By Thomas Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org
A group of Charles City youths and adults traveled to the Caribbean for a mission trip.
Bethany Alliance Church and the Rev. Coulter Page had a mission trip to Santiago, Dominican Republic. The 16-member group included six high school students, two college students and adults, including Page, who worked with Mission TwentyFive35, a Christian nonprofit based out of the U.S. Fundraising for the trip began in February.
“The youngest just got out of freshman year (of high school),” Page said.
The group left for the trip on Friday, July 28 and arrived in the Dominican Republic Saturday.
“We worked with Rick and Tammie Romano,” Page said. “One of their main things is that they’re trying to help sustain the local church and national church in the Dominican Republic.”
The Romanos work on a farm with animals and crops and they are trying to get a factory going there as well.
“To try to teach people wood technical work and just train some of the locals in how to do everyday kind of jobs,” Page said. “The money they raise off of that stuff, they’ll donate to the local churches.”
Page and his group helped out the Romanos and worked with them.
“We spent days when we helped on the farm laying cement, moving dirt or chicken coups,” Page said. “We spent part of our days doing different types of ministries that they had available.”
The group went to local villages on prayer walks, and met with widows in the surrounding towns.
“(We) prayed with them and talked with them, and got to know them a little bit better,” Page said.
The group never traveled farther than an hour’s distance from Santiago, which is about 90 miles from the capitol Santo Domingo.
While on the trip the group noticed the difference between what they considered enough in the U.S. verses what those in the Dominican Republic considered enough, Page said.
One of the widows commented to the groups, “all I have is God”, Page said.
“She had lost her husband years ago,” Page said. “That’s a whole different meaning from what we see here in the states.”
“One of the days we had some of the group go to a children’s rehab center,” Page said. “(For) kids ranging from nine to 19 who are coming out of drug and alcohol addiction.”
The group went to share the gossip with the children in the center and hang out with them and play ball, Page said.
While there, the group had a chance to play dominos, which Page lost at.
“We don’t know if we really understood the scoring, but we kept losing,” Page said.
The group made a point to visit as many places as they could, to do as much good as possible.
“One of the days the group went to a nursing home,” Page said. “Hung out the elderly there and got to chat with them.”
They also went to a garbage dump.
“I would say around 50 or so people work there, and what they’re doing, they’re not officially workers for the city, they’re just there to collect plastic, glass and metals,” Page said. “At the end of the day companies come in and buy it.”
Page and his group came gave the workers there sandwiches and got to met them, he said. Their translator noted that the workers at the dump made $12 to $15 a day, Page said.
“Minimum wage here is $7.50, and that’s two hours of work, and their doing this from seven in morning till late in the evening,” Page said. “They love Jesus in the midst of that.”
The group left to come back home Saturday, Aug. 5 and arrived Sunday, Aug. 6 at 4 a.m.
The group didn’t work the entire time. They spent one day at the beach while they were out there, Page said.