This year we will be going to the DR from August 2nd to August 9th. The details for the cost of the trip can be found on our support page, the potential for value it will bring to the lives of the people in the Domincan and to us is outlined below.

The Vargas Family:
Our church works with G.O. Ministries to provide an annual salary to Luis and the Vargas family as they minister to one of the most impoverished areas of the Dominican Republic. Last year on our trip, Emily and Brett were blessed to get a lot of time just sitting and talking with Luis and Rena, and their children Jason and Dilson. We got to know them pretty well. We made a little video to help you get to know them a little better. It's a couple months out of date, but we hope this portrays a little bit about their lives, and about why we love partnering with them so much!

La Mosca:
Last year, Pastor Luis has transitioned to working in Santa Lucia, is also called La Mosca ("The Fly") due to the many flies which thrive off the surrounding trash dump. Some of the full-time missionaries with G.O. Ministries characterize the area as "a place of profound suffering and despair. Disease, addiction, crime, illiteracy, and malnutrition reign supreme. La Mosca is a torment for those that live there. It is truly a place characterized by hopelessness." As Jesus calls us to go into the darkest places to bring hope, we are looking forward to the challenge of serving this community as Pastor Luis does each day. For a more detailed description of La Mosca, click here.

Recently, we've heard from Luis that there has been some serious violence developing in the community over some gang-esque disputes between some of the people in the community. Make no mistake, this low tech community some how has an abundance of firearms. And Luis has had to cut several functions hosted at the community center short due to nearby gunfire and escalating violence. Prayer for this issue is seriously needed! Please pray for the safety of Luis and his family, and for everyone in the community they serve.

As we've said, Emily's heart and mine go out to the people of greatest need, and having seen and heard what the people of Santa Lucia live with every day, we believe this is the right place for us to offer whatever we can as a blessing to their community.

Hato del Yaque (Home sweet home):
Hato del Yaque is where we stay while we're in the DR. It is also the construction site on which we work for about half the time that we're there. We will continue work on a building of residence for the Pastor, permanent missionaries, and long term interns that support Hato del Yaque. Here's a quick tour of the community!

Hato del Yaque is a town that formed shortly after Hurricane David in 1979. When most of the homes and businesses were destroyed by massive flooding along the river, most of the people were forced to relocate to this area which was previously completely undeveloped. As you can see, a community formed by a population that has lost everything is unlike anything we see in the states. Still, they are a people capable of finding great pride and joy in the progress they've made since their loss, and they're incredibly grateful for the help and resources that the local missionary (our partner in the area), Jen, is able to bring to their community.