SECOND TEAM REPORT:
Wrap up. This has been a great journey with many teachable moments as we learned Who is really in control of our lives. God is sovereign and we must rely on his direction in every facet of our lives. We were privileged to join our Lord on mission to reach every man, woman and child with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many decisions were made among the Dominicans. But also many decision to become better disciples of Christ were made by team members. For that we are most grateful. We thank all who have prayed for and supported this mission trip and we pray youo recognize that you are partakers in these blessings.
Day 10. Today is Tuesday. Again two members of the team did some at SCORE for GAP house. One member stayed behind due to not feeling well while the rest of the team joined the Union College team at Monti Cristy doing a medical clinic and checking on the patients at the nursing home. Everyone seemed energetic to start the day but by the end of the day it is pretty obvious fatigue is setting in with everyone just waiting for tomorrow and the opportunity to go home. We held team devotions at the villa. God has been so good in giving us this very relaxing, spacious home to spend out last few days in. We are only staying here because the SCORE complex is filled with other teams sho had reservations for this time.
Day 11. Today is Saturday and we started the day with devotions on the beach waiting for the sun to appear which unfortunately did happen due to heavy cloud cover on the horizon. However Gods beauty and majesty was certainly present in the large surf that was crashing ashore. We had breakfast at SCORE and headed back to the villa for a time of packing and group reflexion on lessons learned during this trip. After an early lunch we headed for the airport to begin our long awaited journey home. We arrived home to waiting loved ones at about 11:00 PM.
Day 9. Today is Monday. Two of our members departed for home early via Toronto. One of our members went to assist the surgical team to La Ramana. Two of our members had other assignments for SCORE and our pharmacist worked in the SCORE clinic throughout the day helping to organize the med room. The other 5 joined the clinical team from Union College in Tennessee along with members from North Carolina at a church in San Pedro. We did evangelism and dental. Dr Joe saw 14 people and the clinical staff saw 115. Tonight we had a time of prayer remembering many requests but especially praying that God will allow us to get home on Wednesday.
Day 8. Today is Sunday. We started the day by going to the Juan Dolio church for a wonderful service. The guest preacher spoke on the call by Jesus to 4 disciples to follow Him and make fishers of men. The service was interpreted into Spanish. The singing of worship songs in Spanish by the congregations was awesome and puts many of our churches in the states to shame. After a early lunch tow of team departed for home via Toronto with family planning to meet them there and drive them home. Six of our team went to help with pre-surgical patient screening in La Ramana with what members of the team from Union college who have arrived. Others of their team arrived mid-afternoon and went right from the airport to the hospital to help with the screening. That team has 40 surgeries planned for this week. The rest of our team chose to rest for the afternoon and prepare for whatever the Lord has in store for tomorrow. We are still planning on leaving on Wednesday afternoon for home, God willing.
Day 6. Today is Friday and we experienced very different environments. We started the day by going to Emmanuel House. As usual, we go to bless them and come away being blessed ourselves. We heard the testimony of Mikala, the founder of the ministry. We then presented all the staff with gifts from back home and then went to give food to a single mother of five living in very poor conditions on the back side of her village. This lady is a believer and trusts God for everything. From her humble home we went to the resort for our (supposedly) last afternoon here. The contrast in the environment hit several of our team very hard. Then tonight we had dinner at a little café down the street from SCORE and had our final devotion time. Now we are trusting God to prepare the way and the time for our departure. We already know the flight from JFK to Buffalo is canceled for tomorrow night due to the northeaster traveling up the US coast.. We fully expect the flight from Santo Doming to JFK will be canceled tomorrow morning from all reports we hear. If we stay here we will look for new ways to serve the Lord.
Day 5. Today is Thursday and we started the day short one team member as Jesse one of our leaders and SCORE missionaries had to go home having learned last night that his grandma had passed away. We have thought of him many times today and have been praying for him. He did arrive back in Buffalo safely. The rest of us spent the AM and early afternoon in Santo Domingo doing our usual tour of the old city for the newbies of our group. After lunch in El Conuco, The famous Dominican restaurant we headed to San Pedro to pick up supplies to take to the nursing home in Monty Cristy and Emmanuel House . We then went to the nursing home and the group was greatly impressed at what this ministry does was so little. What everyone saw was a lot of love, the most important ingredient to patient care. Devotions were held tonight at pool side with a brief study of Colossians 1:3-8.
Day 4. Today is Wednesday, the last day of our dental clinics. Two of our medical providers left us this AM to return to Buffalo. Therefore we had one medical station for part of the day. IN all we saw 35 dental patients today. The three dentists and one dental hygenists did very well managing the case load. Our evangelism team went int o the community and made 6 house visits. Two people accepted the Lord and encouragement was given to three other sweet ladies. One man was witnessed to for about a half hour but in the end did not accept the Lord, choosing rather to trust his Catholic religion (which he rarely practiced) to get him to heaven. We are sure he was considering the cost of his life style whereby he raises roosters for cock fights. These roosters were so loud that witnessing to the man was difficult. We will leave the results to the Lord. The church who we partnered with in Valiente today prepared a wonderful hot lunch for all of the team. The generosity of these people who have so little but share so much truly touched our hearts. Tonight we were blessed and challenged in our time of group devotions. We are ready to get to bed a little earlier because we all are feeling the effects of difficult work these past three days.
