mitch & char

mitch & char

Monday, June 9

it is finished

The house is complete, the field is ready for phase two, and we are home. Reunion will be at Hills Alive-complete with Ice Cream from "Bon"

What began as a team of 34, God grew to 150 in 5 days!

Our prayer-"What began in the DR continues every day at home-neighbors, friends, communities and worldwide.

Saturday, June 7

Peanuts and Cracker Jacks

Well, the kids didn't learn the song, but we played ALOT of ball!...The community is excited and over 115 people showed up today-incredible!

This is the house we built for Rubelins family-the church members are going to finish it, and the family will move in tomorrow (take that Ty Pennington LOL) Here it is- the house:

We played ball all morning:

and an emotional departure. The pastor and his staff presented us with gifts-another life lesson; people with nothing will give away more than any we know. We leave at 4:45 am, so will be a short night for the team. Arrive in Denver at 9pm, and hop on the bus for an overnighter to Rapid. I told the team they would all be ready to go to work Monday morning-as they will arrive around 4am Monday.

Thank you for your prayers-they were felt! We will have a reunion at Hills Alive to retell stories, and strengthen the friendships. No one is the same after this trip-and perhaps, that is the best thing of all.

The Pastor told us what this field really means to the community. They used to go out to a field close by, and the owner would chase them out with a machette. He said that this will strengthen the local church, and help hundreds of kids to learn the gospel.

Amazing Grace

How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost

but now am found

was blind

but now i see.

Team Dominican Republic 2008

Friday, June 6

Bus, Visit, Bus, Play, Bus, Visit, Bus, Play

Alot of time on the bus today, but incredible! We went back to Cien Fuegos project Genesis- this is the project the KSLT, KLMP, The Point Audience started last year (we did the first floor last year, and other teams came in after us to finish it and get it back to this stage):

Everyone met their children today except Sara. We felt so bad, she was delivering gifts for Laverne and Joan, and the child has recently moved. Her mother passed away, and they have moved to La Vega(about 45 minutes from this project)...we left the gifts for her, and Mission of Mercy is going to switch her to the projects near her home-Praise God!

Tom met his boy-he is very ill, but was very excited to see Tom and Andrew. The boy has a colostomy bag, and many other issues-but is in good spirits, and has hope for the future in Jesus. Andrew has impressed all of us with his love for the kids-if there are kids around, Andrew is close at hand to throw them high in the air, and teach them the art of the "Wedgie".

Here we close to another project...Laurie met her sponsored child and family. We prayed for them, gave them gifts and visited for a while:

Kaiser brought ALOT of silly string-the kids have never seen it before, and we had trouble deciding who were the bigger kids.

We played ball, cried, visited homes, talked to the locals, cried, prayed, ate, and did it all over again at 3 different projects. The kids loved the candy, stuffed animals, flip flops, cards, crayons and toys.

I talked to a girl that is 14 years old today- she was very smart, and spoke with me on the microphone and shared how important it is for her little sister to be able to come to the project each day. She says that her 7 year old sister has shared Christ with their whole family, and she is different now. She is respectful, polite, and has so much love in her heart, that it has changed the entire family...again I am reminded- Sponsorship makes a difference for the short time, and for all Eternity!

Tomorrow.... we play ball!

Thursday, June 5

Clean teeth, visits, and walls up!

Another exciting day here in the D.R. We gave flouride treatment to 100 children at this project(kids with sponsors and waiting for sponsors). They were all smiles showing us how white their teeth were. Michele did an incredible job interpreting for us, and Sue and 5 crew patiently showed the kids how to brush, and why they should keep their teeth healthy. The rest of the group headed down to the new house(or frame work) and spent the rest of the day working hard, cutting 45degree angles with Machettes(there is a lack of tools here) Despite the tools and "Dominican time" (its always in 10 minutes-lol).. great progress was made on the new house. all 4 walls, and rafters are up, the sheet metal goes on tomorrow, and the floor will be hand mixed and poured. This weekend, the family will have a new home! Heidi and Tracy spent alot of time with Rubelin(he is the little boy their friend sponsors-and it just so happens, the child whose family received a new home this week- how exciting! Several of the team met their sponsored children at their homes today-it was very powerful and emotional... again i find my self asking "Does sponsorship make a difference?" the answer: ABSOLUTELY!!!! it is as important to these children, as it is to our souls. These fine people are Christ in the flesh for the lost and needy. I am honored to have an opportunity to serve Christ in a fashion that impacts eternity. Each of the team members has been taking turns in leading several daily devotionals, and Morgan has an incredible voice and talent for leading our worship...

As we pulled away tonight, we drove by the new ball field-and the community is buzzing! There were people there all day, and as many as 40 this evening still playing ball. They are safe and very happy-and have become our Hermana's e Hermano's... (our new brothers and sisters)

Well off to the local restaurant. El Mac Donald's -o... ( i have learned that if i dont know how to say something in spanish i just add El in front and O at the end... the locals sure giggle at me :-))

Wednesday, June 4

Play Ball... and Extreme Home Makeover DR edition

A powerful day.. we began this morning leveling the infield and getting ready to play some ball this weekend, when we realized the other needs(we have accomplished almost all that we can at the field)... the other needs, 1 child in the project has 9 brothers and sisters all living together in a small 2 bedroom house...when it rains-it pours in through the walls. There were holes everywhere... the team wanted to make a difference, and purchased 2 mattresses(these people were sleeping on the dirt floors, and rotting fabrics in piles)and enough wood and supplies to redo an entire wall, and repair the rest.... what a blessing it was to be able to help this beautiful family. Then, on to the extreme home makeover.. another house-held together with small pieces of wire, and a few nails, rusty/holy sheet metal precariously positioned in an attempt to make a home... a strong breeze would have knocked it down. We have purchased the supplies to build a new house (about $1500)... the old one came down, and the framing began today.. tomorrow, we expec the walls will all go up, the siding on, and a new sheet metal roof... the owner said that she has Jesus in her heart-and can see Him in ours... we are all touched so very deeply. It was and is the right thing to do for these people. They know how much we love them, and that we are sharing our hearts with them... the amazing story---one of the team is here and ready to visit their friends sponsored child....we just found out(after we tore the house down) is this little boys family....HOW AWESOME IS OUR GOD!!!! (sorry to be a bit jumpy and all over in the blog)...

