On March 28, a group of 40 teachers and students from Northwest Christian departed for Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic. All students were part of either third or fourth year Spanish classes at NWCS. The group partnered with Students International, a missions organization with a full time staff meeting the needs of the poor and marginalized in Jarabacoa while sharing the love of Jesus.
The team had the opportunity to serve in a variety of occupational sites alongside a Site Leader and members of teams from around the country (including Indiana and Michigan). Occupational sites included the following:
- Education (Preschool & Elementary)
- Appropriate Technology
- Health Care
- Physical Therapy
- Special Education
- Young Men’s and Women’s Sports
- Men’s and Women’s Social Work
Students and faculty worked closely with their site leader for a week in their assigned occupational site getting to know those in the community, gaining new skills, and improving their grasp of the Spanish language. A typical day started with a time of worship and teaching, followed by breakfast before heading out for the day to their work site. The team would reconvene in the evenings for dinner, team time and opportunities to spend time with families in the community and learn about Dominican culture.
Highlights included learning new skills (helping dentists, doctors, PT’s, etc.), meeting women and children in the community, playing sports with talented baseball players, making shoes, building wells and sharing the Gospel. Students spent the week technology free which allowed them to fully engage in the experience and with their classmates and teachers.
Upon their return, the team shared at both the Middle School and High School chapel services about their life changing experience. Students noted that the trip far exceeded their expectations and was life changing on many levels. They were touched deeply by the kindness and love they received from the Dominican people and their warm culture. They were stretched in learning new skills, speaking Spanish on a regular basis, eating different foods and being out of their comfort zone while facing the joys and challenges each day brought.
A special thank you to Laura (Senora to her students) and Kyle West and Aaron and Corinna Spuler and their families for teaming up to host this team for ten days and allow students to have this incredible experience!!