Monday, June 1, 2015

Day 6:Sunday Church, A Wedding, and Goodbyes

We Started out the morning waking up to a pretty hot room. Our heat went out about 5am. This morning was our morning to sleep in...I skipped breakfast and slept/stayed in bed until about 10. Went down to lunch at noon. Then went up and started packing up to go home. It was so HOT. I thought I was going to die. We had to get ready for church and get dressed with sleeves on in that heat. Ugh! I couldn't decide if it was really that hot or if it was because I was focused on myself instead of someone else's conditions this morning. Either way it was pretty darn hot. We loaded up the bus at 2:00 and headed to Los Fundos to go to church. 

We stopped off at Lily House to pick up the wedding cake. They trusted us, a group of strangers, young adults at that with their wedding cake. Really? There was a lesson to be learned everywhere we looked and in everything we did. Do you think I would have trusted a group of high school kids with my cake? But in reality does it really matter if there is a dent in your wedding cake? 

When we pulled up the kids ran over to the buses and greeted us with open arms and smiles. We have all made special connections with certain kids/adults and it didn't take us long to find each other. I greeted some of the Mothers with "Feliz Dias de la Madres"...Happy Mothers Day! 

We went into the church and found a seat. A lot of the boys/men had to stand outside and peak through the windows because the church was full. 

Nate , the Pastor of Los Fundos and our Score representative, welcomed us as his beautiful wife translated. He doubted us we found out this week. TRA left last year and committed to the village. He said Los Fundos sometimes gets overlooked because it is the poorest, smallest, least glamorous of the villages. People say they are coming back but don't always end up doing it. When Womack told him we were not only going to build a house but our school would be paying for it with money the kids raised throughout the year-he said ok... Well when we heard that -that was all the motivation our group needed. We said were going to build this house and three bath houses in two days-no problemo! 
Nate commented on all of that and said we had one of the hardest working group of kids he had ever seen. We surprised him and he now knows whatever TRA kids say they are going to do-they will deliver! 

We sang (in Spanish with a projector) Blessed be Thy Name,10000 Reasons, and Mighty to Save. It was so amazing. At that point we were all the same (really all week-we realized the Dominicans are no different than us). Nate preach a sermon in Spanish without the translator. We got the gist of it. Ally and some of the other took the kids outside for an activity she brought with her. 

They passed around the offering "plate"...really cool...

Then it was time for the wedding. Some of the girls danced to a song. It was so perfect! The bride was beautiful. Her dress was amazing. 

As everyone exited the church, we gathered and took a group photo. 
Then it was time for the wedding cake! While the locals were having cake, our group walked over and took a photo with Ms Alba. She was so humbled, proud and appreciative. She deserved that new home. She is obviously a good and faithful servant of the Lord. God Bless Her and her family! 

Then there was cake left so we all got to have a piece. It was so delicious! The women at the Lily House made it. That's one thing I didnt have time to do. Next time I will go visit there. Lily House is a place for women rescued from sexual slavery. They have a place to live and work and worship and feel safe and feel like they matter. I did buy a few pieces of jewelry from them at the complex one night. They made jewelry out of cereal boxes. 

It was time to say goodbye. 

Two of my favorites...Darien and Darien! 

Tino gave this little boy the necklace he had on...he asked for it and he gave it. That's what you do for these people. They gave us so much more than we ever could have given them. 

Everyone just wanted "uno mas foto" one more picture! We learned so much Spanish. 

Ally and Eliza telling each other "I love you"! Ally videotaped it. It is priceless. I love those two girls! 

This boy reminded me of Oney! He was doing a funny gesture that Oney always does. He was so full of life and so cute. 

Not easy at all for any of us. I told Marlenis and Alba "l'appromat Anos"...I would see them next year. I can't wait to see how they have changed.  I cried all the way back to the complex. We "got to leave" they had to go back to their normal lives. It was SO HARD.

We had dinner and our night gathering as a group started at 8. Each night we gathered as a group and had a time of sharing. Tonight everyone was asked to share something. It was very emotional. We ALL took something away from this trip. Everyone is on a different level in their walk with God. I learned that it's ok. I have always been intimidated that I wasn't  "Holy" enough to do a mission trip. Wow was I wrong! We are ALL sinners and God loves us just the same. I have learned so much about myself. I just pray that when I get home that "life" doesn't get in the way. 

I am so proud of Ally. She is such a strong leader. This senior class has tons of strong leaders and I know they are going to do great things this next year and as grown adults. 

She really got out of her comfort zone and did things and said things that I never could have imagined. I was so blessed to go with her and have this experience with her and all of her friends. I LOVE these kids. They took such good care of me. 

Definitely a trip of a lifetime. Don't be afraid to talk about God. Share his love. Do something kind for others. It doesn't have to be a major action-just the smallest gestures are as important as the big ones. I challenge all of us on the trip-adults and "kids" let's keep it up when we get back home!