Day 3. Today is Tuesday and we went back to La Raconada. What a glorious day. The team was really bonding. The three dentists were very busy as were the three medical stations. In all, 66 patients were served. The evangelism team was truly blessed as they shared the Gospel and 18 people gave their hearts to Christ. Most went away and smiled and rejoiced that they now had Cristo en mi corizon (Christ in my heart). One special blessing came at the end of the day when Bonita came to the evangelism station. Pastor Dave thought she wanted to hear the Gospel but this sweet lady reminded him that last January 21 while sitting under the tree at the back of the church he had led her to Christ. She was a now a changed lady. She had led her two teen age daughters to the Lord and all three have been baptized. She used to sit at home at night while her husband went out to get drunk. She would gather sticks and stones to beat her husband with when he came home very drunk and try to harm her. And she would go out and do her own party dancing at disco all night sometimes. Now she stays at home and prays for her husband. He has seen the dramatic change in her life and had now begun attending church with her on occasion. Pastor Dave went to her home to meet with her husband and share the Gospel with him. He did not accept the Lord but was very gracious and is trying to understand the change in his wife. He is considering what he heard. With much prayer we know he will soon accept the Lord. The day closed with Jeff leading us in devotions from John 10.
Day 2. Today is Monday. The team went to La Raconada and set up a clinic that was meant to be primarily dental with our three dentists and a dental hygienist. Two of the dentists had never been to the DR before but all of them embraced the idea and adapted well to the remoteness of the clinic. Several extractions took place along with cleanings and fillings. From our Chapel teams , this is the first year we were able to do fillings. Along with dentistry we had three primary medical stations and pharmacy set up. In all we saw 67 patients. Then we had an evangelism station where many people were exposed to the Gospel and to the best of our knowledge 4 people gave their hearts to Christ. The local pastor, Omar, sat in on the evangelism sessions as was a big help in connecting with the people. Tonight we had group devotions by the pool followed by pizza from Hector’s Hangout ( a little café run by one of the SCORE missionaries by which he raises his support to do the ministry).
Day 1 Today is Sunday. After arriving about 9:15 last evening and getting orientated everyone was ready to get a good night sleep. We were up early today to get ready to head to church at Los Montonnes. The church was very gracious in their reception of us. Pastor Yohander presented a wonderful message from Philippians 3. We took a brief walking tour of the village and then headed back to SCORE for lunch. The afternoon was spent getting supplies ready for clinics beginning tomorrow and a little time to relax and enjoy the warmth that is missing back home. Tonight we had devotions and then off to bed for an early start tomorrow. We appreciate prayers for our three dental stations and four medical stations tomorrow. This is a much smaller group than last week but just as committed to minister to the physical needs but more importantly the spiritual needs of the people and to assist the local church in reaching their community for Christ.
FIRST TEAM REPORT:
Day 7. Today is Friday and the last day for our team to be together. The morning started out with a team going to Emmanuel House (as mentioned in earlier posts). Everyone came back extremely blessed with what they saw of the ministry there at that school. The second team went to the nursing home in Monty Cristy to once again bless people and get a feel for what that ministry is all about. A third group continued the work in the pharmacy here at SCORE along with Dr. Johnny, SCORE medical director. Then all groups converged on the local resort located just down the street to have a afternoon of relaxation and enjoy the beautiful beach and buffet. The Bible reminds us that even Jesus had to withdraw to get a away for bit. A highlight of this afternoon was seeing the beach vendor accept the Lord and say he will attend the church located just behind the SCORE complex this Sunday. Tonight was our traditional last meeting. All 60+ team members had to share a trip highlight and a spiritual highlight. Though everyone is at a different place in their spiritual journey it was a joy to hear what God did in their lives this week. The special highlight of this devotion time was hearing how two of our young ladies gave their hearts to Christ this week. Tonight the team from Maine will be leaving at 12:30 AM. Part of the team from Buffalo will be leaving at 4:00 AM. The rest of the team will be leaving about noon. We are going to miss the fellowship we have had but know God is still up to marvelous works in and through us as we go home.
