Today was a rainy day which was a blessing in disguise because it lowered the temperature by 10+ degrees. Our work today pushed me outside of my comfort zone for sure. I desired so badly to be able to communicate with the people here but was unable to without a translator. They definitely look at you like you are a foreigner… “Americano”. And then to be Christians coming to talk to them about God adds an extra dimension to the situation.
Before leaving the HMM compound, Michael talked to us about the importance of asking the people about themselves, their families, anything to start a conversation and relationship with them. As we were walking from house to house with beans and rice I thought about how easy it would be to do this in our own communities back in the United States, but we don’t take the time. Too busy with other stuff. Plus it’s a little uncomfortable. However, I always tell my girls that if you are uncomfortable or not good at something you should just practice!
One of the things I love about the Dominicans is that you can usually find them sitting outside, often on the front porch, visiting with friends or family.
We visited with one family who invited us to come inside, muddy shoes and all. They were very kind. A woman named Rosa had two small children, a boy around two years old and a precious baby girl who was four months old. Rosa was sweet enough to hand me her baby who sat on my lap for about 20 min. She said her baby likes me, because she sat there as content as can be. I must admit that it got the best of me and my emotions. I enjoyed holding her very much!
As we walked I couldn’t help but notice the trash EVERYWHERE. I inquired about it and learned that there is no waste management. Nowhere for the trash to go so it just goes on the ground. Crazy to me that there is a solution, but the government does nothing about it. It’s also absurd that there is technology to clean water and it hasn’t been used to help people in countries like the DR and Haiti. Needs everywhere. Ok… back to the day!
All of the children here are precious and desire human touch. They like to be picked up and to hold your hand. The boys are similar to American boys in that running around with no clothes on it just more enjoyable. The girls love to play with hair and blow kisses. The children are literally outside ALL day and night. They don’t have toys from what I can tell but play marbles in the street. They are content with life… and chocolata candy! It’s the little things in life that seem to bring joy.
We held VBS at the HMM church. It was chaotic, loud, and wonderful! We told bible stories, colored pictures, and the children made salvation bracelets, courtesy of the FBC NABS fish room. It was a great way to share the gospel… they listened for the most part. I’m interested to see how many are still wearing them tomorrow.
Several things I took away from today. 1) Slow down and form relationships… it’s the most effective way to share Jesus but takes more than a single day. 2) The faith and innocence of a child transcends borders and can be a great reminder to us adults!
To learn more about Hispaniola Mountain Ministries (HMM), go to www.gohmm.org. It’s a wonderful organization and a great place to go on a mission trip!