Dios te bendiga

Hey everyone! Justice and Syd are here today to talk about the highlights of our day. We had a packed day today, but are thankful for each moment we had.

We started off the morning with a nice, but challenging, body weight workout that consisted of using a deck of cards. The workout was 109 regular push-ups, 109 decline push-ups, 109 crunches, and 109 squats (f.y.i. I did not participate ~ Justice). Once we finished up those workouts around 8am, we went our separate ways for about 15 minutes to get ready. Breakfast consisted of cereal, milk, and scrambled eggs. After breakfast, we went over our Devotionals with John and learned about how he came to do missionary work. In a brief summary, although he wasn’t the perfect Christian growing up (just as none of us are perfect and learning daily) he felt that God was always orchestrating his path. He ended up meeting a man through a friend named, Brook, who was already doing missionary work. Even though he denied God’s calling of doing missionary work for months, he ultimately found himself asking to become a missionary and that’s where his journey began. Proceeding his wonderful story, we all walked to church, where the women were wearing modest clothes (such as dresses, skirts, etc) and the men wearing collared shirts and trousers (khakis, slacks, etc). On our way to church, we passed through Little Haiti. Although it’s only a couple blocks around the corner, we felt as if we were in a completely different area. Rather than speaking being greeted with a Hola, we were greeted with a Bonjour. The environment seemed less up kept and the makeup of the people were that of Haitians rather than dominantly Dominicans. Once we made it through Little Haiti, we made it to church, which was called, Iglesia Cristiana Central G.O. Ministries. The church was nondenominational and they were worshipping with clapping of hands, singing out loud, playing the guitar, drums, piano, etc. They were very hospitable people and welcome us with open arms. We celebrated and prayed for all of those whose birthday was in the month of May and celebrated Dominican Mother’s Day as well. There was communion involved and I also observed that they had a baptism tank. The message, although we couldn’t comprehend it due to language barriers was beautiful. We were able to understand through the passion, intensity, and reading of the word. Once the sermon was finished, we worshipped a song that was half Spanish and half English and it was a heartwarming moment that will forever be cherished. We also learned, Dios te bendiga, which means God bless you!

After having sandwiches for lunch back at the Med Clinic, we headed out to the Leadership Development Center for their field day. In addition to the previous day of only basketball, there was soccer, wiffle-ball, volleyball, and even a little football! It was so special to see how all the different kids welcomed one another and welcomed us. We learned that there are no boy volleyball teams in the DR, but boys were still participating in the game (and they were really good!) solely because they enjoyed it. This reminded us that no matter what sport we all play, having fun should always be the most important aspect. Throughout the entirety of the field day, all of us were able to connect with so many kids through so many different sports. This is one day that I think we will all remember!

Driving home from field day, we were all very sweaty (and smelly) but more importantly we all felt very grateful. Once we got back “home”, we had some downtime before dinner. Some of us showered, played games, or just relaxed. Most importantly, Justice FINALLY got his suitcase and Syd won her euchre game! Which one of these is more important could be up for debate. For dinner, we headed to a local spot for empanadas. There were so many options to choose from and I don’t think anyone could have made a bad decision. This was a lot of our first times having empanadas and it’s safe to say none of us were disappointed. We also had the opportunity to try very unique flavors of pop, like butterscotch and the DR version of cream soda. This meal was a 10/10 for sure!

Once dinner was finished up, we headed over to the church to pack up some things that we’ll need for the next few days. We are headed to Batey Nueve (Village #9), which is a more rural community in the sugar cane fields. While here, it is possible that we might not have internet or cell service. Please don’t be concerned! Blog posts will resume as soon as possible so you can all continue to follow along on our journey! Pray for save travels, we head out at 6 am and have a 5 hour journey to the Bateys!

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