Grace Church DR Mission Trip - Day 10

Today was a fun but sad day. We got to sleep in today. We went straight to Catalina to spend as much time as we could with the guys and the girls, Yasmeroly and Esmeroly. One of the guys, Miguel brought his horse named Samantha to the party! We played many games with the guys and the girls and had a real fun time. We had lunch but we didn't stay for dinner. Saying goodbye was the hardest part. We promised them that we would see them again and we left back to the hotel. We had two hours to rest and swim. We went back to the mall for dinner. We went to a nice Italian restaurant. The food was great and we all had a fun time. On the way back to the hotel we stopped for Ice cream. To finish off the day we are having a debrief of our Trip and a possible snack party. It's sad to leave but it will feel good to be back in the states. Please pray for a safe flight and no delays, all the villages we went to and served, school starts in three weeks in Catalina.
~ Nate

Grace Church DR Mission Trip - Day 9

Hey everyone! Today we woke up really early then drove 2 hours to Bayaguana for Isaiah 58. When we arrived, we were instantly welcomed by a crowd of at least 60 people. We sang Eres Todo, Light The Fire, and Sinking Deep then performed our skit. After that, we stayed there for lunch because the pastor invited us to stay and brought up soda and juice. Then we drove another 45 minutes to the next village, Monte Plata. When we arrived, we helped clear out some planks of wood and encountered the first of two wolf spiders. We started painting the building with wood finish  (extremely sticky by the way - Nate got covered in it and it ripped out his arm hair) then encountered another wolf spider in a concrete block. When that was finally finished, we set up for another Isaiah 58. We handed out bracelets and lollipops and face painted. When we left, we drove 30 minutes to Pollo Victorina and ate so much chicken to end this amazing day. Now we are on our way back to the hotel. 


Grace Church DR Mission Trip - Day 8

This morning we woke up (I woke up late as per usual) and got ready to leave for Catalina. We got there relatively on-time and packed up the bus with Manna Packs and headed to a village called Matanzas. While there we sang songs, performed our drama, face painted, and handed out food.  On our way back from Mantanzas we all ignored language barriers and sang our hearts out to Justin Bieber and Sean Kingston. We got back to Catalina and ate lunch. Soon after we headed back to Matanzas to an English school to help new students with pronunciation and the basic things they've learned so far. (It was a lot of fun). We then headed back to Catalina, ate dinner, and got ready for evening church. Church was great, we sang a lot, Jeff preached, Alesha Kollert translated, and together we all learned about anchoring our souls in Jesus Christ. As I am typing we are pulling up to our hotel and our day has come to an end. 
- Carson

Grace Church DR Mission Trip - Day 7

Hey everyone, today we got up early today to head to Catalina to pack some more food for Isaiah 58. After that we all packed about 20 of us into la guagua (the bus) and went to the village of La Rigola, when we got there we set up the tent but we were on top of the mountain so the tent almost blew away. We moved inside into the classroom. We sang our classic 3 songs (Eres Todo, Light the fire, Hallelujah) and then we did our skit once again. After the village we went to the Handfuls school, had some lunch and then Yasmeroly surprised us and we got to spend 3 hours with her. Then it was time to get down to work and paint the outside of the school, we ended up getting more paint on ourselves rather than the building :/. We swept up the inside of the school and then it was time for dinner. After dinner we got in the guagua and headed to the grocery store to get some food for the rest of the week and then we headed back to the hotel. Adios! Hasta Mañana
~ Josie

Grace Church DR Mission Trip - Day 6

Tuesday, August 1

So we only have 4 days left here and I can't even believe we're already at this point. Today was another very early morning since we had to go to 2 villages for Isaiah 58. The first village we went to was a small building with lots of kids so just imagine the lack of space we had for the skit. After we served breakfast to the children, did worship and our skit, we got prepared for some chaos with face paint, bubbles, and bracelets. The pastor that we met was very kind and he luckily spoke English (he was born and raised in Long Island) He showed nothing but love to everyone. In between the villages we went to a mall to kill time and some of us got normal food while some of us got The infamous "Yogen Fruz." Totally worth it. The second village was a little different. We walked through rocks, broken glass, and many many goats before we got to the main area. As we got to area where we would perform our tasks, we noticed a small arena where cock fights were held and it was very interesting. Everything went smooth while we were there in spite of the sweat dripping and flying off of my nose. We were done for the day at around 5 so we headed back to the hotel to either swim or sleep... unless you're me and Carson who went to the gym... for dinner we headed to an empanada place and let me tell ya... they were bangin. That was pretty much our day and were excited to make the best of our last few days here. See y'all back in America on Sunday🤙

