We are hours away from getting on a plane and heading back to Portland from an amazing week in the Dominican Republic. A missions trip basically makes the world seem smaller and bigger at the same time. Smaller because you realize that people are the same in every nation of every language. They want to be loved, included, valued, and feel like someone out there thinks they are important. It also makes the world bigger because you realize that the work God is doing is not local and special to our area, but He is working in the hearts and lives of BILLIONS of His children…and He’s got it all under control. What a great God!
I know that all of us are leaving a piece of our hearts on this island today. We have fallen in love with the people, the culture, and a completely different way of life. A few of those differences are:
- Americans are relatively punctual people who keep a schedule. The DR is TOTALLY different. You can expect everything to start 1-3 hours later than planned here and that’s the norm.
- Dinner starts well after 8:30 pm and you can easily find the restaurants FULL of people late at night having a meal.
- Games at camp = aggressive teenagers! It is part of their culture to “argue with the ref”. And boy, do I mean argue! In your face, yelling, etc. Imagine our teenage girls on the trip dealing with that! Hilarious!
- There are people EVERYWHERE! A hot nation brings people outside because there isn’t air conditioning in most of the houses.
- There might not be a louder people group on the planet. The camp we put on included team cheers that may just blow your eardrums.
- The DR has loose boundaries when it comes to sexual issues (Yes, looser than America!). Sex before marriage is the norm here and keeping yourself pure is not a commonly discussed topic. It was our honor and privilege to tell them that God has a better plan. Sex with your spouse in marriage is the way to go! Let that be a challenge in your own life if you have not chosen to live to His standard. Change today!
I’ll definitely be writing more about our experiences, but for now, I’ve got to go catch a plane to get back to the mission field that I dearly love. See you soon, Vancouver!