Because I am sure that you are all wondering how we fared through Tropical Storm Bertha A.K.A BIG BERTHA, I am sending tomorrow’s report today. We are dry and well rested, and in awe this morning at the awesome power of God. After dinner last night, our missionary, Ramon, asked that we move into dorms because of the storm. It took our team 25 minutes to tear down the tent site, clean the dorms and move in…we were VERY impressed! Despite the noise of the torrential storm, all slept in a warm, dry bed. This morning, we woke up at 6:30 and the craziness of Big Bertha was all the talk of the team. The thunder literally shook our bones! It was like nothing I have ever heard before. The rain pounded on the tin roofs of our dorms. I can’t believe that some slept through it all! How great our Lord is to faithfully provide a dry bed for each of us and a dry place for all of our belongings…things that our tents would not have provided had they had to endure the storm. We are truly grateful. I hope that this puts any uneasiness in your minds at rest. We are all safe and sound.
This will be our last report…can you believe that in a week, all of our team will be back at home?! I wanted our last report to be extra special, and figured who better to write it than our team. It has been a journey for each and everyone one of us and thought you might enjoy reading about it through their eyes. Thank you for the amazing adventure, our sweet team. Each and everyone of you is so precious to me. It has been an honor to serve along side each of you.
Evan Dean – The DR is great. I am having a lot of fun here and am learning the value of hard work. I really liked going to the beach yesterday. It is interesting that once you arrive at the beach, everyone who has something to sell finds you within moments. I really enjoy bartering with them, trying to get the best deal.
Christina Allen – I have learned a lot since I have come here. One thing I hope to bring home is the fact that Jesus loves everybody unconditionally. He is always waiting for you to accept Him with His arms wide open. No matter how hard life seems to get, you can always rely on Him. When I leave next week, the thing that I will miss the most is the upbeat culture. The people here are very active and always have a swing in their step. I miss my family and am looking forward to coming home.
Elizabeth Roaseau – My favorite memory from this summer has been the one day we worked as a team without arguing, or any kind of dysfunction. We accomplished so much. We got a week’s worth of work done in half of a day! This is a perfect example of what true teamwork can accomplish and about all the good things that can happen when you put your whole heart, mind, and body into a task.
Nick Crutchfield – Overall, this trip has been a testing experience, stretching me outside my comfort zone in more ways than one! Specifically, I have learned that hard work pays off, as well as the benefits of a good shower! I have greater appreciation for the “normal” life I live back home and all the modern conveniences I enjoy. I have greater empathy for those that do not have it as “good” as I do. I appreciate having the company of those important to me: family, friends, and otherwise. I may not see everyone on this team again after the summer, but I wish them all well in whatever it is that they decide to do.
Seuraya Morgan – I think that a great thing God has shown me is that He has continued to use me in small ways throughout the summer and the outcome has been fantastic. I thought that I would just get to be with my team mates, and I didn’t realize that I would have an impact on them. It is encouraging to hear them say that I have been a blessing, especially when I think that I am not. The fantastic outcome is that I have a bunch of new friends that I am close to because God has brought them close to me. The best part of my whole trip was praying the prayer of salvation with one of my team mates!
Sammy Cruz – My time here has been so great. I am so relieved that we are almost done with our project and can’t wait until I get home. I have enjoyed Bible studies and the opportunity to dig into God’s Word and refresh my memory of what it actually says. My favorite time of day are morning devotions. I like reading interesting books like Ecclesiastes and Paul’s epistles. I really enjoyed our sightseeing days and getting to relax on the beach and take pictures. I love you family…see you soon!
Lia Crumpton – I did a lot of concrete this year. I liked coming here and seeing that they have mango and coconut trees. My favorite experience so far is seeing all of the kids that come to the camp. Even though we have a language barrier, we can all share God’s love. The people are very kind…always providing food for us! God can use struggles to make great outcomes. I was able to be more outgoing and actually participated in a drama! I love coming back each year and experiencing God’s love in different and in different cultures. We have awesome leaders and cute staff kids!!!
Dylan Burns – I have learned about teamwork and what it is supposed to look like. I have learned how to live in a tent with someone for a week. I have learned how to love foreign food. I have learned something new everyday this summer. Time moves slower when you learn so much!!
Zak Holschen – So we got here and spent an hour or two in the DR airport, and an extremely long bus ride that honestly made me think we were horribly lost. But it was awesome because we had air conditioning and got to talk to each other. Good bonding time! Emanuel, Mike, and Anne have been teaching us a lot about forgiveness and sin in Bible Study. And we have been learning a lot from each other. I have had an absolutely amazing summer! Only a few more days until we can be back at home!!
Olivia Pape – I’ve had such an amazing experience since I’ve gotten to the DR. I have gotten to know everyone a lot better. I have also seen a lot of cool things and met a lot of cool people. I have really enjoyed mixing concrete and pouring sidewalks for the people and the camp. It’s also been great seeing how the children react to our dramas and our singing presentations. It’s been so wonderful seeing God working in people’s lives.
