February 11, 2014

A walk to remember

Westdale HANDS Team:

Day 9

This is a song that Klaas sung over us during devotions tonight as a blessing and an encouragement to the team:   

There’s a light inside of you
and it opens the eyes of the blind
makes the darkness fly from the prisoner’s eye
That light inside of you

Well the dark in places low
where religions cannot go
will all disappear when the light draws near
that light inside of you

Refrain: let the light shine out of you
let the light shine out of you
please don’t try hide that light inside
let the light shine out of you

Well the wisdom of this world
will soon be counted as foolishness
what the light discerns cannot be learned
in the learning halls of men

For Jesus is the light in you
Jesus is the light in you
please don’t hide His light inside of you
Jesus is the light in you

-          Author unknown


The sun arose in the east as it always does, as the team started to stir in their bunk houses. Unbeknownst to them they would take a walk to remember.

The work day started as it typically does with a couple songs in the morning, and off we went to work. During the arduous task of straightening nails and dismantling forms, we notice the crew we are working alongside is constantly watching out for our safety. It is as though they are an extension of our family and care for us and our safety as they would a brother or sister. They truly are, as all of the locals we have been working with have been touched by the love of Christ and the desire to better their community for the further development of His kingdom. It was very special when at eleven o’clock several of the classrooms had prepared thank you messages. One class had even prepared a song for us and so in turn, we sung for them. It was a grand affair! The rest of the day proceeded as uneventful as the waves washing upon the shore day after day. Until our work day was a cut short at 3:00 with a pleasant surprise... we were going to take a walk in the community.

In true Westdale form, we sang through the community with children swinging between our arms, riding our backs, and playing games with make shift toys; made out of an old rubber tire not fit for a bicycle and half a pop bottle taped to a stick. The children would roll the tire in front of them and try to keep it rolling as long as they could with the stick. “Corre rapido!” we would yell as they tried to keep up with the tire as it was gaining momentum down the street. It was precious to see the number of children who joined in our parade for a moment to enjoy the singing and receive a candy. At one point in our adventure we needed the cross the backstop of a baseball diamond (baseball is REALLY big here! Bautista and another guy are from the Dominican!) while the team was in practice. The challenge was put forth for someone from the HANDS team to take a crack at batting. The gallant and brave Joel took up his weapon (a bat) and made his way towards home base. The nervous Joel took his first couple swings to no avail. Settling down, he started to hit a few out in the field, maybe even a little better than what was expected.  Coming back to the school we were again treated to good news that we would be able to see the first school built by Cocref (the agency down here in partnership with Edudeo), the same one that seven years ago another Westdale team worked at.  We also received the privilege to visit the ministry center which Crocref is based out of.

Settling back at our home away from home to another delicious meal, the realization has dawned that this was our last work day in the Dominican with our new comrades who we have truly grown to love and respect. After the evening devotions we were subjected to another round of joking at the hands of our friend Feli. Feli is the night watchmen here at the camp and he takes long blades of grass and tickles us from behind as though imitating bugs landing on our necks. It really never gets old, not even after five days. It truly doesn’t. We were all howling as we witnessed Harmen chasing Feli around after being the butt of the joke.

Please continue to pray for the people we have been building relationships with. Also please pray for the schools and more importantly the children and teachers who attend them. We ask that you would be praying for our host Victor who has been amazing but is not feeling well with a cold.

Feel free to leave a comment on our blog spot as an encouragement to the team.

Westdale HANDS team 


Feb 11, 2014 at 8:26 pm

What a great blog post!

Feb 11, 2014 at 10:16 pm

It has brought our family much pleasure to see the pictures and read the stories of what God has been doing with you in the last week and a half. Cannot wait to have you home and to hear in person every detail! Continue in His grace and truth as this journey nears its end. He is faithful to provide all we need. The Lord is our Hope and Comfort, our Source and Strength. Trust Him to know what is in your heart and to fulfill his promises to his people. You, and the wonderful people you have met and treasure in your heart, rest in the palm of the Almighty. There is no better place to be!

Feb 12, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Thanks so much for your faithful efforts in keeping us informed of the progress, but so much more for sharing your experiences and observations shared.

I'll be leading a team with six 1st timers to la Esperanza next week, so the blogs and pictures are a great way for us to familiarize ourselves.

God bless and keep you all, and be encouraged that you HAVE made a difference in the coming of His Kingdom.

Feb 13, 2014 at 4:35 am

Praise God for your relationship with the people there and safety in having completed your work. May it have made a impact on your life.Thank-you for your wonderful blogs, that kept us connected to the team. Praying for safety as you travel home today. Blessings

Leave a comment
Email address will
not be published
Required field.
Required, don't worry, it will not be published.
Please include a comment!
Keep in mind, all comments are public.