Welcome to the 2011 Onalaska Church of Christ Dominican Republic Missions Ministry web log. This site is to keep you informed about our mission, preparations for our trips and communications with the missionaries in the Dominican Republic.

Our vision is captured in the messages on our flag:

viajar - Servir - madurar
to go - To Serve - to grow

Levante las Velas y Adelante al Horizonte (LLV y AAH)
Hoist the Sails and Onward to the Horizon

Blog updated March 5, 2011
The OCC - DR blog is being updated to provide information about the 2011 trip and the planned visit to the Dominican Republic in the summer of 2012

Accounts from our activities on Thursday, February 17 are now posted.

This Site
This Welcome section and the Current News section that follow have their permanent homes here at the top of the blog. Starting with this update, posts will follow in order written immediately below the Current News. This means that all posts will be available in this window or through the archive list that can be accessed in the Blog Archive menu at the bottom of the right hand side bar.

What time is it in the DR?


Current News

2011 Visit to the DR
The team for the 2011 visit occurred between February 16 and February 22. Reports are being provided in new posts, one post for each day of the trip. We will soon be making plans for our next visit to the Dominican Republic, tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2012.

Day 2: Friday, February 18

Driving around Santiago is always a raucous adventure. Cars in every state of repair swirl around the busy intersections, somehow avoiding each other and the ubiquitous cell phone accessory salesmen who tout their wares when, and if, traffic stops when the light turns red. And I am always impressed by how much the honking of horns improves traffic flow. At least I think it does; why else would everyone be doing it?

Added to this excitement is the knowledge that David has prepared to take us out in the blue bus by loading on three bottles of brake fluid, a gallon of water and a tool kit. The latter includes a sturdy fencing tool - a combination hammer, vice grips and pry bar. Thus outfitted, we venture forth for the day...

David Carefully Navigates in SantiagoTraffic
Note: this picture is from day 1 and we are in the van. I know some of you observant types would have picked up on this!

We ride out to the Pontezuela school and have a look around while David and Ramon talk with Eduardo about getting the large water tank up over a passageway so that the bathrooms can be provided with running water. There is a new office space above the first floor office, but it is unfinished and thus far not used. The steep drop-off behind the school appears to have been stabilized by a large infusion of fill and the building appears to be pretty much as it was 2 years ago. There are a number of students in the play area, doing calisthenics and otherwise enjoying being out, even though it is raining. Giovanni has a large parakeet or small parrot (an ornithologist I’m not) and enjoys showing it off.

Ramon and Eduardo at Pontezuela

David Discusses Things with the Pontezuela Staff

Having gotten off to a bit of a late start, we head back to the house via Nacional and Pollo Victorino to get supplies (including quite a bit of Café Santiago) and pick up our lunch. Once again, Carmencita joined us after work, bringing our team back up to full strength – all three of us!

The afternoon had us making the trip up over the mountains to Tinajita. We drove the bus off on a side road as far as we could then got out and walked down into the neighborhood. The reason for this was a wickedly steep hill, one the bus would not have ever gotten back up.

On the way to Tinajita

Posing for a Photo Before Heading Down into Tinajita

We spent the next few hours looking at the new church building and visiting with families living nearby. This included a visit with Juan’s mother who served up another wonderful cup of dark, sweet coffee. We were told that any visit to a home in the Dominican Republic should include a time for sharing coffee. I can live with that.

In the New Church Building

Juan witnessed to the families, reading a different verse and delivering a different message at each stop. We had some toys that we were able to offer the children – balls and bats, marbles and yo-yos along with hair decorations for the girls.

Juan Reading to One of the Families

Juan told us that he came up on Sunday afternoons for services in the building which at the moment only has a few pews. There are a small number of members and the home visits give Juan and Karo a chance to talk to people and tell them about the importance of accepting Christ and becoming part of a local congregation.

House where Juan Lived When He was Growing up

As I had suspected, getting back up to the bus was just a bit more difficult than getting down to the church and homes. On the ride back to the city I asked Juan if the families we visited had Bibles. He said he didn’t think so and we agreed that when we had the chance, we would go to the local Christian book store and get some for him to take on his next visit.

We visited with Carmencita after dinner and, after driving her home, headed to our rooms to rest up for our trip up to Palo Alto in the morning.

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