It was a very chilly and early March morning, 4:00 a.m. to be exact, when 58 short-term missionaries from Madison Academy came together at the Nashville airport and set off on an adventure to the Dominican Republic. Weary-eyed yet excited, these students, faculty, and parents were ready to use their talents and gifts to make a difference in a small community they had never even stepped foot in. However, as excited and ready as they thought they were, this experience would broaden their understanding of themselves and the people in the community that they were about to spend the next eight days with.
The goals were simple: build a Sabbath School building and finish the adjacent church by painting the interior and exterior of the building. Along with that, they planned to hold a Vacation Bible School program for the local children each day, and treat as many patients as possible at the two medical clinic sites. This was all to be done in six work days!
Maranatha Volunteers International had all the building materials and plans ready to go; all that was needed to complete the mission was manpower. Most of the students on the trip had never laid a block, volunteered at a VBS, or even been to a foreign country. This would be a learning-by-immersion type of experience, which is exactly what happened.
Students were divided into teams and headed out to each site every morning. They rolled up their sleeves, and the adults taught them what they knew at each site, and the students soaked it in and learned quickly. By the end of the first day, these students were building block walls, organizing games for the village children, and assisting in minor surgeries.
Kentucky-Tennessee | July 2017