For the last 11 years, WCCS has been building a relationship with the mission organization, Partners in Christ, sending faculty, students, parents and alumni to work at the Fountain of Life School in Juan Tomas, Dominican Republic.
This year’s trip took place June 1 – June 9, and as with previous years, WCCS students completed numerous work projects for the school while there, including painting, installation of sidewalks, concrete floors and basketball courts, as well as various cleaning projects to help improve the school environment for the children in the village. The WCCS community has also been faithful each year to provide suitcases full of school supplies, hand tools, and materials to be used at English camps and Saturday Bible Clubs. This particular mission trip continues to make a lasting impact not only on the hearts of the people in the Dominican Republic, but on the hearts of many of our students and chaperones. We thought we would highlight a few of their experiences this year and give you a small glimpse into the ways in which the team served and the impact it had on their hearts.
One theme that seemed to reoccur this year among both students and chaperones, was in the strengthening and building of relationships with the people of the DR. Leader, Jimmy Bagley, shared that this was one of their biggest emphasis and desires for the trip this year. This was certainly the case for student, Ann Preston Campbell. “This was my third year going on the DR trip, and I decided to go back because I absolutely love it, and I feel like God was calling me to go and fellowship with the previous relationships that I made and to make new ones. From the moment you step off the bus in the Dominican, you feel God’s love all around you. The people in the Dominican love you so much! They are so accepting of who you are and never fail to make you laugh or feel God’s love from them. They love God so much, and it rubs off on you!”
"From the moment you step off the bus in the Dominican, you feel God's love all around you."
Similarly, Taylor Henderson, ’14, shared, “the DR trip is such a special and unique trip. This being my 5th or 6th time going made it even that much more special. Having those relationships already made it fantastic to see them grow after so many years apart. It’s such a unique experience because as a mission trip team you are ready and willing to obey God’s call to missions, but oftentimes, I find myself being poured into continually from the amazing people who we work with. That just goes to show how God can use ordinary people in extraordinary ways to fulfill his purpose and make his name known.”
Of course, not every day was easy on the trip. Between pouring concrete in the hot summer heat, to tearing up and replacing flooring in a villager’s home, to trying to communicate God’s Word to non-English speaking children, the team had plenty of humbling experiences to share. Chaperone, Kristen Blanchard, relayed that these were some of the most impactful moments of the trip for her. “Seeing the WCCS students on the trip serving with smiles on their faces and the interactions they had with the children of the village at VBS [impacted me]. Many of the DR children could not speak English, but it is amazing how you can speak through other ways to share the Gospel. I learned so much about others and myself [….] There is so much joy in life to be had in just being patient, enjoying the moment, fellowshipping with others, and [observing] God’s creation. The DR folks taught me to see God in everything you do.”
"Seeing the WCCS students on the trip serving with smiles on their faces and the interactions they had with the children of the village at VBS impacted me."
Kristen and several of the other students mentioned replacing the flooring of a small home that belonged to a widow and her 4 children. “I think the most impactful day for me was the last day when we went to a village to tear up a floor in someone’s house because that day we really made a difference for this lady and her family…it changed how I view what I have, compared to [this family],” shared rising junior, Abby Epperly. “My faith grew a lot during this trip. I had to trust Him through all of it, which is something I had to learn how to do. He taught me so much about myself through all of this and showed me how powerful and loving He is.”
We give thanks to God for the ways in which He has used each one of our students and chaperones to touch this special place in the world in the name of Jesus Christ and for the eternal impact it continues to make on the hearts of the people in the Dominican Republic and our own WCCS community.