Today my heart is in another country – and that country is the Dominican Republic. For those who don’t know where that is, it’s in the Caribbean, and shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. It’s beautiful, poor, and I wish I were there.
Does this seem a little random today? Well, my mother-in-law, her sister, my good friend Gina and her family and a few others are all part of a missions team that are there (or almost there, half the team are on their way right now) working with Partnership for Hope (PFH).
Two summers ago, I went on my very first mission trip to the town of Esperanza, D.R. The group I went with, PFH, is a nonprofit organization that was actually started by two good friends from my town, who have been going down to this particular Dominican town for 11 years now. While I was there, we cleaned up a second story of a church to prep it for further construction (and by clean up, I mean dig up rough concrete, dirt, etc. in 90 degree/90% humidity); ran a kids’ Bible school, and visited with several families, churches and ministries in the area. 18 days later, I was in love with the people and fully intending to return.
Two years later, I haven’t been able to get back yet (though I’m hoping to this fall). But I’m now part of the PFH organization, helping with paperwork and planning and all the little things that go into making a volunteer nonprofit run. I still pray for and keep up with several of the friends that I made while I was there, and marvel at the way God keeps working in their lives and those around them. And I look forward to the time that God provides for me to be able to visit them again (and again!).
In the meantime, I’m praying hard for the group of 11 that is there for the next 10 days. They will be doing construction and a kids’ Bible school again, as well as something new for PFH: a women’s conference. Two actually, at two different churches. We’re all excited about it, because they’ve been asking for it for several years, and this year everything fell into place to make it happen. I know God is going to do some amazing things with the PFH team and the people they minister to. And hopefully, next time I’ll be there, too!
P.S. If you'd like to see what PFH is all about, check them out online at www.partnershipforhope.com or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Partnership-for-Hope/169799543039150