news from the DR | 10.2017

On October 30, we had the opportunity to Skype with Luis and Reina, with our friend Dianne of GO Ministries translating. We’re thankful technology provides a way to stay connected between trips.

It was so good to see Luis and Reina and catch up on what they’ve been up to since our last trip. Reina told us more about the church’s new sewing clinic for women in the community. The church has four sewing machines, so they are able accept four women at a time in their training program. This training program covers the entire process, from measuring for a project, to cutting fabric, to using the machines. They complete practice projects, like making miniature curtains, before they graduate to the full-sized version. They are then able to sell their completed projects and can purchase more supplies. Recently, another church came to La Mosca and taught the team how to make basic sleeveless dresses and elastic-waist skirts. The women loved the projects, especially the skirts, and were all wearing them the next day. Reina let us know the sewing ministry needs more of everything: more machines, fabric, patterns, needles, thread, pins, scissors, measuring tapes, and other sewing notions. We hope to restock their supplies on our next trip!

Luis and Reina were excited to hear more about our upcoming February trip, especially the opportunity to do something special with the kids in the community. While the kids will be in school, Dominican schools run in two sessions and students only attend one session per day. We can expect to see about 50 kids in total, ranging in age from five to twenty years old, and because of the school schedule, we should plan to offer the same activity in both the morning and the afternoon so everyone would have the opportunity to participate. We also found out that sharing past trip videos, which we were able to do this past summer, was a huge hit and they’re hoping we can bring more videos with us in the future.

We also talked about how the recent storms impacted the community. Several homes near the river/dump washed away, including one where we laid concrete this summer. Many other families lost all their belongings even though their homes were still standing. All of the homes that were totally lost will be reconstructed before our February trip, but there’s always more work to be done. Luis specifically mentioned interior concrete floors and tin roofs (Dianne mentioned installation of tin roofs is a job too dangerous for volunteers, but we can  donate funds for these projects). Luis also mentioned that painting houses is a project the community always welcomes.

We also got an update on the church courtyard roof project. While complete, it doesn’t function as hoped; it doesn’t provide the anticipated rain and sun protection for those attending church or the nutrition clinic, and the gap between the wall and new roof still leaves the courtyard vulnerable to theft. Dianne plans to follow up on these concerns, and Luis and Reina mentioned they would love to continue construction, perhaps making the wall higher to address the issues.

 We loved catching up, and are even more anxious to see them in February!