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 5: Monday, February 21

In light of recent events in Japan, the earthquake in Haiti has faded into the background in world news. But the effects still linger. A recent outbreak of cholera has affected some in the Dominican Republic and resulted in travel advisories, which we do pay careful attention to. We always try to practice good hygiene so I can’t say we did anything special. And now, three weeks after we touched down in Miami, it would seem we have not contracted any serious tropical diseases.

This is no thanks to the shower in my room, however. In spite of the shower-head heater, the water never got warmer than “gasp - Brrrr!” It was all I could do to get under it and I washed as if it were a time trial. But putting this in perspective, bathing for the people in the mountains is usually accomplished outdoors in a big tub. I still shiver at the thought.

As for Haiti, David was planning a trip a few weeks after our departure. Among other things, he was going to deliver some pews to a church there and needed a truck to haul them. He had made arrangements to meet a Haitian driver in downtown Santiago so we went with him and Ramon. The driver never showed up, but we did see a number of vendors hauling their wares from a storeroom near where we parked. There were some big loads being toted.

He has to do this Every Morning

We also saw this truck, a sort of Haitian UPS. It was loaded. I mean, even by Dominican/Haitian standards, it was loaded. And each sack, and box, and piece of furniture had a name - someone to whom the particular item would be delivered.


...and Heading for Home

When we got back to the house, William was there to take us to the prison where he was having a session from “The Quest for Authentic Manhood” series. He tells us that there are many programs offered at the prison and the men there can chose which ones they want to participate in. Except for this one. It has been so effective that it is mandatory.

Not Even Half a Load

Now I had a co-worker whose son spent a few days in the county jail and when he got out, he complained about the food. According to his dad, he slapped him. When his son asked why, he said, “That’s for KNOWING the jail food is bad!” So I’ll tread carefully here, but I’ve now been in jails in Uganda and the Dominican Republic. This one is, in the mini-universe of jails I have visited, a better place. But it is a jail and I’ll have to admit it’s a bit tense being inside after having surrendered your driver’s license at the gate. But the session was well attended and all of the men seemed pretty engaged by the DVD message and spent some time in small groups going over questions.

After lunch, we headed into town to visit the Christian bookstore. There, we picked up 30 Bibles to give to Juan for the families at Tinajita. We took a brief swing through the fort above the city - the first time I had seen it - then went to Nacional and Pizza Hut to get provisions (the pizza for an early dinner).

Flowers. And Cannons.

We headed out again after dinner to attend the revival meeting in Las Carachas. On the way we met Giovani coming home from school and picked him up. He hadn’t eaten dinner, of course, and I was guessing he was hungry. I had some snack bars and gave him one. The first thing he did was to break it in half and give a piece to his young cousin. That was nice. The revival was attended by about 70 people. It consisted of a session of loud, upbeat music followed by a sermon that was delivered the same way. Just as darkness fell, the mosquitos came out in full force, signaling the end of the meeting. We packed ourselves back into the bus and headed back to the house.

Singing at the Las Carachas Revival

Some of the 70 People in Attendance

Carmen and Jeff organized a digital photo sharing session, collecting the pictures all three of us had taken into one place (my laptop). Later in the evening, Juan and Santos (from Yaguita) came over to bid us goodbye and deliver some gifts that Juan had crafted. It got late and everyone left. We took Carmen home and said our goodbyes, as she would have to be at work as we made our way to the airport in the morning.

During the evening, Gracesqui had come to the house and, in what is now no surprise at all, gave us gifts: organic coffee and coffee mugs that said “I Love You” on them. I have mine in the new basement room to use with my Keurig coffeemaker. A reminder of a special place and special people. It is hard to leave. But it is always good to get home too. With those thoughts, I braved the shower one last time and turned in, hoping that the yappy little dog would not somehow come back for a going-away serenade.

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