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A Family Mission Trip Experience to Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic

One Family’s Mission Trip Story

A glimpse into what your family might experience on a Crosswinds’ mission trip to Caribbean Mountain Academy in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic.

family missions trip to Dominican Republic

Arrival to the Dominican Republic

The plane touches down in the Dominican Republic at 8 p.m., bringing a family to Caribbean Mountain Academy (CMA). It is already dark. The family meets their driver who will escort them to campus just outside the airport. The roads are loud and chaotic. The van swerves around potholes and bounces over the rough streets, highlighting the fact that the family is far removed from the smooth and quiet highways of their hometown.

This family wanted to vacation together over spring break, but decided on a more memorable trip; a mission trip. The cultural experience would be educational, and they hoped that the reality of seeing how others live, joyfully with so much less, would give a new perspective on life.

The Morning Routine

Breakfast is papaya and banana bread followed by morning devotions in the Chapel before the family heads out on a rickety bus with CMA staff members, and a few rowdy teenagers. The teenagers are students at CMA, who are enrolled because they struggled with problems at home, and their parents invested in a therapeutic boarding school experience to help them regain focus. The students serve in the community, too, alongside our mission teams.

Family Service Projects

When the family arrives at the worksite, it is in a community where the houses are barely held together by deteriorating wood. Their service project is in front of them: a pile of sand is spread onto the ground. A bag of cement is dumped on top, and water is added. The daughter in the family grabs a shovel and starts mixing. They are building a house out of blocks and cement.

Community of Faith

It’s hot outside, so the mom sits down for a rest and a small girl from the community wanders over out of curiosity; she is dirty and is not wearing shoes. She sits right on the mom’s lap and starts to stroke her soft hair and touches the mom’s cross necklace. The mom doesn’t speak Spanish, but she does remember how to pronounce Jesus, and the child nods with understanding. The mom takes off her necklace and puts it around the little girl’s neck. She hugs the woman and takes off running to show her own mother.

Evening Gatherings

Everyone returns to the campus and dinner is rice, beans, and savory chicken. After dinner the family plays some games with the teenagers in the program. The dad in the family sits next to one of the teenage boys and they chat for a while. The student shares that he never had a dad and he doesn’t get along with his mom very well. An hour goes by quickly as they talk about sports, video games, and life. It’s time for the boy to go, but he offers a hearty handshake to the dad and gives a genuine, “Thank you,” for talking and listening to him. A small gesture goes a long way, and the dad feels good that he was able to bring a little encouragement when the student needed it.

Daily Devotions

At morning devotions, the next day, the Chapel is half full. A staff member shares their testimony. It’s quite powerful. Some of the teenagers ask questions. The daughter in the family is inspired. She ponders how someone could be so far away from God, yet wind up as a missionary in a third world country. She thinks about how fulfilling it must be to have a job that requires you to be a witness for Jesus to others. After another day of work, the family returns to their guest house on campus. It’s raining and the internet goes out. They decide to play a game of cards. They play and talk and laugh. They haven’t had quality family time in a while; it’s refreshing. As they spend more time with each other and in the community, the rest of the week is just as impactful, inspirational, and full of new memories.

One week of mission work can impact the soul for life.

Does your family need a chance to enrich your relationships and deepen your connections? Missions trips at Caribbean Mountain Academy are a unique opportunity for personal and spiritual growth, family bonding, and heart change.

Contact a mission coordinator today to learn more!

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