Back from the DR already.

I’m back from the DR already. The week went way too fast and I really wish I was still there.

Here’s a summary and some photos of my week (If you have any desire for prints, re-use, etc. please notify me. Being my photography, I own the rights, and do not want anything reproduced without my permission.):

I stayed and worked with Rick and Becky Mackey, and their kids, Ben and Elena. Rick was my youth pastor, and now their on the field in the Dominican Republic, equipping local leaders and churches. I am basically an adopted member of their family, so it was wonderful to be with them for the week. I helped Rick and Becky with their usual routine, plus was able to visit different organizations and missions I could potentially work for in the future. When we weren’t out and about, I spent all my time with the family, relaxing, playing, and talking about life. I was happy to pick up my close relationship with the kids, especially Ben since he’s smack in the middle of middle school mode. He even told me not to leave the country – that meant A LOT.

Saturday – My first flight was delayed 3 hours, but thankfully I was going to have some time in Miami. By the time I got in I had to run to my gate, because it was 20 minutes before takeoff. And guess what, they hadn’t even begun boarding!! On both flights no one was in the seat by me, so that was super nice. I got 300 pages of voluntary, fun reading done, and just relaxed. When I arrived I was expecting no luggage, and miracles of miracles both bags came!

Sunday – We went to church at Nueva Vida in Jarabacoa. In the afternoon Rick took Elena and me on a long motorcycle ride up the mountain, to our old camp, to a local swimming hole, and around town. The rest of the day we relaxed around the house, and watched Courageous.

View from the mountain

At the swimming hole

On the countryside

Monday – Rick dropped me off at a kid’s club run by the pastor’s wife in Buenos Aires. I helped out by teaching the kids numbers in English and overseeing some of their work on handwriting. After kid’s club we visited the Students International camp where we talked to the director for a bit. We also stopped by Vanesa’s dentist office. She’s a long time Dominican friend of our church, and is now a dentist missionary for Students International. In the evening Rick showed Courageous in Spanish to some Dominicans at the house.

Tuesday – I got up early and walked Ben and Elena to school.  Later in the morning Rick took me to Doulos (the kids’ school) to observe/learn about the school. In the afternoon we met with Vic, the director of Kids Alive in the DR. This meeting was great, and very informative.

Wednesday – We headed out to Boma where Rick and Becky meet with a small group each week for a Bible Study. In the afternoon Becky took me to visit a Kids Alive site in a rough area, which was neat to see. I also spent time working on study skills with both Ben and Elena – something they and other missionary kids really need.

Thursday – Rick and I headed to Los Calabazos to teach English. I was able to visit a few families I’ve gotten to know over the years, which was very special. In the afternoon, Becky and I visited the women in her Bible Study in El Montaña. We weren’t going to be able to do Bible Study in the afternoon, so we visited each home. As it turned out,  they had planned a surprise party for one of the women, so we were really glad we made our way out there!

Four of the ladies have kids the same age. Becky has a picture similar to this when they were all babies.

Friday – I went to kids club again, this time leading a craft and overseeing the entire time. After kids club, Rick and I went shopping for gifts for my sponsors. I spent the afternoon watching Ben play soccer – as the high schoolers yelled on the sideline, he’s the smallest but strongest. In the evening we spent time together, playing games and hanging out for last time. The day ended with all of us on Elena’s bed, and Rick praying over me. Very special.

Saturday – Rick took me to the airport at 6:30am. The flight was delayed by an hour, so Rick hung out with me for a bit. Miraculously, besides the one hour delay everything was as flawless as traveling internationally can get. I got home to Lynchburg at 10pm.

That’s basically it! It was a wonderful, wonderful trip. I am so blessed.

~Amber Joy

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