Day 5 and 6

ImageDay 5 and 6
Each day has been filled with one service after another; working at the job site, VBS, the connection cafe, and really any thing Rick and Tammie ask of us. Needless to say we are very tired. However the spirit continues to move and so do we!

Thursday was an amazing day Rick and Tammie have started their first Sports Ministry event! they have been in communication with a local coach and have created a tournament with 3 other teams. So in support of the team the Santiago Experience provided new jerseys for the players and provided a bounce house, hotdogs, popcorn, and cotton candy.

Unfortunately out team lost, however it was a great opportunity for the ministry to make an impact on the community. plus it didnt rain for once!

Friday has been a very productive day at least on the job site. We have been working long and hard to make as much progress as possible. When we first arrived the walls for this 20 ft tall building were up. since that day we have carved out and placed electrical plugs, splashed concrete on the walls and have been able to smooth out the walls with concrete so that it can be ready to paint by one of the next groups! Image

Also on Friday the connection cafe had gone out and handed out bottles of water with connection cafe info to people. this was a great way to spread the word about the cafe to the people in the community and have casual conversation with the locals (provided that ether you knew Spanish or had some limited Spanish)

{connection cafe:: it is Santiago Experience’s out reach program. it is a place were locals can come and practice English. its also a place were casual conversation may lead to talks about God or even a need. when a conversation of need arises we try to point them to one of the local churches as a way of having the community help the community}

As our time here comes to an end i am reminded of what Rick asked us the first day. ” why are you here?” though he asked this question about us coming to the Dominican Republic he also continued the question in reference to our lives. if we were to say  “we came to the to serve, follow God, and see the Spirit move” can we definitively say that that is exactly what we are doing with our lives at home? Should the mind set and spirit behind going on a one week missions trip only end when the mission trip ends? Should we allow ourselves to only serve,ask, seek, and be on fire for the Lord when we are away from home and in a place that the need is apparent and on the surface?
So i ask you, why are you here? because when we have a reason, it becomes worth sharing.


Sore arms and achy backs

We’re sorry we haven’t posted since we got here. Bill was the trooper who posted late Sunday night. Ever since then, it’s been go, go, go!

Jason posted a blog earlier today, and now, it’s Julie again.

I’d like to give you a snapshot of a typical day for us. Our normal routine is this: we get up early and leave the hotel by 7:15am. Get on the bus to go to the Team Center, where we meditate upon God and pray for God’s blessings over the day’s activities, then have breakfast, clean up and get on the bus to go to the work site. Some of us stay behind and minister at the Connection Cafe. We usually break for lunch and then it’s back to work for the afternoon. We usually get back to the hotel between 4-5pm, get cleaned up for the evening, go back to the Team Center, have dinner and then either do Connection Cafe ministry or worship together.

In our instance, the work site is a church that we are helping to build – the Alliance Church of Bon Agua. In addition, we are painting the inside and outside of an existing school onto which they are adding the church. It’s been interesting and fun in a sadistic sort of way. It is HARD work. Just try shoveling rocks into a pile or chipping holes into cinder block walls so that outlets and PVC pipe can be installed. It is hard, back-breaking muscle-straining kind of work. I was physically challenged but when the day’s work was done and I had had a nice shower, I had a feeling of satisfaction that I had done something tangible to help the Church here in Santiago.

Some of us have been at the Connection Cafe, where we have conversations in English with both Dominicans and immigrant Haitians. I was surprised at the level of English knowledge of the people who have come in. If only I knew Spanish that well! We’ve had a variety of conversations – fun, funny, as well as serious. It’s always interesting. Everyone is hoping these conversations will lead to people eventually coming to Christ in the long term time frame.

In future posts, we’ll tell you more…til then….hasta luego!

Jason Here

So far, being here as been an amazing experience.

Before I came here, I “knew” that I was blessed to be where I was: raised in a Christian home in a free country.  I “knew” that I had a hope in this dark world through Jesus Christ, and I “knew” that I should help spread the gospel so others can have that same hope.  But one of the things that I have discovered thus far on this trip is that I really didn’t know.  I didn’t know just how much I have that others don’t.  I am not just speaking of material possessions, although the differences are stark.  I am speaking of a spiritual hunger that almost seems unquenchable.  The people are open to the gospel, and are searching for a meaning to this life.  My heart goes out to these people who are just searching for truth.  I have only been here for four days, so I can’t make a life decision yet, but I think I am definitely hearing a calling from God to help people like this.

This trip has not only been helpful in opening my eyes to the needs of the world, but it has also strengthened my relationship with Christ.  Although the purpose of this trip is for me to benefit others, I almost feel that I am getting the better end of the deal.  In the process of helping these people, they have helped me in more ways then I can count.  While answering questions posed by the locals, I have solidified what I believe and why I believe it.

I am looking forward to the remainder of the week…hasta luego!

Day 1 Santiago Experience

ImageDay 1
We landed safely last night in Santiago about 1:00 am met by Rick and his son Jon to take us through the city to our hotel for the night. After a 4 hour flight and our excited anticipation, sleep felt long over due.
We awoke for breakfast at 9, well rested and well fed we were excited to begin out journey in this spectacular country. Our first adventure was taking an hour bus ride to the beach where we were to have church. Accompanied by another group for the week from Princeton NJ, The sound of honking cars and crazy drivers almost felt like home for us.

ImageRick lead our church service simply by opening his bible to Philippians 2:1-8, and meditating on the Word, allowing the Spirit to speak to us. We read; we meditated; we read; we meditated; we read; and we meditated some more; asking the Spirit to reveal what Paul was trying to convey and what we can do to respond to what the Spirit is telling us.
Image“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!”

-Philippians 2:1-8

The Rest of the day was spent relaxing and building relationships with the teammates from our group, Princeton Alliance, and the interns.

We feel so bless by God to be in this place, helping the missionaries and the pastors of the local churches to see a movement is such an honor.
Please keep us in your prayers as we continue through our journey that as a team we will love as the Lord tells us to love and serve as the Lord tells us to serve.

more updates are to come; Thank you all for your support


Amazing God

6 more days and counting.

In about 2 months time, we have been able to raise 100% of our funds. We couldn’t have done it without our families & friends, and, especially our church family…….And we couldn’t have done it without God. When we first started, my target goal was to get 50%. I thought that was pretty good, given the short amount of time we had. That was my faith. Not too awesome. But, what an awesome God we follow! He let me start there, and then, He took us to 100% – 6 days before leaving.

All we have to do now is survive the ropes course at Shiloh Bible Camp in West Milford, NJ, and PACK!

Pray for us as we go on this new adventure.

14 Days and Counting


(we are only a piece to a larger puzzle)

We have 14 days until we take off into the blue and head south to the Dominican Republic, our team of 6 are filled with excitement to begin our little adventure. The process has been stretching and fruitful; like a balloon being blow up with air, anticipating the moment for it to pop and confetti is flown all over the place! We have been developing our team through communication  and prayer for the past number of months as we have been preparing for the DR. Our team work will soon be put to the test within the next week or so by taking part in an elements ropes course at Shilo, our hopes are to conquer the course with triumph! (maybe we should do it only speaking in Spanish :-P )

At the moment our team as a whole is only 80% funded to go to the Dominican Republic. Please help us in pursuing the dream by supporting us in what ever way you can.

Also we will continue to keep our communication with those at home through this Blog while we are away. Please pray for us as we continue to develop ourselves as a team and learn more about ourselves as individuals. Also continue to pray that our time in the DR will be fruitful not just to ourselves and the people around us but also for the missionaries who have greatly taken time to organize and plan with us and countless others.