Ardell and I spent three days with a Presbyterian/Methodist team working in the village of Sabaneta de Yasica on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. This team of about 30 volunteers has come to this location every year for 20 years. It was a privilege and a pleasure to get to know them and spend a few days working with them.
One of the tasks was to pour cement floors in the small shanty homes which previously had all dirt floors. The Dominicans did the hard labor of mixing the cement and pouring the floors. The volunteers formed a bucket brigade to move the cement from outside to the inside of the home. It was a simple work but one which improved the home significantly especially the hygiene and health of the persons who live there. Outside other volunteers did simple crafts with the children who always gathered at the construction site.
Another group of the volunteers did medical clinics in the community seeing patients and distributing medicine as needed. This was done in chapels served by the Iglesia Evangelica Dominicana. The chapels are small mission churches planted by the mother church in Sabaneta. In addition a crew of physical therapists visited handicapped persons with the hope of being able to encourage and perhaps provide some assistance. The therapists returned with heavy hearts and at times in tears after being with needy persons who have no access to long term care due to severe poverty. Sometimes all that can be done is to weep with those who suffer.