Brianna Walsh – I have had such a great experience here in the DR. I have really enjoyed going to different churches with our team. I love seeing the kids at each church smile at our singing and dramas. Working together as a team to pour sidewalks for the camp has also been fun. Now that I know how much work mixing and pouring concrete requires, I appreciate sidewalks so much more. Our team had the privilege to go to the beach twice. It was heavenly. The beach is so beautiful, with gorgeous palm trees and turquoise water. This missions trip has been super fun and eye opening. I am definitely extremely grateful for all that I have. I am glad that I chose to come because this summer helped me improve as a person.
Emily Gruver – “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” I have had a wonderful time here. This has truly been a bonding experience. Not only with the beautiful people here but also with God. This has been a super hard and yet fulfilling and encouraging time. I am hoping to be able to share the love of God when I get home. I love and miss everyone back home and can’t wait to see all of my loved ones.
Nolan Perkins – Hey guys! I have only 6 days left. Me and my team mates have been getting along well. My favorite DR moment is when we went to the beach for the second time and the waves were huge! Everybody’s testimonies have inspired me.
Aleyna Lewis – While here at the DR, I have learned to lean on God for everything. After a day full of mixing concrete or a lot of drama, it is great to know that God is still there, next to me. I know that when I make mistakes that I am forgiven. It has been hard the past month to keep going and not quit, especially after mixing concrete several days in a row all day long. I have learned to make new friends that encourage me and to go to God in happy times and in hard times.
Trace Duckworth – Well, it has been a different summer than what I am use to. But I enjoyed the field, it was great for the most part. BC was BC, it was OK. The site seeing days were awesome and I enjoyed them a lot. The work was interesting and the food was very good. They fed us well and it didn’t taste bad. Our leaders great even though we had our fair share of disagreement but they care and love us and only want the best. The thing I will take home from this experience most is my relationship with God.
Kaniela Estrella – As the DR trip has come to an end, I am realizing more and more how much God is working in my life. I came to know The Lord and fully accepted Him into my life the other night. It was a wonderful experience and I am WAY passed overjoyed. I have learned so much on this trip, not only about myself, but about other people also. I have grown to fall in love with every person on this team and love everything all of us have gone through. It’s hard to believe that in the beginning of this whole experience, I didn’t want to be here whatsoever. Now I don’t want to leave. I love it here and I thank God for every last second we all have together. I love you all, my DR team!
Callie Waldrep – My time spent in the DR has been such a blessing. The people are so friendly! God has used them to bless me over and over again with their patient, loving ways. I am thrilled that God prepared me through 4 years of Spanish to be able to express my love for them verbally. My team has also been a blessing; teaching me to put others first, love unconditionally, and to extend my patience. I love this country, but I am eagerly awaiting my return trip home.
Matt Gould – My time in the DR has been so amazing. I have learned so much in devos every morning. I also have learned a lot in evening devotions about people on our team. I have learned so much about mixing concrete. I love you mom and can’t wait to get home.
Cody Colon – Hello family, friends, and supporters of this trip. It has been a good time. The DR has been very cool. The food is good, the meals are nice, and everything is a good price. My favorite time has been chilling at the beach with all the cool people. I have come close to God in my walk with Him. I miss you and love you all a ton.
Lauren Clark – The best part on the field so far has been seeing the kids almost every day pretty much. My thing I am still waiting for is Cocoa Beach during Debrief. My favorite part with my friends has been talking and laughing. We are able to swim all the time because a pool is on campus. I miss my family all the time.
Chris Frahm – So far this has been a great summer with really great people. Although I have gotten sick twice now, I still had fun. It was great serving The Lord, although we didn’t interact with the camp kids much though. But I am sure they appreciated what we did for them.
Anastasia Leatherby – My time in the DR has been AMAZING! This my first time at Teen Missions and being out of the country. This experience has made me want to come back and learn even more about how God can work in people’s lives. With not being attached to my iPod, phone, TV, etc., it has opened my eyes. Seeing the smiles on people’s faces when doing a presentation or having them looking at our construction work is priceless. To bring joy, happiness, and God into people’s lives is wonderful. Not only have I found myself but I have also found 22 new lifetime friends! We all have grown together since the first day of BC and I wouldn’t take back one moment we’ve spent together. One of my favorite moments together with everyone was going to this amazing cave, Los Tres Ojos. You wouldn’t expect something so beautiful to be practically on the side of the highway. To be there, admiring the wonders of God’s works and also spending time with the team was breathtaking. I can’t wait to get back home and share my memories and good times at Florida and the DR. I also want to say “I love you” to my amazing mother. Without you pushing me to come to Teen Missions, I wouldn’t be in the place I am now. I have loved my time in the DR and I can’t wait to get back home and share my amazing memories and life lessons.
Tristen Kincaid – So far my time in the DR has been amazing! I really enjoy my team and getting to know them better. I enjoy all the work we are able to accomplish everyday and how well our team can work together. Seeing our team of 23 teenagers grow together and in Christ has been a real eye opening experience. We’ve been able to do a lot of work and have fun.