Photo Credit: Zoraya B. Stern Photography (Photo gallery here)

Photo Credit: Zoraya B. Stern Photography (Photo gallery here)

Our mission team took our first trip to La Romana, Dominican Republic in June of 2017, working again alongside Pastors Jean and Estella Mede of Luz Divina church, together with Scott Etheridge of Praying Pelican Missions. Read more and see pictures at apmissionteam.blogspot.com.

Do you want to make a difference in hurricane-affected areas? Join us on this year's mission team, August 4-10, 2018! To learn more about going on the trip or other ways to get involved, email team leader Larry Howl or click the "I want to be a part!" button.

The needs and opportunity to work this year are great, especially given the challenges of the 2017 hurricane season. This picture gallery shows Pastor Mede and others working to repair hurricane damaged roofs. Scott has also described how damage to recently-dug wells means some of the people they work with in the bateys have to walk five miles for water. He writes:

It has been a fairly challenging last month here in the DR. First with the threat of Irma and then with Maria hitting us here on the eastern side of the island. Thankfully the storm's eye moved to the north of us at the last minute so we didn't take a direct hit. With that said, we still suffered some damages in the communities/bateys around here that we serve in. In Villa Hermosa, which is one barrio over from Pastor Mede's we had about 10 homes in the community of Pastor Juan Guillermo, one of our other partner pastors, badly damaged. In addition we saw a good deal of damage in Batey 107. They had roofs damaged, water in houses and a well that we installed two years ago has been damaged and is now not operating.
...
Unfortunately, what we see as an emergency because they are walking 5 miles for water, [well drilling companies] don't view with such expediency. 

At the same time, there is reason for hope! When we were in La Romana back in June, this is what the Luz Divina church construction site looked like (video): 

And, here is what it looks around November (picture gallery)!

So, why are we sending a team to the D.R. when there are so many needs here in the U.S.A.? We believe that we are called to be Christ's hands and feet everywhere. As Jesus said to his disciples just before his ascension, "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). It's not either-or; it's both-and. We hope that this team will continue to be an opportunity for the disciples here in our church family to experience their faith in a whole new cultural context, and that over time the mission team will be an ongoing conduit for serving in our local area, in our country, and around the world.

Thanks for your support and prayers!

Meet Pastor Mede and see the plans for a new church building in the city of La Romana