Updated on February 2, 2016
by Seth, Vanguard
Enjoy that title, because it’s the extent of my knowledge of the Spanish language after 4 years of taking the class in high school (sorry mom).
This coming Sunday, the Vanguards say “toodles” to the good old US of A and “¡Hola!” to the Dominican Republic. Personally, I’m stoked out of my mind. While the DR trip was not a determining factor for my decision to attend Vanguard, it definitely gave me something to look forward to. As beautiful as the Northwoods are this time of year, it’ll be a pleasant change to spend some time in warmer weather.
Like many of my fellow Vanguards, this will be my first time traveling to the Central American region. I look forward to the warm and humid climate, to be able to smile and not worry about my lips cracking into a million pieces. The region we’re staying lies near the heart of the DR’s Central Range and boasts beautiful and towering mountains such as Pico Duarte, the highest peak in the DR. We will no doubt enjoy our time basking in God’s creation. But above all, I’m most excited about serving the people of Jarabacoa.
We’ve spent the past few weeks learning about the culture differences between North America and the Dominican. By being more culturally aware, we hope to be in a better position to help and learn from the native people of the DR. I believe one of the most important things one can do when preparing for a short term missions trip, is to come to the realization that outreach efforts are not a one-way street. Our main goal is not to “fix” a certain problem; it is to immerse ourselves into the DR’s culture and to gain a better perspective on what it means to truly serve others. We must also realize that our outreach efforts are a two-way street. We can learn just as much from the people we strive to help.
I’m very excited, the closer we draw to departure date, the more psyched I become. As we make final preparations I ask that you continue to pray for us; that are hearts and minds will be set on service and that our mindsets and intentions will be focused and pure. We’ll have three blog updates for you over the next two weeks while we’re in the DR!
Peace and Blessings to you all!
– Seth C.
Fundraising Update: We’re almost to $18,000! We have about $5,000 to go, and will be continuing to raise funds even after we return from the DR through various events. If you would like to help us reach our financial goal, please sent checks made out to “HoneyRock” with “DR Trip” in the memo line. Our address is 8660 Honey Rock Road, Three Lakes, WI 54562. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.