By: Elba Isabel Duson
“Live in harmony with one another…” (Romans 12:16a)
A beautiful spirit of unity and service characterized the first installment of what is being deemed in the Dominican Republic the “Missionary Summer”. From May 21 to 28, 2022, 12 Work and Witness volunteers from North Arkansas in the United States combined with four young leaders from the host country to bless the city of Bonao. With a heart for the nations, these men and women broke down linguistic and cultural barriers in order to finish the primary project for the week: repairing and painting the SMILE OF HOPE ministry home of The Good Shepherd Church of the Nazarene.
During the week, other activities such as Bible School, creative evangelism, and home visits to young teenagers with difficult health conditions left the community greatly impacted. The missions team donated food, remodeled houses, and even participated in the children’s graduation from the project.
People from the community expressed gratitude: “We have been shocked to see people from another country taking their time to share and serve with us. We feel loved and special. It is our hope that this type of event can be repeated in our community.”
“This has been one of the best trips I have had the opportunity to be on. We all enjoyed spending time serving in the same group: Dominicans and North Americans!” –Pastor Beck, North Arkansas.
“This is the first missions activity I have been a part of. Missions has always caught my attention and, after having served in such a cross-cultural activity, now even more so. I had never served alongside people who didn’t speak the same language as me, let alone thought I could enjoy non-verbal and participatory communication so much. Truly language is not a barrier; on the contrary, now I feel challenged to study and practice English more so that I can communicate better and be more useful in an upcoming trip like this.” –Derick Steven Rivera, Dominican Republic.