Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dominican Republic Trip 2013: Part Four

The 2013 team, and the people featured in this post.

You know that verse about a man planning his way but the Lord directing his path? That pretty much describes this trip, but is especially describes this day. You see, we went to bed with the full intention of going in the morning to Villa to lay down the cement floor of the church’s school rooms, but we awoke to the sad reality that Jessie was really suffering from a migraine and Emily R. was truly not feeling well. Due to the way-less-than-amenable conditions at Villa, Daddy wisely deemed it foolhardy for the sick amongst us to go out in the dirty, remote, heat of day. Jessie and Emily were staying at the apartment, and I was staying with them to translate in case of an emergency and kind of keep things going. Daddy and the rest of the team were going to go to Villa as planned. 

This, although a disappointment to all of us, and to me because I very much wanted to have fun with cement, actually turned out to be yet another blessing in disguise. The apartment was physically showing the signs of housing one dad and seven highschool/college students, so it desperately needed a...miracle, particularly when you recall that we are not talking about the normal US dirt of a house with a yard and air-conditioning. DR houses need cleaning everyday because of the forever-open windows and the insane grime of city blowing through those windows from the close traffic below. And we had gone three days without any cleaning besides dish-washing. Yeah, you can imagine, the apartment begged to look and feel pretty again.

So while Jessie and Emily lay down, I turned up my music and cleaned and danced through the living areas. So. much. fun. So much like home. It was just what I needed to sort out thoughts and get back in the game, so to speak. But just as I was moving the last chair away from the table to sweep the dining room, I heard a knock that indubitably belonged to my brother. Believe me, once you hear him knock, you will know what I mean. Anyway, sure enough, there was Josh’s face at the door, and beside him was Zach, looking forebodingly alike to Emily’s queasy self. Apparently, half way through the drive to Villa, Zach fell to feeling ill himself, and Daddy decided to turn around so that Zach could join the gang of sick at home. So in marches Zach, weaving through the tumble of chairs I had cast about the room, and heads straight to the air-conditioned room where he proceeds to be a diligent Bible Bee participant by studying the contents of his workbook for the next four hours. 

Now I was left with three poor, bedridden friends, and Grooveshark. Around 1pm Jessie came out, and we talked, then Emily trooped out, and we chit-chatted, and finally Zach appeared, and we all conversed about life and godliness and tornadoes in Oklahoma. 

In the meantime...

Daddy, Joshua, Emily K., Chris, and Jose (a friend from the DR) followed our original plan of helping the people in Villa. From what I can get out of their sun-dazed selves, I know they completed their task of laying down the cement, and they also played with the village children. Emily passed out jump-ropes and bubbles, and was amazingly kind and full of faith when she handed the little ones her snazzy camera. I hear they had the time of their lives taking photos and seeing themselves on the screen. Reminded me of the great lengths that a little trust and generosity can do. Great work, Emily K.! After the cement was shining new and smooth on the floor, the guys played soccer with the village boys, so jobs were completed and fun was had.

Therefore, despite the bumps and turns, our work at Villa was done and the children had a great time. I say “despite,” but I should probably say “through,” for God worked through the events He orchestrated so that all that needed to be done would be done for His glory.

And, yes. The apartment is clean!

For the rest of the day we are going to take it easy and do our studies in peace, hopefully closing out the day with an early bed-time so we can catch up on rest. Tomorrow, we are planning on going to a Haitian work area where many of the immigrants tend the sugar cane fields for which the DR was once famous. But, after today, I am just going to wait and see what tomorrow holds!


  1. It is really fun to hear how the trip is going. Your perspective is encouraging and a good reminder!

  2. Yep, once again I felt like I was there while reading your account of the day Jenn. Its amazing how God is faithful! I keep seeing and hearing how faithful He is each day. I have seen how in my life and lots of believers lives when your day does not go as planned and it goes the way He had planned its just so much more amazing. :)

    <3 Becca

  3. We will be praying for our Emily and Zach that they'll be healed quickly.

  4. Thank you for sharing!


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