April 5, 2012

Stories from the Mission Field: Dominican Republic: Seeing Things with New Eyes


See how God used our Project GO! volunteers last summer as they served in Peru, Guatemala, Kenya, Honduras, Russia, Dominican Republic, Mexico and the U.S./Mexico border.

My time thus far in the Dominican Republic has been a whirlwind! The country, people, and kids are beautiful. I am in love.
I have gotten the opportunity to teach English to these sweet children in the Community Transformation Center. When we were driving in for the first time to teach, I saw dilapidated buildings and poverty all around. It honestly did not phase me much. I have been to other countries. I have seen poverty. So I went on with my business of teaching English.

During the first few days, we decided to walk around the community with a few of the children. They were so excited to take us to their houses. As we walked, the poverty around us began to sink in.

We came to E’s house. She was so proud to have us there, and her family invited us in. The four of us barely fit in the living room area. Curtains made up the makeshift walls, and the materials their house was built from were anything but sturdy. They were so welcoming, but we only stayed for a few minutes.

Experiencing poverty like I saw that day puts things into perspective. I knew poverty existed in the community, but before I ever saw the poverty, I saw the children. I have been teaching them for two days, and they come dressed fairly nice. They are so happy and eager to learn, so I wasn’t expecting what I saw.

It broke my heart to see where these children live. But despite the poverty, these children have such pure hearts full of joy to learn and experience life. Their outlook is much different than yours and mine. It has encouraged me to look at things in a new light.

Laren Lewis was a Project GO! volunteer in the Dominican Republic during summer 2011.

College students and recent grads -- It's not too late to apply for Project GO! and serve overseas in June, July, or for the entire summer! The second round of applications are due by April 9th. Learn more here.

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