Sunday, July 27, 2014

DR Trip 2014: Day Four

Next day began slow and steady and ready to finish our paint job. But first, many of our team members got to sit in on Dad’s closing class with the group of pastors he has taught for three years. For me, it was exciting. I have seen Dad start the survey of the Bible, proceed to systematic theology, and end in counselling as the men in his class got married, had kids, and grew in the knowledge of God and His word. Today was the last class of those three years, and our team got to be there. Josh translated for most of the English speakers while I translated in a corner for the rest. I won’t tell you what the class was about because we will be studying it more in depth during the rest of our time here. 

Following the morning-long marathon (what they call Dad’s Saturday morning classes), it was most definitely and assuredly time for vittles. We walked the dusty streets to the same restaurant as yesterday, La Quinta, but this time the cooks were ready for our herd of nineteen hungry stomachs. The music was again odd, the food was again good, the air conditioning was again…mercurial, and the conversation was again pleasant. Refreshed and revived, we walked back to the church to finish the paint job. Reinforcements of paints and brushes had arrived, so we were ready. 

Everyone except Jessie, Joanna, Dad, and myself. We went with an elder of IBNP who works for an organic-friendly supermarket in the city in order to buy food for this following week. IN Jarabacoa, where we are heading next, there are mountains, beautiful mountains. That means less than smooth roads and a wee bit of isolation. Actually, a lot of isolation. So we needed to bring from the city whatever we wanted to eat in the country. 

Shopping in the DR was an interesting experience, one which with I am familiar, but never have I done it for a week’s supply of food for twenty-two people. I thoroughly enjoyed, partly because we had Daniel, the elder who works for the store. Jessie, Joanna, and I put our heads together, came up with a meal plan, and basically sent Daniel on a store chase to fetch our always growing list of items. We say cauliflower of purple, green, and cream, rows of okra and yucca eggplant, a wall of peppers all bright red, and an entire floor section filled with exotic fruits and vegetables you would not know of. 

Our team had been craving veggies, so you can imagine how our hearts leaped when we reached the produce section. We had already oohed and ahed over the REAL milk we were bringing home and the block of cheese bigger than my head we would seen be frying up for breakfast, but when we saw the antioxidant-laden colours of fresh produce, our day was made. We bought succulent mangoes and bright green avocados ready to ripen and fuchsia-coloured cactus fruit, as well as little round fruits of a sugar cane hue called nispero. On top of that, two sizeable coolers somehow fit into our Ford explorer, and we returned to the church feeling satisfied with a job crazily but well done. Praise God for Daniel, who understands all our “weird” food needs and desires!

By the time shopping for twenty-two people was over, the paint had been slathered on and dried and the team was renewing their appreciation for Ninja, Zip Bong, Cheese, and other pass-the-time group games. The team split up to take showers (“freshen up” for the evening meal ~ how charmingly old-fashioned to the American mind) and then regroup for another round of sandwiches and shakes. I had snagged (and payed for) some spinach and mushrooms so my meal of pork chop from was scrumptiously accompanied by green and darling little edible buttons. And it was hot. Every time I come here, my gratitude for a warm meal redoubles. 

The day closed with another study, this time one that began our “Heart Surgery” course. We opened to the book of Genesis to read of the temptation of Eve and what it all entails, both then and now. Prayer and singing again followed our study, and then we turned in early for the night. Tomorrow was Sunday and church, after all. 

Except Group One. Group One tumbled into their house only to be regaled by a symphony of fireworks, including those happy smily face ones, in honour of Dominican Father’s Day. Way to close the first week here with a bang, eh?

More tomorrow, and we are thankful for your prayers. 

(excuse typos)

*P.S. We just received news that Jorge Daniel, a dear friend and fellow worker who always helps us out when we stay with IBNP, got into a car accident this (Sunday morning). He is walking and okay, but stuck in the hospital until he is given a clean bill of health. Please pray for him and his sister, who are here alone because their parents are in the States to figure out what is wrong with their dad, Pastor Hector, who has been having seizure-like episodes. Yeah. It’s nuts. Please keep them all in your prayers!

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