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Monday, June 25, 2012

A Trip to the Dominican with COTN

Hi Friends!
I've been missing from 'blogland' for awhile...
why, you wonder?

My family and I have been having some fun


in a beautiful country,




playing with precious children,



surrounded by severe poverty,


in hot, humid weather!


We've been in Barahona, Dominican Republic with Children of The Nations International
Children of the Nations (COTN) is a wonderful organization that shares Christ's love, educates and provides care to the poorest nations of our world. 
Their focus is on the children:  Raising Children who Transform Nations.


We packed up our family and traveled close to 24 hours
(due to delayed flights and bus rides)
to reach Barahona, Dominican Republic.


Our 11 person group included church friends and family. 
[brother in-law, sister in-law, a cousin and friend.]

To say our eyes were opened, would be an understatement.
The poverty was like none we had ever seen.
The heat and humidity was very uncomfortable, yet
the Dominican people were delightful!



Their culture is so different than our fast paced, high pressured lifestyle in the States. 
Sad to say that it was actually hard to adapt to this slower pace.
However, by the end of the week we were loving 'Dominican time' and siestas...

not to mention the dominoes--a favorite of the Dominicans!


We came to serve, and we did.
My AH (Awesome Husband) and part of our team poured cement floors for three families in the 'barrio' (neighborhood) of Don Bosco, Barahona.


Nearby, my kids and I were part of the group that worked on painting
three classrooms in the Don Bosco COTN school.



Our favorite part of the trip...playing with the Dominican children!
So much joy, so many smiles and lots of laughter.

Of course, I should mention that much of the laughter occured from us trying to speak Spanish to them.  Thankfully the COTN provided us many translators.



Both our kids friended a 'special' Dominican child that they wanted to sponser through COTN.
They are excited to start writing letters to each other.
Want to learn more about COTN? Click here.
Want to sponser a COTN child? Click here.
Want to read my brother in-law's day by day (& often comical) account of our trip? Click here.



Sooooo...now we're at the hardest part of this experience...  Being home.
Laundry, kids arguing, grocery shopping, appointments, errands, etc.

I'm praying that our family will be able to take this Dominican experience
and let it change our hearts and our minds and our actions. 
I'm praying that we can allow the things we saw and felt
to really 'take hold' in our lives.

{...I'm not asking for too much, am I?}


Deut. 4:9
Be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. 
Teach them to your children and to their children after them.



14 comments :

  1. Wow Michelle! What a wonderful experience for you and your children! I hope that someday we, as a family, can do something like this.

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    1. Thanks, Liz! Our kids did better than we expected! Definitely something to plan for in the future!

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  2. What a fantastic adventure. We want to do something similar when the kids (Jonathan) get a bit older. The girls are about the right age but Jonathan is a little young still. Trips like these can make a real heart impact for life!

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    1. Thanks, Becky! Our kids were the perfect ages for this trip--10 and 11 years. I'm hoping for that 'heart impact', but even if it just planted some seeds, I'd be happy!

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  3. i love how you are able to completely capture a 10,000 foot view of our trip. your photos are so beautiful. i especially love the group photos- pretty at church and grimy at work!
    thanks michelle!

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    1. Haha! Thanks, Beth! What a ride! So glad we could experience it together!

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  4. We are so richly blessed! My friend Diane, who I went to visit in Africa and is a missionary for World Concern, has a favorite saying, "Blessed to be a blessing..." I'm sure that you and your family were and continue to be a blessing for those you met in the DR. The children really grab your heart don't they? I still think of the kids we met at the schools we visited and of their wonderful spirit and happy dispositions even though they have so little. I would love to go again!I think sometimes all of our "stuff" gets in the way of us seeing what is really important. So glad you had a great trip. I would love to see more pictures. Ann:)

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  5. What an amazing and unforgettable experience - I have a feeling you got so much more out of it than you know even now.

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  6. Loved looking at your photos! So glad that you made it safely back and that you had such a wonderful experience. :)

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    1. Thanks, Bethany. Definitely a memorable experience!

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  7. Oh wow! Sounds like a trip of a lifetime!

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  8. This looks like an amazing trip! I bet it changed lives!

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