Dominican Republic Mission
February 2017 - Singing in San Isidro
For an article giving background on our mission partnership and photos of final construction and the dedication ceremony of La Iglesia San Pablo y San Lucas, please click here.
Past Updates, History
Team2 June 2014
Please visit St. John's Facebook page to get up to speed on the work our second mission team did to prepare La Iglesia San Pablo y San Lucas for its dedication ceremony.
Team1 June 2014
Saturday, June 21
Most of our team said goodbye to the Republica de Dominica Saturday; two are staying on to meet up with St. John's second mission team to prepare La Iglesia San Pablo y San Lucas for its dedication next week. In our travels home, we found a lost girl who spoke no English and was in a clear panic that her aunt and flight would leave Miami without her. Thanks to our go-to communicator all week, Alicia, and an extremely helpful, bilingual waitress from a nearby airport restaurant, we were able to calm the young girl down enough to relay the predicament to security. Happy ending... girl and aunt were reunited and even made their flight.
Ministry Coordinator Carol Sullivan has posted the team's latest entry to St. John's Blog: "Todos Somos Uno"...read it here. And we've loaded photos from our final hours on the worksite onto Facebook... have a look!
Friday, June 20
Our final workday here and what a race to the finish... although our team could argue that we crossed several different milestone finish lines today: last board sanding, last pew assembly, last saw cuts, last detail sanding, last chair assembly, last cross, last baptismal font, last lectern facing finished, last lectionary stand finished.... you get the picture. And if even if you don't get the picture... please check Facebook tomorrow for all kinds of snapshots from our mission trip's work.
It's late here in Boca Chica and our 7am flight requires a 4:30am pick up... Buenos Noches! Will catch up on Sabado.
Thursday, June 19
Today is a Dominican holiday - Corpus Christi - and let's just say that Boca Chica... seemingly all of Boca Chica... is celebrating festively. We're hosting Padre Adolfo at a nearby restaurant tonight and may be returning a bit too late to post more but check back tonight or tomorrow and see!
(Friday morn) So yes, it turned out our evening ran long so we're only updating now....
As the week and our work and our relationships with our friends new and old have progressed, one thing that has emerged has been nicknames and roles... We've got Rockin' Robbyn who routered virtually every edge on every piece of furniture that will be in the new church. There's Dusty Dave who has a zen-like mastery of the belt sanding of the pew pieces. And as any spirited grandmother would, Abuela Anne has entertained, explained and even skipped along with el ninos of San Isidro.
We head into our last day of work with much sanding remaining and 13 of 22 pews remaining to be assembled. It will take an efficient, team effort to successfully complete all the furniture we've been tasked with making. Visit SJEC Facebook ("f" icon in light blue menu bar below) for today's photos.
Team member Alicia Watt has served as interpreter and as a result of her willingness to use her Spanish, has made richer connections for all of us with our mission partners families, our lunch hosts our van driver and the Hotel Zapata staff. We invite you to read Alicia's blog post here.
Wednesday, June 18
Photos from today are on our Facebook site, please click on the "f" icon in the light blue menu bar below. Team member Anne Moll (aka Abuela Anne) shares her takeaways from the week so far on the St. John's Blog. Click here to read Anne's post here.
Tuesday, June 17
Team member Charles Bash blogged a great summary of our work in the early goings... Check it out here. And view photos on St. John's Facebook page: www.sjec-midland/Facebook.com
Monday, June 16
Finally! Our access to the internet was severely compromised since our arrival but we may just have achieved a breakthrough tonight. Forgive us if our web & internet updates are intermittent through the week; we will do the best we can!
Worship with the congregation of La Iglesia San Pablo y San Lucas yesterday was a joyous, glorious experience. We enjoyed the privilege of extending blessings to a couple due to be the first married in this new church. Padre Adolfo's words to all of us: It is not the skill that is important but rather the will.
Today, quite simply, we worked our butts off! Our crew leaders are impressed with our eagerness and abilities and believe we are a bit ahead of schedule despite blowing breakers left and right due to all the power sanders and saws going at once.
There's so much more to share, but we'll try to balance it throughout the week. Please check back tomorrow evening. Thanks to all for your prayers!
The banner pictured at right, created by SJEC members Pat Wilson and Carole Adams, was given to La Iglesias Episcopal San Pablo y San Lucas in San Isidro to commemorate their new church's dedication and our mission partnership with them.
March 29 - April 5, 2014 Mission Team Updates
Friday 4/4 - Saturday 4/5
Members of our DR mission team are safely home in Michigan. Only one casualty ...one of our nine checked bags was sent to Indianapolis!
This picture was taken after our last night (Friday) of evening prayers on the beach.
Our trip is coming close to its end. We just got back to our hotel after a late dinner at an outdoor BBQ with Padre Adolfo, David and Divina.
Adolfo is the priest who serves the people of the Episcopal Church in San Isidro, and is responsible for coordinating most elements of our partnership in the DR. David is a former Roman Catholic priest from Ecuador, studying in DR for one year so he can return to be ordained as an Episcopal priest at home. Divina is a first year student at the seminary here, and has been sponsored by St. John's Endowment Committee.
We enjoyed the afternoon with them and with many people from the San Isidro congregation. We played a number of games (see the pictures in the album, Dominican Republic - Spring Break 2014) presented the t-shirts, coloring books and crayons, pencils and pens we took for them, shared cake and sodas, and enjoyed some dancing. The t-shirts, designed by Tina Dasbach, included silhouettes of the US and the DR, with a line joining Midland to San Isidro and the words, "Midland, MI USA Linking Lives in the Love of Christ with San Isidro, DR."
