Dominican Republic Mission Trip

Some of you may know that I went on a missionary trip to the Dominican Republic at the beginning of August.  Awesome is the only word that I can use to describe the trip even though it got off to a rocky start.  We were supposed to leave the church in Arcade at 4:00am to travel to Buffalo and then catch a plane to Newark and from there continue to the Dominican Republic.  newarkI was in bed when our minister called at 8:45PM and said there was a change in plans.  The fight from Buffalo to Newark had been canceled due to weather.  Therefore, we were going to have to drive through the night to get to Newark in time for our flight.  Despite that setback, the balance of the trip was uneventful. 

Right:  Some people are balancing out suit cases after the initial weighing at the airport.




When we got there, we were shown our living quarters for the next week.  It was a dorm, that was not air conditioned and had no hot water.  The showers were eye opening. We were also told under no circumstances to drink the water.  The only water we drank was from bottles.  We were also told that toilet paper could not be flushed.







We arrived Saturday night and we were scheduled to attend a church service in the morning.  The service started at 10:00 am and lasted until 2:00pm.  We told the two ministers that were with us not to get any ideas.







After an hour or so, we took the children out back of the church and then had a Kids Zone Sunday school type of service for them.




If you look at the right side of the picture, you will notice the black water tank.  Also notice that the roof drains go into the tank.  That is their supply of water.  The black tank heats the water somewhat so that there is some degree of warm(?) water.







After an hour of Sunday school, we took them across the street, played Sunday school songs and then games with them.




The missionary group is building a children’s camp and started with the main building.  Our task was to back fill the foundation walls and level the floors with dirt.  We did it the old fashion way with picks, shovels, and wheel barrows.








It was between 150 and 200 feet from the dirt pile to the building.

















Backfilling the foundation walls and leveling the floor.











Some of the wheel barrows were not in the best shape.












For those of you that are curious, yes, I did spend most of my time running a wheel barrow.  I managed to keep up with those who were a lot younger. 









There were several who did suffer from heat exhaustion.  We made them sit down, drink lots of water and take their shoes and socks off so that heat would escape from their bodies.  The temperature was over 90 each day with the humidity from 75 – 85 %.








The bathroom facilities at the construction site were not the best. The white thing next to the toilet is a one gallon jug that serves as a urinal.










We did construction for 4 days in the morning.  Two afternoons we did prayer walks with people from the local church.  One woman, that we visited, asked us to pray that she could get a concrete floor for her house.  The floor was only dirt.  





The other two days, we helped to run a children’s camp.
















Before we went down, we were told that the people of the Dominican Republic were very friendly people.  We found this to be true.  They were very appreciative of everything that we did and we developed friendships that will last a lifetime.

I did perform technical support while there. We were joined on this trip by another church from the Corning area.  Two of the people from that church recognized my name and asked me code questions.





We were all pretty tired by the time we drove from Newark back to our homes.  The picture shows the final result