Dominican Republic

This post is from my archives and wasn't able to transfer to SquareSpace but I really want to share it again! Reading through it makes me really excited for my next travel adventure and the people I am going to meet. I had the best nine days in the Dominican on a mission trip! I put myself out there, went alone and during the process found out so much about myself! I really recommend everyone going on a trip like this at least once in their life.

"I'm sitting on the balcony of this gorgeous house that we are so blessed to stay in and I'm thinking - How lucky am I? How blessed am I to be here experiencing this?" 

This was during my own personal reflection after the first day in the Dominican. A little back story on my trip to the DR: I went on a whim. I had been through some things that were making me second guess a lot of what I had been doing. I felt like I didn't have really anyone to turn to but God and I also know that he has put this burning desire in my heart to travel, see the world, spread his word, and make new places home. I wanted to go and see the world, but help at the same time. I looked on my church's website for upcoming mission trips - and just signed up for one. I told my mom that I was wanting to go in July, that this was how much it was, and that I was doing it basically. I had it already set in my mind and I had prayed and prayed about being taken to the DR. I knew that's where God was leading me that summer... So on July 18th, I hopped on a plane by myself with no one I really knew, and headed to the DR. Best. Decision. Ever.

During the trip we did quite a few things such as: a women's & men's conference at the church, basketball clinic with the locals, four day medical clinic, VBS for two days and reflections at the end of each night. Most of my time, however, was spent in the backyard with the ladies of the house singing modern hymns and worshiping together.

We spent so much time there. With God. With these ladies. With music. We sang songs in Spanish, English, Spanish & English, and everything in between. It was magical, but most importantly God was present. Hearing us sing certain songs in English and then the ladies of the house would know it, catch on, and sing in Spanish was something I will never forget. One of the last nights there we sang 'Oceans' by Hillsong United - one of our all time favorite songs on this trip, because how fitting? - and they sang it in Spanish with us.. WOW. Is all I could think. It was so evident that the presence of God was among us and it's something that still resonates with me till this day.

The medical clinic is something that I will never forget. It's also something I had never done before in my life. I ended up doing patient intake and blood pressure. I would be the first person that they would see. It was a lot of pressure some days because we were so crowded - so it was one right after the next. It was daunting to see how many people had went without medical care for so long. Also, things so small as a headache was something that peopled lived with for months because antibiotics were too high. We saw things that I still pray for, things that people shouldn't have to live with. Things that we take for granted. 

Some of the time though I got to play with the kids, like in the picture above. The one in my arms wouldn't leave my side and drank about four bottles of water. The one next to me will be a doctor I swear. He checked my heartbeat about ten times and then wanted everyone to check his. He was adorable. They were all adorable and I treasured that time that I got to spend with them.

My time in the Dominican was life changing.

"I'm not ready to go home and process things and adjust back to life in the states. It's going to be hard and difficult, but I know I will have to for now. I am excited to see my family but at the same time it's like I left a piece of my heart in my other home - the Dominican Republic."

Clearly I was not ready to go home. I remember me and Katie (the other college girl that went on the trip) were not wanting to get on that plane. I remember arriving to the DR with such anticipation and anxiety and then I remember leaving with sadness and overall discontent. I would have given anything for the flight to be delayed or just leave me there! I fell so in love with the country, the people, the places, the culture... everything. It wasn't picture perfect most of the time but to me that's where God is most. In the brokenhearted and in the suffering. In the times of need and downfall. He is so evident in those times and He was so evident on this trip. 

*I know this isn't like any other post that I've posted and it's extremely personal but I thought it was a good idea to share and you get a sense of me and my personality. 

Let me know below some of the places you have been or are wanting to visit. How did they change your life and will you go back?