Day Five. Today is Wednesday and the last official day to do our clinics and surgeries. Both teams left at 6:30 to make the hour drive to their prospective locations. Surgery was once again in La Ramana while the clinical team went to a brand new location to us in the sugar cane village of Magdalena which is beyond La Ramana. We must admit there are a lot of tired people after these long days in the climate most of us are not used to (Yet—we could get used to very easily). God has moved in a spiritual way among our team which we will share more about later in the week. The surgical team had a case load of 4 surgeries. One surgery took four hours to perform. Dr. Posner and anesthetist John did a wonderful job teaching and explaining what was happening for all who wanted to learn. The best part of the day was that 2 of the patients we spoke with accepted the Lord. The one young woman did so before her surgery and then during recovery her parents can in and when told what their daughter had done started to praise the Lord because they are believers in Christ and had been praying for their daughter. The other young mother who accepted the Lord did so when she had fully recovered from her anesthesia and was ready to go home. Both seemed to be very positive conversations and promised to go to a local Bible believing church near where each lived. The clinical team had a very challenging day. Due to a misunderstanding where the local people thought the team was arriving next week, they weren’t ready for us. But they hurriedly got ready and by the end of the day about 200 were seen. Children’s ministry was really kept busy with scores of children showing up. We are very grateful the team from Harrington ME are here to minister to and show the love of Jesus to these precious children. Since the local church leaders did the spiritual follow-up counseling we do not have an accurate number of decisions for Christ but we know some who did . Most important, God knows! Two of our ladies went to Emmanuel House school Which SCORE assists to work with several deaf children. These ladies were trying to teach sign language to the children and their parents. So much happened you will just have to hear it from those who are on the trip. Hearts are overflowing to think that God would choose us to serve Him.
Day Four. Today is Tuesday, the second day of our medical clinics. Again the surgical team went to the hospital in La Ramana where they served some special cases. They performed 10 surgeries including an emergency surgery in which a lady had a tubal pregnancy and lost the baby. This was a very sad time in the midst of a very successful day. Good spiritual bonding has taken place among this team some of whom are rotating in and out of the clinic/hospital. The clinical team went to the village of El Pinon. They served about 177 people with various needs. Four people made very solid decisions to follow Jesus. One young man just arrived two days ago from Haiti to visit his cousin and will be going back home in about a month. He said he can now go home to serve Jesus. The power of the Gospel is awesome. A special man who walked into the clinic is 103 (yes that’s right) years old. The only medication he needed was some vitamins. He said “I have lost everything (family, employment, etc.) but I have God’s grace so I have everything”. Tonight we attended SCORE night for a time of worship and sharing. WE did so along with a group of 67 from the senior class of a Christian School in Charlotte NC. We thank all who are praying for us in this ministry of “love serving”.
Day Three This was the first day of the actual patient care. The surgical team was the first group to leave for La Ramana where they performed eight surgeries. Much prayer and discussion took place with those who were to undergo the surgery and reposts were that there was some good conversation on the bus among the team members. The day turned out to be a very long one due to a complicated case that ended well but took longer than anticipated. The team didn’t arrive back to the SCORE complex until after 8 PM, Tired but excited and ready for another round tomorrow. The village clinical team went back to Valiente (near Boca Chica) to join with our friend Larena, the godly Dominican lady who is working with the church in this very poor neighborhood. Every time we go there God shows up and today was no exception. We saw over 200 patients with various ailments. About 10 people received counsel and professed to accept Jesus as savior and Lord. The youngest was 14 and the oldest was 93. The team was very efficient and again, it was obvious God was in the middle of it all. We thank Him for the opportunity to join Him on mission to these people He loves.
Day Two. Today we started the day by splitting into two teams to go to church. The surgical team who would be evaluating patients in the hospital at La Ramana in the afternoon went to the local church behind SCORE here in Juan Dolio. The other group went to San Pedro to the John Baptist Church where they enjoyed hearing the Dominican believers singing in worship and studying the Bible. As usual the children at the church were a big hit with the team. The second group spent the afternoon getting supplies ready for first day of clinic tomorrow. After dinner, the whole group gathered for a time of devotion and hearing from team members of the blessings and experiences of the day. WE look forward to seeing God at work this week. For those back in the northern part of the US we want you to know we appreciate your prayers and for you to know that that weather here is delightful. Nice sun and temps in the 80s!
Day One. Today was the day our group had been waiting for months. We gathered from several places to travel to the Dominican Republic to serve. One group traveled from Harrington Maine and were there first to arrive in the early morning hours. Another lady traveled from North Carolina. Our main group traveled via two planes from Buffalo. One group went through JFK in New York and met one more person there, he other group traveled through Atlanta. We all arrived in Santo Domingo about a half hour apart. We were greeted by a customs official who our medical director from SCORE had arranged to meet us and walk us through customs. This was a huge blessing. It was unusual but also a huge blessing that every piece of luggage arrived with us. Upon arrival we were treated to a light lunch and then orientation and time to get into our rooms and get acclimated. IN the evening we had our first time to meet every one who would be participating in our medical outreach this week. his included some SCORE interns and our special guests from Iowa who always come and join us for our two weeks here. All together we will have two teams (one village clinical and the other surgical) totaling about 70 people plus interpreters we have yet to meet. This is the biggest team we have ever put together. In the evening we had group devotions and most were veryn ready to get to bed just a little bit early.