What a trip! Wow. I’m going to have a hard time putting everything we experienced into words, but I’ll try! And, I’ll let Danielle’s pictures do a lot of the talking as well.
I’m not sure where to begin. The botched landing attempt at the Puerto Plata airport? My shock at all the uniformed men walking around with large rifles? The inspiring people we met? The lost and hurting ones? The beautiful children?
Overall, it was a wonderful, challenging, blessed trip. And, there are so many of you that are involved in what we did while we were there. We thank you for the prayers you offered, the supplies you shared and the funds you gave. Not only are we thankful and humbled- everyone we visited was blessed by you. So, our heartfelt thank you.
So, here we go! New Hope Girls Academy in La Vega was our first stop. I’ll let the pictures tell most of the story.
I will never forget these girls, don’t their smiles just warm your heart? You can sponsor one here.
Nich and Ryan built three sets of bunk beds while we were there (in the humid heat no less!). Danielle and I (and the girls helped too!) painted a termite protective varnish on the untreated wood.
Those men worked so hard making those beds. So thankful for them! When I first thought of making bunk beds there, I was envisioning an ikea-style kit with numbered instructions, an included pack of screws, and wood with pre-drilled holes. Oh, I’m so silly. Fortunately, my husband and Ryan knew just what to expect and made the whole building process look breezy.
Oh, those sweet faces! I miss them.
Also, a special thank you to KMS Tools for the donation of the power tools, we couldn’t have done this project without them. And, the funds Hope Aglow raised went to supplies for making these beds and mattresses for their safe home. So, thank you for your donations!
The two days at New Hope, for me, were physically challenging (heat+jetlag-coffee=crazy), but spiritually exhilarating. Their ministry is flourishing, and they have such sweet girls in the safe home. As the men built beds, us ladies spent time with the girls, and cleaned and organized the safe home and on-site school. The girls spoke little English, and we spoke little Spanish, but so much of what we did transcended any language barrier. We drew pictures, played tic-tac-toe, jump roped, did each other’s hair- even doing chores and folding clothes with them was fun. They have such joy in their hearts, all thanks to the love, education and discipleship they receive living at New Hope.
Throughout the rest of the barrio there was so much poverty.
We saw some small children
hauling pails of water, we were told that they will never go to school. That their job, until they grow up, will be hauling water back and forth for the family. We also saw a yard full of children that should’ve been running and playing, but instead they just sat there, staring off into the distance- defeated.
But the needy will not be ignored forever;
the hopes of the poor will not always be crushed. Psalms 9:18
God is working through New Hope in that community and it’s inspiring! Their work and love for the women and girls in the barrio is joyful and contagious. They are giving hope to those struggling, and it’s changing their community. They not only have an on-site school, and a safe house, they also employ women at the workshop- about a block away in the barrio. These women make bags, clutches and sandals- which will be in the Hope Aglow store soon!
We are so grateful for our time spent in La Vega. We learned so much, loved so big, and left inspired. Thank you to our new friends at New Hope Girls Academy!
So, that’s the first part
of our trip. Our next stop, was the capital city, Santo Domingo. And, after that, our final stop was the beautiful, mountain town, Jarabacoa. Stay tuned for Part 2…