Many times, when we consider missions, we think of serving abroad in a cross-cultural environment and not just locally.  When given the opportunity to participate in the Dominican Republic with the South Texas Children’s Home Ministries (STCHM) on a cross-cultural mission, fifteen members of the Grace Brethren Church heeded the call.

The team took an early flight out of Baltimore on June 22, arriving in the city of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and traveled to our home for the week at the Iglesia Bautista Quisqueyana (IBQ) compound in the town of Villa Mejia.  Our daily routine consisted of morning devotions, breakfast, a morning activity, lunch, an afternoon activity, dinner and either free time or evening activities.  After a week of service, we returned back to the U. S. on June 29.

During our week in the Dominican Republic, we served in a variety of capacities: building school furniture (backpack cubbies and closets), hosting VBS activities, painting classrooms at a Christian school in the town of Hatillo, painting a couple of bedrooms, delivering school supplies and over a $1000 in desperately needed food supplies to an all-boys orphanage in the town of La Romana, as well as serving alongside and encouraging our Dominican Republic hosts.  Certainly, during furniture construction, VBS’s, painting, devotions and meals, we were able to enjoy some exposure to the culture, the food and wonderful people of the Dominican Republic.   However, one particular event that stands out in minds of all of the team members as a pivotal experience in the culture and the hearts of the people in the Dominican Republic, was having dinner with local church families in their homes after our first night in the Dominican Republic.  It was truly memorable.

Thank you to our prayer partners and GBC for your prayers, support and most importantly, for sending us.  Our thanks also go out to STCHM and IBQ for their welcoming spirit and the opportunity to partner with them as they minister to the people of the Dominican Republic.  Stepping outside our comfort zones to serve as Christ hands and feet in the Dominican Republic was an amazing, life transforming experience.  We encourage all to look for opportunities here or abroad to serve and experience the love of Christ in a cross-cultural ministry.

Submitted by: Barry Walden

July 19, 2017