Disclaimer: This Mission Trip was organized by a Christian group. I will be mentioning God, the power of God, the grace of God and the blessings we receive from God. I will be mentioning some of the situations that we encountered while in the Dominican Republic. If you do not want to read anything religious, stop now, please leave this thread. Please do not argue or criticize anyone or any response posted in this thread. Several persons on BYC knew that I was going and have asked me about the trip, which is why I decided to post this thread. I thought I would share with all of you the things that touched my life. My 16 year old son and I were part of a mission team that went to work in the Dominican Republic, January 17 - 25, 2009. My son Matthew has participated in Mission trips in the past with our Church's youth group. He has done work in Valdosta Ga and Richmond VA. This year, he set his hopes on doing mission work outside of the U.S. Originally we were letting him go with the team (without either of his parents) as we know the people who lead the ministry and felt he would be safe. I personally never had a desire or a calling to do mission work. But, God had other plans and when the Leader's sent out and email saying that they had a few more spots on the team, I decided to go. I figured, Matthew is 16, when will I ever be able to spend 1 full week doing God's work with him again. In a few more years, he will be out of the house. Well needless to say, we worked very hard, we laughed, we cried and we were blessed in so many ways by God. "For it is as much a Blessing to Give as it is to Receive." The people of the Dominican Republic and the Haitians who live in Batays (Work Camps) in the Dominican Republic, although poor by our American Standards were some of the richest people I have met. Their spirits, their value of life and their desire to be happy and make those around them happy were amazing. The team was assembled by The Least of These Ministries, based in Westminster Maryland. Our destination was Barahona (on the south coast near the Haitian border). The purpose of this trip is to add quality of life to the people living in the work camps for sugar cane harvesters. These work camps are referred to as bateys. The Least of These Ministries presently provides one meals per week for more than 7,500 children and adults in the Dominican Republic and in previous trips has supplied and installed water lines to bring clean water into the bateys. Mango trees have been planted to provide shade, protein, and vitamins to the residents. Sanitary latrines have been built, as well as a ministry building for worship and small quarters for a missionary family. This year, our work focus was the Building of a Sunday school facility for a church in the Dominican Republic. We worked Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday on this project. Our 26 member team was able to assemble a significant portion of the block wall structure. The team not only provides the labor, but also provides for all of the materials used during our time there. On Monday and Tuesday, several of the ladies from our group and the 3 16 y/o on the trip put on Bible School for 40-50 children each day. On Wednesday the team painted a church that had been constructed by Least of These Ministries in years past. In addition we worshiped our awesome God Sunday morning and Sunday evening. Although both services were delivered in Spanish, we had an interpreter who was able to assist us and we felt God's awesome presence. On Tuesday and Thursday evening, we showed a movie at two of the Batays that depicted the life of Jesus that was followed by an opportunity for persons to talk with members of our team. It was an awesome and inspiring week. We here in the US have so much, consume so much and yet often times we want more (me included). God used this week to make me appreciate things. On the Chicken front, much of the chicken's the local people have are Game chickens and they used them for illegal activity (Leave this topic alone). I was asked to plan for next year to ship incubators and plans to help some of the small communities to raise their own Chickens. So guess what, BYC is going to the Dominican Republic. But I will talk more about that as I make plans throughout the year. This is the start of what will be several entries. I plan to post some pictures and further details of our trip. So subscribe to this topic and come back and catch up. To skip to the end, Matthew and I have already made plans to be team members next January 2010 and I do plan to bring BYC along. Thanks, Ed The Sheep and the Goats 31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' 41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' 44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' 45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'