Today we woke up and shared a devotion. We then gathered for breakfast, made our sandwiches and loaded up the bus. We passed by the monument and drove down Calle de Resturacion. When then stopped to pick up Estella, one of the founding members of the church here in Santiago. We stopped again to pick up Cesar, a college student from the church. We headed out to Cuesta Arena, passing through the now plantain field (it used to be rice). We headed up the slope of sand to arrive at the mission. The team unloaded the bus and quickly became busy organizing the medical supplies, the eye glasses, and donations. A small construction team met Guillermo, who was busy marking out the basketball court, before getting to work digging a whole for the wood to hold the hoop. As children started to gather around, Sairy began to gather them under the pavilion and Chen read them a book in Spanish. Sairy encouraged them to choose the songs they wanted to sing. Some of the kids, I asssume are new to the school, chose the hand washing song and the cow song. Sairy and Juancito lead the new “Barbra Roja” song, a song Jordan taught them while he was here in August.
The team broke for lunch and reported they felt they had organized the supplies and loaded up the bus. On the way home, we stopped at the market on Calle de Sol before heading up to the monument. A few of the team got out and walked the monument to see the view from the top and learn about important pieces of Dominican culture. The team was then treated to ice cream or in my case the delicious yogurt with fruit.
We had time for some down time and showers before dinner where we were joined by Christina, a dentist from Santo Domingo. Her husband is also a pastor in the Iglesia Evangelical Dominican in San Cristobal. She traveled to Santiago to join our team for the week and offer her services to the communities. We spent time reflecting on the day before heading out to bed.
I got the chance to sit and talk with Kelfi and Juancito before bed. I sat in amazement as I listened to them talk and couldn’t help reflecting on the past 11 years with Juancito and the past 5 years with Kelfi. I felt myself smiling as I heard Juancito talk about having his birth certificate and heading to the university next year. He told me he still wants to be an engineer but it takes 6 years so he is now thinking about going into medicine. I thought “If only Maria (his mom) could see him now!” She would be so proud of all he has become. Kelfi also talked about finishing his high school education and going to the university to get a electrical mechanic certificate to work on cars. Kelfi also talked about preaching in his church and feeling called to be an evangelist. I thought back to the nights the teams spent with him sharing scripture and bible stories as he summarized the story of David being called by God and recited a passage in James he recently preached on in his community. I was reminded yet again (probably because I needed to hear it) that its not the things we build but the relationships we create that are important both here and in the states. Every day brings new opportunities to show love and encourage those around us. Never miss an opportunity to shed love and light.