"Friendship. It is not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything."
Day 6 was no different than any other day I've experienced. All I saw were smiles and it added onto the list of favorite things I've experienced while in the Dominican.
We started the day at a Haitian church/school, where we toured the new classroom & the new sanctuary. It's my first trip to the DR but everyone on mission was in awe with the progress that had happened to building structure. From plywood to cinder blocks, God was part of their plan! They showed us their artwork & some of the girls showed us their writing skills in their notebooks. Unfortunately, the kids spoke creole so even I couldn't translate what they were saying but, we still understood each other & they knew we were impressed. After all, smiling is the universal language. So many kids have connected with me this week but a couple really have my heart. One girl today, Belinda, made me realize how much I really don't want to go home. You see their big loving eyes or hear the little minion sounds they make (they seriously sound like minions off Despicable Me in their different languages), and it makes the world stop....as if nothing else matters.
After much colored, sang, taught a VBS story, toured & laughed, we said our goodbyes and made our way back to Brisas to have lunch, spend the afternoon & early evening. When we arrived, more familiar faces welcomed us as we were prepared for lunch & a surprise birthday party for Carol. What a surprise it was indeed! It is such a blessing to see another birthday, as many do not get that privilege but, to spend it in the DR is truly a bonus for a birthday. Once we wrapped up on lunch, we were energized & ready to entertain the children for the afternnon, so the moms & dad's could focus in women's & men's ministry. If I've learned ANYTHING on this trip, it's that children are CRAZY but, they are adorable in each and every way! We had a blast!! From coloring more to signing the Tottie-Tot in Spanish....we made it work!
Once the ministries were finished & the children reunited with their parent(s), Pastor Ernan, his wife Cynthia & the women of their church presented small gifts to us & made us an authentic Dominican dinner to show their thanks for all we do & have done. And....it was muy delicioso! To spend this extra time with the pastor & his church members/kids was such a treat! Words can only go so far but the love we all have for each other is never-ending.
Tomorrow is the day we have to soak up our tears, say goodbye & return to reality. Needless to say, I do NOT want to come back. To see the environments these kids live, study & play in has opened my eyes beyond measures & reading the blogs and looking at the pictures to not do this mission justice.
For those who are eager to learn more, I beg you to seek us out & ask all the questions you want! This is Mill Creek Baptist Church's 6th year visiting the DR & my first trip. Don't tell yourself there isn't a way you can go because, there is! There's always a way....you can see it in these pictures.
Some of the old plywood that used to be the walls of the church before they rebuilt with cinderblock
Here she is.....Miss Belinda!
The views from the roof of the Haitian church/school.... You can't see them in the picture but in the haze, you could see the mountains
Happy Birthday Carol!!!
Dilan.... he seriously is coming back in my suitcase with me. No exceptions....
Before & after our delicious Dominican meal!