Today was day one of being a warrior for God in the DR. We traveled to a school and played with the kids. What was great was hearing and seeing the kids yell hola, hola…the teachers didn’t seem thrilled we were there but the kids, they were amazing!!…one girl saw the cross tattoo on my arm and the drawing began. I must have drawn 60 of them in all shapes, sizes and color. We ate lunch at camp, practiced our skit and headed to the church for our princess camp. When we pulled up to the church, there was an older gentleman standing in his doorway and waved and shouted “hola, dios te ama”!! I waved and said it back to him…We had 32 girls and some of their moms stayed. We played a game “juegos” had a historia biblical and started our boxes. What I noticed most is that the moms seemed just as thrilled as the kids. The moms wanted to play the games and listened intently to our skit and lesson.

The language barrier is slightly annoying. The kids – well you can’t tell if they speak English or not. But a sweet girl named Natalie speaks English well and wants to be a doctor. It’s pretty awesome so far, especially having her interpret and teach Spanish to me.

Day 2 was rough. We visited a hospital and the conditions are sad. When you go to the hospital you take your own linens, towels, toilet paper, and if you need it, blood. There is no air conditioning and no ceiling fans. We visited with several families and I was blessed to pray for a young man with dengue virus, a whole room full of ill men and their families. Each man was happy we were there to pray. One of our leaders was praying for a man whose wife was in surgery and he, in turn, started praying for us! What’s truly awesome about the Dominicans is that they truly have a heart for Jesus…more heart then what I’ve personally witnessed in America.

Day 3
What makes me sad, is that it seems, the women here are so repressed. We saw a 14 year old girl who was married with two kids. The women seem to have one job in most of the villages…raising their kids and sweeping. I wonder how many of these young girls had dreams of something more. Or is this the life they are completely happy with? Would I be happy raising kids and grandkids…if that was all I knew would I wish for something more? I’m not 100% sure. Everyone here seems so happy and they care for each other like a “Leave it Beaver” society. I adore it. I definitely want to expand my Spanish so I can have a better, non broken type of conversation!!!

Day 4

Today we visited the children’s hospital. While there is no air conditioning there are ceiling fans. There are 6-8 beds in every room. Again, the same, you bring your own linens, towels, blood…no hospital gowns in either hospital.

I got to pray with Ganiel broken leg surgery today. Had a car accident and broke his leg below the knee. Mother and father with him.
Met a young girl named Elliana with a broken leg due to boy at school pushing her down.
Met a man whose son Mike was in a car accident with his baby. His baby died. Mike critical.
Met another young girl in a car accident and hurt her leg, shoulder and arm.
Yosayiti is 7 with leukemia. Needs bone marrow transplant. Been three months since she found out she needs the transplant. Hoping to come to America, but has to apply for a visa, then figure out if she will go to Miami or Boston. Her parents bought her blood, but it went bad, so they bought more. Transplant from her sister. While I was observing and listening to other stories, there was a lady looking in our room holding a young girl, maybe 9 months old. She motioned for me to come over. I asked me, just to be sure and she vehemently shook her head yes. I walked over and she started speaking, I said, “lo siento no ha lo espanol”. She waved her hands and shook her head and put her hands together in prayer and bowed her head. I spoke and put my hands together and said “you want me to pray?” “Si,Si”. She said. So I took her hand and put my hand on her child and prayed. After I gave her some color sheets and crayons and asked if I could look at her daughters x-ray to see if I could “entender” and she said “Si” so I looked and I see that her daughter has a blockages not her intestines. I told her I would pray from America. She squeezed my hand. I turned and let the tears roll. No language barrier when you go to Dios in love and prayer.

I keep wondering what I learned from.this trip. First and foremost, i didn’t come thinking I would be a blessing, I came knowing I’d be blessed. The girls in our princess camp were awesome but the moms even more so. Doing the skits and lessons and watching the moms and grandmas I wonder if anyone ever told them of their worth. I saw the looks on their faces and the tears in their eyes…they certainly know Jesus and His love for them. But do their husbands treat them like Christ does? From what I observed, no.
The girls in the hospital with babies…no older then 18, some as young as 14. Their life is now raising children, cooking, sweeping and caring for their family. The hospital is over populated with doctors and nurses, what is their other option for work?
The government here tells you where to live and can take your property at any time. The police don’t seem fair or to care if something is stolen.
The families in the hospital will break your heart. They take their own linens, blood, toilet paper and there is no hospital gown. The one family with their father, who was probably dying, touched my heart. The daughter with big tears in her eyes, well, you don’t always see love like that. And that is huge with the Dominican people…the love they have for one another. Not only for their family, but for each other. The love is huge. And extended to us daily. Americans can learn a lot about love for one another.
Americans have so much stuff, but do we always have love!? Not just love for Christ love for one another. In my own family I know the answer is no, because most of my family is self serving and care only about their feelings.
My little Berleny not only wanted to do crafts for herself, but also for her sisters. My sister only thinks about herself and how things effect her. Certainly not Christ-like.
This trip was 14 months in the making. I was honored I was asked to go in the midst of huge heartache. I was blessed to be a part of a team of women to love on these young girls and the family…I was blessed to sing “He’s got the whole world in His Hands” in English yet the motions to the song had no difference. The girls understood, the mothers even more and the last night singing I looked at my leader with tears streaming down my face and our eyes met and our hearts knew what the other was thinking…Our lives have been blessed beyond measure, our lives have been changed by crafts, songs, skits and a lesson about God’s love for us. It doesn’t matter if we are rich, poor, fat, thin, ugly, beautiful…God loves us for us. He made us to show His love! Not just to those whose language we speak, but love from hearts.
My life has been changed. A huge piece of my heart is staying in this country I may never see again. My heart has been turned upside down by the kids at the schools, hospitals, and churches we visited. My thoughts are full of the stories from each place and I’ll wonder daily how the people are. I’ll picture their smiling faces every hour, and my heart will beat for them every minute.
I’m headed back to the states now, to see my family, to love on my animals and to fall back into the routine of work and home. It’s not easy to leave, I’ll wander every day if the people I encountered will think of me. If they do, I hope they know, I’m thinking of them, praying them up, and loving them from here.
In the weeks since I’ve been home, I haven’t shared my thoughts about this trip with very many people, mainly because no one has really asked, and it’s not something I feel I should just say “hey, let me tell you about this trip I went on”. That isn’t really my personality. I’ve found my girls on facebook and I’m having fun fun talking to them. I’m learning more and more Spanish by talking to them, and I miss all of them. I especially miss the evening worship service with my husband and our evenings talking about the day. I miss the hourly focus on Christ and Christ alone. I miss the Dominican people and the team work they always display. Can Americans ever be this way?
So, I’m loving 9 girls from afar and praying for them daily. I am waiting for God to answer the question…should I go back to the DR? And I’m watching my girls on Facebook and reminding them they are God’s, I am God’s, and we will someday be together again…always joined in this life by heart and spirit…