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Reflections from the Dominican Republic
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Reflections from the Dominican Republic

April 11, 2019

Over Spring Break, four 8th grade boys with their fathers and eleven 8th grade girls with their mothers traveled to the Dominican Republic to serve with Kids Alive. Mr. Burgess, WCGS Assistant Principal of Spiritual Life, and Vic Trautwein also accompanied the father/son trip. During their time in the Dominican Republic, students helped spread God's love by playing with the children, spending time with families, cleaning, doing construction, and much more. Our students took some time to reflect on what they learned and shared with our community during our April Chapel. Here are some of them:

"One of the things He (God) taught me was that joy comes from within, and it is not dependent upon your circumstances. These kids came from houses that were the size of a walk-in closet and were filled beyond capacity. In addition, for most of them, the only time they ate was when they received lunch at school. Yet, these kids still chose to have joy, smile, and laugh despite their home life."

"When the kids' recess started, we stopped our work and played with them. During recess we played soccer with the children and often got destroyed. The kids were so joyful while playing with us."

"The last day, we ate lunch with the kids and hung out with them. After we ate, we worshipped God...it was really cool to see kids worshipping God in a different language."

"We made a lot of good connections on the trip and heard a lot of powerful testimonies as well. On the first day, we mixed cement and put it into wheelbarrows that we then dumped into a long trench that we filled up to be a base for the security wall we were building. The next three days we worked, we we laid mortar and placed concrete blocks until we got the wall to a good height. We didn't do any work on Sunday, but instead went to church where Mr. Burgess spoke and had a great message about Heaven and what it will be like when we get there."

"It was truly a life-changing experience and one that I will never forget. God taught me so many things throughout the week that I hope I can act on now that I am home. My biggest takeaway from the trip was that...

WHAT WE HAVE DOES NOT REPRESENT WHO WE ARE.
We are all children of God and can love and show kindness regardless of what we have or do not have. Not only did they show grace and love to the kids but they also showed it by the way they built community with what little they had was indescribable."

"I will never forget Carmen, the cook who fed 400 children every day with dull knives and no electricity at times. I will also never forget Rafealina, the art teacher who taught graciously without graph paper, a photocopier, and broken colored pencils and crayons. Finally, I will never forget the Saturday night that our group spent with the girls' soccer team, making connections and playing fun games."

"This missions trip to the Dominican Republic has had a huge impact on my life. It taught me not to take anything for granted and to be thankful to the Lord no matter the circumstances."

"Even though playing with little kids may not seem like a big deal to us, it tangibly modeled how God loves them in a way that their parents may not have demonstrated. Knowing the impact we have on others without even realizing it means we as Christians especially have to be careful about what we say and do because others are watching."

Thank you for your prayers and support for our missions teams as they traveled to the Dominican Republic this year. We are grateful that our students were able to get this experience before graduating and pray that they continue to serve the Lord wherever they go.

Tags: 2017 national blue ribbon school, dominican republic, elementary, jr. high, kids alive, kindergarten, private christian school chicago suburbs, service, spring break, wheaton christian grammar school