Some of the considerations I had to contemplate before signing up for the mission trip to the Dominican Republic were the distance, the new culture, the hard work, the living conditions, the cost, and the big decision of whether to use my hard earned, long awaited vacation days on a mission trip. I took some time to ponder this and after seeing the excitement and commitment from others going, I decided it was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss.
While I wasn’t relaxing on a beach with a book, hiking in a national park or sightseeing in an exotic city, I had a week filled with much more. I tasted delicious new foods, met warm welcoming families, communicated easily despite a language barrier, experienced an exciting, vivacious new culture, strengthened my relationships with friends from FCPY, and learned so much about myself.
God was present each day as I met and overcame challenges and as I marveled at the beauty of the landscape despite the abuse it has received from humans. God surrounded me with love and hope and opened my eyes and heart to the understanding that what I did and learned during one week of my summer will touch more lives here and abroad than any vacation I could have planned.
So, while the mission trip to the Dominican Republic wasn’t necessarily a vacation, it was my vacation!
~Emily Monk, Member of the Dominican Republic Mission Team