By Alisha Howell
We had just walked out of the Santo Domingo airport, and we knew this was nothing like we had ever experienced before. Over the past year, God had been working in 15 people's hearts to draw them to this exact purpose for such a time as this. Each person, with their own profession and skill, were now moved out of their comfort zone and fully trusting in God to be used for His glory. The main goal for the trip was a medical mission trip, and our desire was to take care of medical needs that people couldn't afford on their own. We saw around 300 patients in three of those days, and we had amazing interpreters to help us communicate with the Dominican people. For our clinic days, nurses would gather patients’ information, vitals, medical history, and their current medical need. They were then brought to a waiting area where they had an opportunity to hear testimonies and the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Once they were given an opportunity to heal spiritually, we focused on their physical needs. We had three stations for doctors: one for massage therapy and occupational therapy, one for eyeglasses, and another for pharmacy. Many people were blessed and prayed over. Two of the three days we were set up in the community church which allowed the patients the opportunity to connect with the local pastor. There is also a medical clinic run by SCORE (a mission organization) that has physicians, dentists, and an optometrist. A few members of our team were able to spend a day there, educating the dentists on future opportunities for them to help the people in their area. All of our extra medications and supplies also went to the clinic to take care of future needs for people in their community.
For a half day, we had an opportunity to go to a nursing home and do wellness checks on the residents. Even with the language barrier, we were able to connect with many people there. Some women learned a few worship songs in Spanish and began singing "Amazing Grace" over them. There was nothing quite like that feeling of total worship and joy that could be seen in some of the resident's expressions. The following day, we were able to use money sent by Gateway to purchase food to feed over 70 families for a week. It had to be quite a sight to see all of us in the local grocery lined up with with 15 carts of food! We partnered with a local church, led by a SCORE missionary named Pastor Sadrak, to distribute the food. As people would come to receive their food bags, we would pray over them. Afterwards, we went to an all girls orphanage where we did oral hygiene education, coloring, playing, and helping the girls make hair bows. The young girls were full of laughter, kindness, and joy. Before we left,, they sang two songs for us. One of which was "Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord," and it brought tears to our eyes.
Each of us have our own unique way God showed himself to us and the people we served. There are countless stories and memories made. The trip began with 15 people that casually knew one another and ended with 15 people who felt like family. God showed us His provision in providing just what we needed for each person during our clinic days. He gave us opportunities to witness in airports, boats, and in the various communities. God showed us that the Holy Spirit can speak across age, language, profession, and culture. God loves people, and He loves it when we serve him using the different talents He has given us. We are one body with many parts. Each part having a useful and needed purpose.
There are so many personal stories we could share of how we saw God moving in and through us on this trip. To see one, click here. If you are interested in hearing more, please just stop and ask us - we would love to share more one-on-one. And if you are on the fence about stepping out and going on a trip, we encourage you to just take that leap and GO!
Check out 2019 trip options here.