We had the pleasure of receiving two guests from the Dakotas Conference, Rev. Bill Bates and Jo Harris. As part of their introduction to the Dominican Republic, Ardell and I took them on an excursion to Samaná, a small town on the north side of the island. After a three hour bus ride we arrived at our backpacker’s hotel, the Docia, located across the street from one of our most famous IED churches. 189 years ago this church building was disassembled in England, shipped to the Dominican Republic, and reassembled in Samaná. It is an historic landmark and vital place of worship.
We were all up early on Sunday morning, had a quick cup of coffee, fruit juice and a few bites of mangu, mashed plantains and onions. A brother from the church came by to transport us to the Red Mountain Church, a half hour trip up some small mountains. There we were met by Pastor Fredy who gave us a tour of the church and the mountain top upon which it rests. It is an isolated and beautiful rural setting which welcomes body and soul with fresh clean air, a majestic view of the ocean, and this simple church which offers spiritual restoration.
After an ‘old time religion’ gospel service we were invited to the lunch table of fried fish, rice and beans, and salad, a delicious country banquet. Afterwards we toured the parsonage that is half built and awaiting the funds necessary for completion. We also had a look of the pastor’s one room quarters and heard of plans for building some small simple rooms for Christian Education classes. We had just attended Adult Sunday School class prior to worship and discovered there were two other classes of children and youth with us in the same room at the same time. The noisy chaos convinced us quickly of the need for separate spaces.
On Monday morning we had time for a leisurely breakfast at the local Earth and Sea Restaurant. We bought our bus tickets for the return to Santo Domingo.
A nice excursion or a fact finding mission trip? We’ll be back.