Tomorrow, we're going to be tourists, taking in the sights of historic Santo Domingo.
Another good work day in San Isidro... we finished the primer coat of paint on the church, inside and out, and we did it more than a full day ahead of schedule.
Lots of good stories...
-Dan, Paul & Rob schemed about a new sitcom titled "Tres Hombres y Un Baño" while standing shoulder to shoulder painting in the bathroom
-Agnes & Sandy went visiting in the neighborhood
-One of our teenaged boys received a rose and a marriage proposal
This morning, we finished sanding all of the rough spots from yesterday's spackling. Then we started painting, some before lunch and then again after lunch. By the time we were done for the day, we had completed the first coat of primer inside the church, with a little also completed on the outside. Lots of paint splattered across faces and shirts, and a job well done. We got back to our hotel for a quick swim and then some of Marta's home cooked specialties at the Hotel Zapata.
Today, after lunch, we went for a walk. Nadia, our lunch host each day, and Adolfo, priest in San Isidro, led us through some back paths off the main roads. We visited three homes, each of them offering a sharp contrast to our own homes. Our visit with Julia was powerful. She's a frail, older woman, member of the Episcopal church in San Isidro, who lives alone without a working refrigerator, stove or plumbing. Without a refrigerator, it is hard for her to keep the insulin she needs to treat her diabetes. The nurse on our team had some conversation with her about her health, and we learned that Julia works very hard to manage her diet as well as possible and to take the medications that she can obtain. She depends upon her neighbors, including other members of the church, to keep her living in her own home. Our visit with Julia ended with prayers, and led to some very thoughtful conversation during our evening meeting and prayers on the beach.
We learned a little more about what it means for our brothers and sisters in San Isidro to link their lives with one another and with their neighbors, all in the love of Christ. We learned a little more about what it means for to share together in the mission which God gives the church!
Our work today was preparing the walls for the first coat of primer, which we will apply later this week. We can certainly be proud of how hard our team members worked, especially for their first day in this kind of heat and sunshine. Don't worry about them, though ...at the end of the day, there was still time for a visit to the beach before dinner!
Tonight, the team is walking down the beach to an Italian restaurant visited by last year's team. Last night it was an outdoor barbecue that the teenaged boys ranked a "15" or "20" on a scale of 1-10. For lunch today, it was rice & beans, meatballs, potato salad, and deep fried yucca cakes.
Watch for more pictures and details each day and, please, keep us in your prayers!
Rev. Rob joins Padre Adolfo Moronta in celebrating worship at what will be the new church home for the people of San Isidro - La Iglesia Episcopal San Pablo y San Lucas. A wonderful Sunday lunch was hosted by a local parishioner.
Saturday 3/29 (travel day)
It's been a long day today, for St. John's Mission team, without anything too exciting to report. We caught the shuttle from our Detroit airport hotel at 4am and arrived in Santo Domingo about twelve hours later, more or less in one piece. Our hosts at the Hotel Zapata are wonderful and have worked hard to make us feel right at home. Now we've all settled into our rooms and I'm sure many are sleeping.
Breakfast at 8am tomorrow, and then the bus will pick us up at 9:30am to take us to worship with La Iglesia Episcopal San Pablo y San Lucas in San Isidro. It will be great to see Padre Adolfo Moronta and the people of San Isidro, and to see first hand the progress that has been made with construction since some of us were last here. A luncheon will follow worship, and then a bus tour of the area, before we return to our beachfront hotel for a little R&R before our real work starts on Monday.
And yes, it is wonderfully hot and sunny and the beach is very inviting. We'll remember St. John's during our worship tomorrow, and we hope that you'll remember us!
Sunday, March 23 Mission Team Commissioning
Last Sunday, March 23, prayers were offered with Aaron, Agnes, Amelia, Anna, Bradley, Brandon, Connor, Dan, Paul, Rob and Sandy as they were commissioned for their mission trip to the Dominican Republic (most of the team is pictured at left along with some members of our Daughters of the King small group ministry). The team leaves March 29 and on their first full day in San Isidro, they'll worship with our brothers and sisters at La Iglesia San Pablo y San Lucas. Click on the video posted below, filmed during our 2013 trip, to get an idea of what worship will be like for them on March 30!
October 2013 Dominican Dinner, Silent Auction Success!
Thanks to all who supported our Dominican Dinner & Silent Auction this fall. With auction sales, donations and pledges, almost $13,000 was raised as of October 2013 in support of building La Iglesia San Pablo y San Lucas in San Isidro in the Dominican Republic. With what had already been raised by our partners from the Indian River congregation in Michigan, plus donations through late December 2013, we are approximately $6,000 away from our goal of $25,000, with everything to be matched 2:1 by St. John's Endowment Committee.
La Iglesia Episcopal San Pablo y San Lucas
The keystone of this global outreach partnership is the construction of a physical church home for the Episcopal church community in San Isidro. Since our first team's trip in July 2013, we have worked with others from St. John's and Transfiguration Episcopal Church in Indian River, MI to more deeply engage members of our congregations, raise the money needed to complete the church construction in San Isidro and organize trips for future teams.
To learn more about the church in the Dominican Republic and about the Dominican Development Group, follow these links:
Midland Daily News 9/28/13 article, written by St. John's parishioner, Roger Bryant