Kids Alive: A Volunteer’s Experience in the Dominican Republic

 

In July 2017, First Presbyterian Church of Glen Ellyn sent 21 people on our annual mission trip to run a VBS for our partner mission, Kids Alive. A few weeks ago, they shared their experience with the congregation during Sunday worship services. This is just one of the many powerful testimonies given by volunteers. 


By Elizabeth Bischoff

God was present in so many ways during this trip to the Dominican Republic. Early on, our team was informed that all of our fundraising goals had been met well before we left for our trip. So many generous donations made this opportunity financially feasible for us all. Thank you so much for your support.

I am so thankful to have been able to experience this, especially with my two sons. They both had attended trips before, and it was comforting to know they knew what to expect. This is something that my family had been encouraging me to do ever since each of them had attended in years prior.

I really wanted to meet Marislady, the child our family had been sponsoring since she was 10 years old. She is now getting ready to turn 15 in September and preparing for her quinceanera. It was wonderful to be able to be with her in worship on Sunday and share a meal together. I learned that she is the fastest kid at the orphanage and competes in soccer.

One of the reasons I felt called to go to the DR was because I had felt a need to connect with the children and teach them. Being a teacher, I never had the chance during the schoolyear to take some time off and travel. The July trip made it possible for me not only to go and do some light construction, but actually to get to teach. We made tie dye T-shirts, suncatchers, and robots. The children absolutely loved the crafts and the close interaction with all of us. They couldn’t get enough of our high school and college kids.

After our last day of VBS, we made a visit to one of the barrios of a student who attended the program. Her home was no larger than a shed we might use for our lawn equipment. The family was so gracious to us. We had an opportunity to ask questions about their daily life. We learned the father’s job was to drive farmers up and down the mountainside on his motorcycle. He told us he had inherited his house from his father and his wife was also expecting their 4th child.

When you decide to go on a mission trip like the DR, so many thoughts run through your head—travel, accommodations, communication, food and safety. I thought about all of these often, and I guess that’s why it took me so long finally to decide to go. I am glad I did because the sense of peace I had on this trip was overwhelming. I felt God’s presence every day in every way.

I would say to those of you who are considering taking this trip to put those apprehensive thoughts aside. God is always present. He knows exactly where you need to be and when. I pray that someday you will get to experience the joy that we all experienced together in the DR.


Our next Kids Alive mission trip will be February 15-19, and a summer trip will take place again next year from July 7-12. Are you interested in going? Contact David Proffit today!