Spring Break for these girls were beaches, tropical fruit, and... construction work! The High School Global Impact trip to the Dominican Republic was an experience these girls will never forget.
These are their stories.
"Hey! My name is Raven!
I saw God moving both through the team I was with, and the people there. God was so evident that week between seeing my fellow team members work hard, and also love on the kids and the people around them. I saw God in the people there with how content and happy they were with what they had—even if it wasn’t much. God’s love is so big and never ending no matter the circumstances you may be in!
There was a particular interaction that stands out to me most from this trip. At the VBS we helped with, I met a little boy named Robbie as soon as we got there. He hopped up on my back as we took a walk around the town and continued to stick with me as the VBS went on. Later on we took a couple pictures and every time we took a picture he kissed me on the cheek! He was adorable and made a huge impact on me because he was such a sweet kid and was so happy."
"This is Lindy!
I saw God working in the kids around me and through their joy that was overflowing from their hearts. They were so content to just play with a soccer ball in the street— we demand so much more to entertain us! I also saw God working through our schedule. Many times things got cancelled and we were forced to do something else, but the new plan turned out to be amazing. God was in every moment and every conversation!
We did a VBS in a community where the church was literally a hallway. The kids there were so sweet and I fell in love with 5 of the little boys, but one of them, named Belami, was so special to me. We had a hand shake that he absolutely loved and we were able to communicate very well! When we were driving away from the town, the little boy chased the van and did the handshake over and over again in the air. He was so precious and will always be in my heart!"
"Hello, I'm Abby!
I saw God move through the smiles of all the children—and even adults—although they all had so little, they were grateful and cheerfully invited us into their community.
We were doing a craft by making a cross during one of the VBS events there, and one of the little kids I was helping asked in Spanish, "why are we making this cross?" And somehow I replied, in Spanish, "Because Jesus died for all the little children." Instantly his eyes grew wide and smile crossed his face, I could see the lightbulb turn on in his head and could tell he knew what I said. Being able to translate and get my message across was very encouraging and it made my day knowing that I could help that kid catch a glimpse of who Jesus is."
Of the many, many ways in which I saw God in the Dominican Republic, I saw that God is moving in His children and in all His people. It was in their relationships with me and others, in their language, in their work, in their play, in their laughter, and in their smiles—all of which was the only language we had in common. I got to see God moving in His children and dwelling in them.
I loved worshiping in another language. It would often frustrate me that I couldn't communicate well with the people there, but when I worshiped in a different language, I was reminded that even from our broken state, God turned our weakness into beauty, connection, healing, and song. When we sang at church on Sunday—and when we sang at each VBS with the kids—I was able to worship the same Jesus in Spanish that I worship so often in English. And I got to do it with these kids at VBS, building relationship with them through worship of our shared Heavenly Father!"