International Ministries

Dominican Republic Mission Team of New Jersey

August 29, 2010 Journal
In August, Ivonne and Emilio Hernandez from Calvary Baptist Church, Hackensack, NJ and their team of seventeen adults and children of all ages served for a week in San Pedro de Macoris. They ministered in bateys where Haitian workers live and work in the Dominican Republic. The team visited local hospitals, had a vacation bible school, had a wash/comb/cut hair day, had a special one-on-one time with children sponsored by the team’s church and visited a Haitian church.
The hosts did their very best to help the team. People were very happy to see them everywhere they went. The team took many gifts yet they were not enough for the entire community. It was disturbing for the team to know they could not help everyone in need. The way parents fight to make sure they receive something for their kids even if this means hurting other kids in the process surprised them.
God was at work within the team. It seemed so natural for four year olds to senior adults get together and work as a team! Kids and teens testified that they realized how blessed they were as they served the poor. After a church service, their own pastor Abel Castaneda who was in the team was touched to experience the heartfelt worship of the people who do not have much in the way of material wealth.
Now that they are home, the team felt called to focus more on their sponsorship program “Caritas Gozosas”.  Six more children will be sponsored and a heartier breakfast and lunch will replace a light breakfast for them. Their aim is to go every year and visit their sponsored children and work with the whole community.
The team had prepared themselves for this mission by constant prayer and bible study, had different workshops, took zumba classes for physical fitness and was connected through memos, texts, emails and meetings. Team leaders added to this the advice from previous mission team leaders and made a binder with detailed information concerning the trip. Material used to prepare the team was from International Ministries’ ‘Short Term Mission Leaders Training Manual’.