driver/new friend for a relaxed day. 

We were able to go to the market to pick out some mementos of our trip, and then we went to the beach, stopping to pick up some snacks/lunch along the way. 

We were brought to a beach where very few people usually go, meaning we had the small cove essentially to ourselves. Even while we were driving, we were amazed at the power and size of the waves. Despite our first impressions, we ran fearlessly into the water and got knocked back over and over. After some fun in the water, we came out to eat our picnic lunch on the beach and play some volleyball. Following lunch, we ran into some more waves, played some more volleyball, and suntanned. As a result of all this time in the sun, nearly all of us got sunburned. But the day was enjoyed by all of us despite that setback. 

We then headed back to the compound to take showers and a swim in the pool to clear the salt from our skin, and begin packing up our stuff as we will be leaving for the airport at 3:00am. We then headed to a going away party at the EduDeo center/school that the staff and students hosted for us. 

After yet another delicious dinner, and then were presented with songs, dances, and skits. A couple of talented young girls performed a dance. And the older students did a moving skit showing the battle of a Christian in this life, and the struggles in approaching and remaining by Christ in this sinful world. Then they taught all of us a dance, which some of us were better at... but we all managed! Then we taught them a dance as well! Canadians and Dominicans alike had a very enjoyable time. 

We then told the staff and students how grateful we were that we could be here, how we were excited to meet and talk to the students, as well as helping to build and paint classrooms. Then we were given gifts to show their appreciation for our hard work, and willingness to help and converse with them despite the language barrier. They even made a birthday cake with a massive sparkler candle for the three birthday girls! We were so taken aback by their generosity, and heartily thanked them for their hospitality over the entire week. 

Back at the compound, we finished packing up, and did our final team devotions in the Dominican, which was on the Sword of the Spirit. A sword, when kept sharp, is a dangerous weapon. With constant study of the Word and the Spirit's help, we will be able to use that knowledge in order to go on the offensive. Rather than simply defending our faith from outside attack, which a sword is also capable of doing, we will be enabled to go out into the world and convince others of the truth of the gospel, and strengthen others' faith. 

We cannot stress enough how incredible this experience has been, and how thankful we are that we could create a relationship with fellow Christians in addition to aiding some of their physical needs. We would like to thank EduDeo and COCREF for partnering with our school to give us the chance to partake in this life-changing experience, as well as all those who have supported us both financially and in prayer. 


(More pictures will be uploaded to other posts throughout the week) 


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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Day 5: Hard Working 1 comment

Many things were accomplished today. We arrived at the ministry center/school again after getting up early again. We were able to move materials, clean areas, and even paint! But we first recieved a tour of the classes in the morning. 

Following the tour, we ended up relocating three large piles of sand/gravel using a couple shovels and a wheelbarrow. While a few of us did that, others began moving more of the logs, planks, and plywood to the top floor. The rest of us were able to make the work area super clean by sweeping up all the concrete dust/sand, and other lingering debris. Our final task was painting, which all of us helped out with in one way or another. 

As the construction began to be wrapped up on the second floor, we were able to begin repainting the classrooms that had already been there. From scraping the bumps on the ceiling, to plastering the dents in the walls, everyone had a job to do. First painting the roof, we then moved on to the walls. All the while, paint somehow managed to make its way onto nearly every student... and not just as a side effect of simply painting two rooms. 

Overall, we were able to get lots done for the school, the students said how glad they were that we could come, and we thanked them for giving us the opportunity. 

After the longer day at work, we returned to the compound, where we were able to take a quick swim, and then eat supper. Following this we played games, and then did our devotions. 

The piece of armour we focused on tonight was the Helmet of Salvation. This piece protects our minds from insecurity, and gives us confidence in what is to come. We know that we will recieve salvation if we truly believe in God, His promises, and His gifts to us. This gives us the strength and assurance to stand firm in what we believe, and to not waver when other thoughts are presented from within or without. 


(More pictures will be uploaded to other posts throughout the week) 

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Day 4: Assembly Lines 1 comment

Yet another early morning, and another delicious breakfast, this time of French toast, sausage, and bananas. Then we headed out to work. 

The exciting thing about today was that there were actually students at the school today. a few of us were able to (try to) communicate with them, and take a few pictures with them as well. On top of that, they seemed fascinated with us and the work we were doing. (We also found some gecko friends!)

We helped out much more today, as we were able to finish moving the cinder blocks, moving many pieces of wood to the third floor, which would be used for framing, and logs to support the roof frame for when the concrete ceiling is poured. Our most effecient way of transporting nearly everything is a human chain, passing the blocks, wood, logs, or whatever else down the line. The contractor and some of the other workers seem impressed with how quickly we are able move the things to where they need to be! 

We stacked another massive pile of cinder blocks on the second floor, and brought the wood/logs upstairs, then we were able to help out by tieing up a bunch more rebars. The work as well as water breaks and conversing with the students brought us to all the way to lunch time. 

After lunch, we finished up a few more rebars, and cleaned up the worksite again. 

Coming to the end of our work-day, we headed home to again go swimming and play games until supper, after which we did our devotions again. 

Tonight's devotions were on the Shield of Faith, and how our faith acts as a shield from temptation and sin. Without a firm faith in Jesus, we are standing exposed to the devil's attacks. In order to be protected, we must have a firm trust in what we cannot see, true faith in our Saviour in order for Him to be able to protect us. 


(More pictures will be uploaded to other posts throughout the week) 


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