It’s almost been one week since we returned home from the Blog Trip to the Dominican Republic.
We’re slowly settling back into our routines. Remembering how to live in our reality while carefully carrying with us the reality of the children we met.
And thank you, thank you, thank you for following the journey, praying, sharing and commenting. Thank you for stepping up beside us and immersing yourself in every story.
More than 30 blog posts were written by our trip bloggers. It may have been hard to keep up with them all so I wanted to highlight my favorite post from each blogger! Hopefully it will help you digest this trip if you missed it!
Grab your coffee and your warmest blanket. Cuddle up and read what God is doing in the Dominican Republic.
“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen
She lives next the river. Where her mother committed suicide…by drowning.
Elsa. No, she isn’t the queen that lived in an ice castle in the movie Frozen.
The Elsa I met in the Dominican slums of Santo Domingo lived where even the poorest look down on her.
Elsa lives next to the river. Where people get sick from the polluted waters and everything putrid that gets ejected from the slums built up higher always finds its way downhill.
Living next to the river also means your house will be flooded — regularly here in the tropics when the waters rise. So your home can never be free from the refuse that sloshes in as it washes away all you own and leaves a reside you cannot wipe away.
I’m borrowing words to share with you today.
Words from someone who knows what it’s like to not only survive difficult circumstances but come out thriving on the other side of them.
Someone who has been told “you are a mistake” and then learned from God that they are a world-changing miracle.
Someone who believes in the power of love to lead us out of the lowest points in our lives and take others with us.
Before this trip, I had already traveled to the Dominican Republic three times. I’ve traveled to Guatemala multiple times.
I’ve been to the countryside in Thailand. I’ve seen poverty and heartache.
So when Compassion asked me to come to the Dominican Republic, I said yes. I want to understand the people more deeply. I want my heart to fall deeper in love with the DR.
But I didn’t want to get too attached. I didn’t want to get too emotional. I didn’t want to be too broken.
As I packed my suitcase for the trip, I was determined to be strong.
“I already know what I’m going to see”, I told myself. “There will be hard moments, but I need to hold myself together.”
These trips can be overwhelming and heart-wrenching and exhausting. “But I’m fine”, I assured myself. I’m not going to let my emotions get the best of me.
And then we went to visit Elsa, who is a grandmother to Jazmin, and her two grandsons. Jazmin was born with a disability. She can’t walk or talk. She can’t chew food. When she was born, her mother didn’t want her. She is completely dependent on her grandmother to care for her and meet her every need. When I saw her curled up in the corner of the couch, I longed to hold her in my arms. With her grandmother’s permission, I scooped her up and I melted into a puddle of tears.
It’s been a long week. In fact, by this point, you might even be a little sick of hearing me talk about Compassion and the Dominican Republic and all the reasons why you should sponsor a child.
I get it. I really do. Extreme poverty is heavy, and it is overwhelming.
It feels so big. So widespread. So endless, as far as the eye can see. No matter how many people you try to help, there will always be a line out the door. No matter how many kids get sponsored, there will always be one more.
And did you see these beautiful faces of children sponsored because of the blog trip? God is so good!
I hope you join us in praising God for how He is moving through the local Church in the Dominican Republic!