I'm back in the DR, with internet and a lot of stories to tell. I'll tell you a little bit about where I am at now, and then will take the rest of this week to share stories from last week in Haiti. YWAM is pionering a new base in San Pedro de Maroquis, Dominican Republic, which is where I currently am. We will be here for the rest of the month doing conferences, working with local churches, and helping YWAM get established in the community. As the founder of this base, Malcom, shared with us this morning, the people are tired of being evanglized to, and ready to be discipled. Part of our work will be getting the YWAM property ready by making bunk beds, building walls, fences, etc. The other half of our work will be going to schools and churches to serve in order to get to know the people and community here to be able to work with them in the future.
That being said....phew! What a week! I feel like I got to see the real Haiti. Not the Haiti portrayed in the news, but the truth of what that nation is like. We stayed in a guest house owned by a woman named Rita. She is Haitian, and a registered nurse who spends half of her time living in LA, and the other half of her time hosting missions teams that come. Her house was beautiful, and it felt like we were living in a nice hotel. Her house, however, was deceiving compared to the rest of the country. As soon as we walked out of her beautiful home with running water and electiricty, we were faced with the poverty of Haiti. Rubble, tents lined up by the hudreds, overspilling dumpsters where trash lined up the streets, and dirt everywhere.
We worked in AFTA Village, which started out as a school and church. After the earthquake, the pastor opened the property to the public, and 500 tents were placed there for people to live in. There is also a clinic that has been built since the earthquake. Because there are 21 of us, we split into smaller work teams to be more effective. There was a team that went house to house praying for people, a team that gave away Bibles and shared the gospel, a group that helped build a wall, and a group that painted the clinic and helped there. I was with the group praying for people, so we had a translator with us and really got to see the hearts of the people. One woman told us, "No one has offered to pray for me since the earthquake. Many people have helped us by bulding things and giving us things, but you are the first people to come and pray for me."
There is so much more I want to share, but I will leave it at that for today. Here is a picture of AFTA village to give you an idea of where we were working. The big building in the back is the church, and you can see the tops of some of the tents.