These kids know that it is more than 34 Greengos coming to build a baseball field. We are encouraging them to study hard, to impact change on their communities and families, and that we love them so very much.

It truly was a very emotional day-and the team is in incredibly high spirits!

Tomorrow brings the first of the home visits to meet the sponsored children, flouride treatments for 200 ninos (kids :-)) and a house to finish... Friday-more visits, and we play ball on Saturday...

Side note- roughly 60 neighbors came out today and started a short game with us on the field. It is already making a difference in the community!

Tuesday, June 3

2 what?

Two days of work completed-and we have made incredible progress on the field. You can see where the infield will be, as we have staked it off, and begun to level the ground. They are telling us that we will finish early on the project for what was excpected to be done this week!... so, tonight we are taking up an offering to purchase supplies to fix 3 or 4 of the neighbors houses. This is so much more than just a ball field. Tomorrow afternoon, and Thursday afternoon we will work on the houses, with tomorrow morning being our final efforts on the ball field (until we play on Saturday). We will be touring "See if you Can Get out"(a slum that our friend was born in-he has now gone on to run all of our projects here, with over 2000 kids in his care. The sponsor visists will begin on Thursday morning-and the team is really looking forward to meeting their children.
this is the grass we cleared(all cut by machette..oh, on that note-do not hit your shin with a machette-it hurts and will leave a mark...i know from experience :-) )
This beautiful little girl is one of the neighbors...i would love to put her in the backpack and bring her home...

Today, the number of workers and watchers doubled. It seems as though the energy is flying through the neighborhood, with onlookers, and 20+children coming to play with us and sit under the Mango trees alongside of us. What beautiful people!
A few more tarantulas today, as well as foot long UGLY centipedes(the locals do not like these at all)
They will come running with sticks to kill these-they are poisonous, though-no one has ever died from the bites..(i guess if you eat a number of them-you might..:-P )
The team is in great spirits, and we are ready for dinner.. .tonight..... El Pizza Hutto... (roughly translated to Pizza Hut... who would have guessed there would be a Pizza Hut 1 block away)

Monday, June 2

Machette's and Pick Axe's and Tarantulas.. OH MY!

An amazing day.. i was worried that we would see little fruit of our labor after touring the field yesterday, but He proved faithful and kept the team strong.

Here is a picture of where we started:(you can almost make our Roy in the brush)

and this is where we finish day one:

Machettes were flying, and hands grabbing the chopped grass over the very rough ground (oh what we would give for a disc or plow - lol)... we are amazed at the amount of manual labor went into the project today. We can all see where the field will be, in fact, we had "swathed" home-first-second-third-and back home by 11am. It really motivated the team to know that by Saturday-we will play ball with the children. So many of which came out to watch, play catch with mangos, and help us with the machette work.

The team is tired, but excited for a new day... we did have a number of run ins with foot long Milipedes, a couple rats, and ALOT of Tarantulas:

I am now more than ever-excited for these children to have a safe place to play. Many of the children were running barefoot across the field, laying down in the thick tall grass-right where our multi-legged friends were. The neighborhood starting showing up to watch and pitch in by this afternoon. It is incredible to see so many united for the same purpose...that purpose is to show love and compassion to the children, and in doing so-helping the entire family and community. They are very poor in this part of Santiago-and the Mission of Mercy project is making a huge difference. The people are very kind, and quick to thank us for working for their children.

Sunday, June 1

Sunday Worship and touring

An incredible morning of worship with the CMA church near the new project this morning. We started shortly after 9am, and people continued to come from the neighborhood until nearly 10:30. Service ended around 11:00, and the children(pictured here)

Were wanting their pictures taken-and to see them(they figured out the “digital” cameras ;-) )
We ate lunch and went down to the worksite(field). It does not look like it, but there is A LOT of work to be done. We will all be given machetes tomorrow to start clearing the brush. There are no even surfaces(mounds of dirt, debris, undergrowth) on any portion of the field(pictured here-with a visitor)

We are hopeful to be able to see the fruits of our labor, but at the end of the day-the Lord knows why we are here. It really isn’t about how much we get done for them, it is about Him working in their lives, and changing our hearts.

We then toured the dump in Cien Fuegos(this is near the project we worked on last year) The building is incredible-and the need is so great. Within a mile of that project is this…
This is the city dump. Many of the local children help their parents in rummaging for food and materials to sell for a living. You can see a shack and a few people by it. This is normal every day life for them. Does sponsorship make a difference? You bet it does. It ensures that the children in this neighborhood receive food, clothing, education and medical assistance-most importantly, they are given hope for a future in Jesus Christ. These children have a safe place to come each day and learn. Education is critical for them to break the cycle of poverty their families have been in for generations. They are tomorrows leaders, business owners, and good mommies and daddies.

Tomorrow, we start clearing the field-we are excited to see Him move in and around us!