Thank you all so very much for wanting to know more about my mission trip to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. I have the BEST clients ever!! Your love and support means so much to me!
First of all, we had safe and uneventful travels which is always a plus when you travel to third world countries! Our team stayed healthy, and we instantly bonded. Our hosts were amazing–they so graciously and humbly served us! The food was great–we had the most amazingly fresh fruit every meal!
The focus for this mission trip was to provide medical care for the local Dominicans that live in and near the surrounding area of a piece of land, now called Fuenta de Vida, which our church partner, By Grace Alone Ministries, recently purchased. The land will soon house a permanent clinic, school, orphanage, dormitories for short term missionaries, and housing for long term missionaries. The temporary medical clinic we set up was in an open-air school in the town of La Bomba. Classrooms were used as offices for the general practitioners, dentists & dental hygienists, optometrists, and pharmacists. However, school was still in session for the week, so kids were always around, which was so cool because we were able to spend some quality time with them and capture some amazing images!
Working in the clinic was powerful for me! I started the week off in the dentist office and soon learned that was not the place for me. Young children were in line for hours waiting to get one or several teeth pulled. We did have Novocain for them, but my heart just broke when I watched the sweetest little girl have four teeth removed. She was so young, and it just kills me that they do not have access to regular cleanings every six months like we do. They were in so much pain that they were actually happy to have these teeth removed. Luckily, a few of my teammates loved working in the dentist! So…..
I ventured on CROWD CONTROL! Ha ha! I loved it! Once the locals signed in, they came to me and waited (so patiently!!) to go to their first stop–triage. Every patient was weighed and had their blood pressure measured. I was so honored to stand with these children, teenagers, women, and men, AND to top it off, I got to hug each and every one of them! That was the best part! I may not speak espanol, but I DO speak hugs and smiles!
The second day I helped open the eye clinic and then assisted the optometrist. He examined each patient and handed me their prescription; I then searched through the meticulously marked boxes, donated by the Lions Club, for a pair of eye glasses that matched that prescription. It was so exciting and even humbling to place a pair of glasses on my new Dominican friends and see their faces when they could READ! The smiles that showed up on those sweet faces just warmed my soul!! We actually helped people to see better! All of you that financially supported me–YOUR money helped these people see!!
It was that morning in the eye clinic that I experienced my first, of many, miracle! Several Dominicans had the same prescription (-.5/-.5), and I only had about 5 pairs that matched up. I thought to myself, “Doc better stop giving that prescription to me because we are going to run out of glasses!” But then I remembered who God is and thought, “Well, either there won’t be any more patients with that prescription, or I will find a whole box of missing eyeglasses, or something! God will handle it, right?” Well, God handled it! It was like the Fishes and Loaves in the Bible–the .5/.5 prescriptions kept coming, and I never ran out of eyeglasses. They kept multiplying! It was so wild!! Every person, thousands of people, that saw the eye doctor that week walked out with a new pair of eye glasses and great vision! They could see! Take it from someone who is blind without my contacts–I know how difficult it is when you can’t see! Don’t ever switch my shampoo and conditioner positions in my shower because I will put the wrong one in my hair!
The rest of the week it was back to crowd control. I did try triage one afternoon and while I enjoyed it, my favorite by far was helping the eye doctor and being with the people in the waiting lines. In the lines, I was able to hold every single baby and child that came to the clinic. I believe God’s plan for me on this trip was simply to love on the locals. To show them God’s love by hugging on them and by loving on their children.
SO, THANK YOU! Thank you for believing in me, encouraging me, supporting me, and praying for me! I needed all of that from you! The people in La Bomba, Santo Domingo needed that from you! It stretched me in ways I can’t begin to describe. My relationship with God my Father is even stronger than it was February 7th. My relationship with my friends on the team has impacted me in so many ways. And now I love the people in Senegal, Haiti and the DR! YAY!!