Grace Church DR Mission Trip 2017 - Day 5

Monday, Day 5

Hey everyone! Today we woke up early to head to Catalina to pack food for Isaiah 58, then we went to a village to serve food, perform our skit, sing, and entertain the children with face paint, bracelet-making and coloring. After we finished serving in that village we went back to Catalina for lunch where we FINALLY met our youth group's sponsor child, Yasmeroly! Needless to say she was shown lots of love from all of us, which she returned to us in the form of giggles and sass. After hanging out with Yasmeroly, we went to another village where we also did Isaiah 58 and did the same activities as the village before (plus some of the villagers catching an iguana, which we ended up taking back to Catalina with us). Back in Catalina, we packed food for tomorrow's Isaiah 58 ministry and ate dinner and dessert which involved lots and lots  of laughs. We then drove back to the hotel and stopped at a grocery store on the way back to get some unhealthy snacks of course. Now we're back at the hotel eating those unhealthy snacks:) about to go to bed. 

- Rachel

Grace Church DR Mission Trip 2017 - Day 4

Sunday, Day Four 

Hey friends and family! Today in the DR the team started out with breakfast in the morning with omelettes, donuts, and fresh fruit galore. After our stomachs were full, we headed out to IBI church for a Sunday service, using headsets to transform the pastor's Spanish into words we can understand, minding the translator's hilarious mess-ups. After the service with amazing worship (there were three guitars!!!) we travelled to Krispy Kreme for a snack which was delish. We then headed back to the hotel for some rest; we watched Frozen in Spanish and played a few rounds of our favorite game, werewolf. We loaded up the bus again and headed to my favorite part of the Trip, the children's hospital. We split into two groups, one for singing and one for playing with puppets. We sang Eres Todo in every room and, as we continued through the hospital, the children's and parent's smiles grew wider and wider. We prayed for each sick child individually, hoping that one day God will set them free from illness. After the hospital, we practiced our skit (finally) until we had it down to a science. To end the day, we had a bite at a tropical restaurant. Overall, the day was great. Our prayer request ...for focus on the meaning of this trip and for health due to sunburn and headaches. 

Grace Church DR Mission Trip 2017 - Day 3

Grace Church Day Three,  Saturday

Hello everybody! Today was awesome. We started our day with a yummy breakfast and hopped on the bus to visit Catalina for the first time. Once we arrived, we dragged damaged desks out of classrooms and sanded them down to prepare them for a new coat of paint. We enjoyed a lunch of different types of sandwiches as well as a bunch of different types of fruit juice  (which we discovered I might be allergic to one of them... whoops). After lunch we headed to a small village called San José for our ministry called Isaiah 58. We sang, face-painted, colored, played soccer, handed out food, made bracelets, and prayed with the people. Eventually we headed back to the Handfuls of Hope house to bag food and clothes for future ministry trips. After that, we drove back to the capital for dinner at a chicken place, which was nice and all, but the best part was the Bon we had after. Bon is THE BEST place to get Yogen Fruz (frozen yogurt) in the entire Dominican Republic. 

Now we're all off to shower and pass out in our beds... So goodnight everyone! (I love you mommy and daddy ❤) 

Grace Church DR Mission Trip 2017

Grace Church Day Two (Friday)

Hey parents, family, and friends! Today was an action packed and beautiful day. We joined Liquid Church on the beach for their last day in the DR AND we had some special girls from Pasitos de Jesus 《the orphanage HOH works with》 join us for a fun filled day of swimming and beach games. Then we headed over to the orphanage with the girls for LOTS of dancing, singing, and a pizza party! It was an absolutely amazing day to say the least.  Now we are going to be heading back to the hotel soon to rehearse our skit and then get some rest for our busy day tomorrow! 

Grace Church DR Mission Trip 2017

Grace Church Day One, Thursday

Day One (?) is in the books. All of our travel from church to JFK to DR was uneventful and smooth. We arrived to the Santo Domingo airport and were greeted by Benjamin, who served as our host all day. We settled into the hotel and then went out to the market for shopping and lunch. Afterwards we walked the Colonial Zone, stopped at the Chocolate Museum and then ate dinner at a restaurant in the Capital. We went to the supermercado to buy food to make lunch for 100 people at tomorrow's event. After rehearsing the drama, we all turned into bed to catch up on our sleep.  We are tired but excited about being here and what all we will do the next 10 days. Pray for a good night's sleep, health and an openness to God's voice. 

Each day a different member of the team will write a wrap up of that day's events and any prayer requests we have. Tune in tomorrow night.