Redeem. Renew. Restore

A crew of us woke up this morning bright and early for a beautiful sunrise. It was truly incredible to finish up our week of service with marveling in the creation of God, and truly taking in His Kingdom. Breakfast was a full buffet, and a nice little birthday surprise awaited Hannah as the staff sang and presented a cake with a candle lit. All of us loved it, except for Hannah – after all, it is NOT in fact her birthday.

The rest of the morning was spent relaxing on the beach, snorkeling, pool volleyball, and a healthy dose of water aerobics (plenty of hips included). People at the resort asked us who we were, and as we told them they were actually interested, and impressed at the work being done. It’s awesome to think that this trip is going to extend not only to the members of our team, or even the Dominicans we worked with, but to random strangers and our community at home as well. Some of us had another opportunity to interact with vendors at the beach. You can figure out who was good at bartering, who has an elephant, and who can rock braids in their hair the best when we get back…

Lunch was absolutely scrumptious. Nothing like some more burgers and American food to put our stomachs at rest. Grouper, pasta, fried pineapple, and more desserts were also present to indulge in. Shortly after we saddled up in the vans and headed for mountains to weave our way back to Santiago. Little did we know the surprise that awaited us halfway down the first mountain. The Cristo Urbano van had its second flat tire in a 24-hour span, and left half of us chillin’ on the side of the road. Luckily the Bambino (bigger van) had a spare that wasn’t quite the right size, but we were able to make work.

When we got back to home base we had siesta time. Another great opportunity to rest, journal, reflect, and pass time with one another. Card games like 31, speed, euchre, 99, golf, and uno have made many appearances on this trip, bringing oodles of joy and even temporary enemies within our group.

After a short while we ventured over the church we attended on Sunday and sat down in the classroom. Caroline then proceeded to pass out letters we had written ourselves when the whole SEED process really began back in January. After reading and reflecting on what we wrote, Brett showed us a video that Morgan and Ashley had put together of us engaging on the trip (you’ll be able to see this soon).

We walked back to Calle 2 and had a nice time of fellowship. A time of seeing how we’ve been transformed through the SEED process and the trip with GO Ministries. Letters included fears, hopes and dreams, anticipations, and prayers for a meaningful experience. Anything on those letters was so clearly addressed by God, it was crazy. Every part of every letter was touched, and that was incredibly powerful.

Our last Dominican dinner was a big pot of chicken gumbo. Yum. Needless to say most of us are happy to have our normal diets back for good, so get ready to cook again parents :). Post dinner we hung out for a bit and had our last debrief, well maybe. We’ve had about 4 by now and one seems to be expected tomorrow amidst traveling. This one was different though. This was a meeting of encouragement. We went around the circle and shared meaningful memories, words of praise, and tears of joy. These trip members are amazing, and the impact we have all had on each other, and the importance each person had to contributing to our team was inspiring.

As we wrap up this trip we continue to think of all the experiences we’ve had here, we are anxious to share all that happened individually with our family, friends, and even strangers. Pray for safe travels, good health, and that what we have all learned affects us in a divine way, so that we can continue to live intentional, missional lives.

All the Best,
Keon, Bryce, and Jordan

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