(The first part of this blog is written about yesterday’s adventure, and then 2nd part is about today. Enjoy!)
Hey hey hey blog-a-roonies!! What a privilege it is to write to you from beautiful and sunny Jarabacoa! It’s Bailey here, so excited to share with all of you of our adventure-filled day!
It was our first day not going to our ministry sites. I had mixed feelings of excitement and sadness about not being able to go to our sites. I have the opportunity to be in SI’s special education site where love, joy, and hope spills out of the kids and where the teachers dwell in patience. The Lord is made known in this place and it is such a true blessing to participate and take a peek into everything the Lord is doing here… Anyway, back to today’s adventure! We partook in a hike going to the highest mountain in Jarabacoa. We had breakfast at 6, loaded up in the awesome buses at 7, and took off on our hike at 7:30. We had no idea what we were getting into. It took 2 hours full of patience, water breaks, and stopping to look at the beauty of God’s creation to get up to the top. We had many encounters with red mud and beautiful green vines. At first I was feeling a little discouraged and out of shape due to the incredibly steep mountain we were facing. Thankfully, we have an incredibly patient and encouraging staff who is willing to wait as you catch your breath (even if it’s for 20 minutes… thank you Andy!). As I carried on with the second part of the hike, even though it was just as steep, I was able to to take time and enjoy everything that we were surrounded by. I was overwhelmed and undone by the goodness of God by creating nature for us to enjoy. Man, God is good. Out of breath, sweaty, and thankful, we reached the top and looked over all of what we could see of Jarabacoa. I was almost brought to tears thinking about all the people who was surrounding me and how God is moving through everyone. Absolutely incredible. Psalms 8 was a beautiful read while overlooking the mountains and city of the Dominican Republic.
The way down the mountain was a whole other experience. It was one thing walking up the incredibly steep slope, and another walking down in the slippery red mud. All this to say, myself and a few other Joshua siblings gave in to the mud and had a grand ol’ time. Instead of trying not to fall, we embraced it and became what we like to call “primal” we slid and slid down the mountain, getting excited when there weren’t rocks in our way and vines that would stop our sliding. We ended up with more mud on us than the trail itself. I have never experienced a more exhilarating and purely fun experience!
After removing our mud and taking the time to decompress from our 6 hour hike, we hit the town and went shopping! Some of our purchases include: delicious smoothies, fake Gucci belts and watches, coffee, jewelry, and the occasional juice boxes. Then we carried on our merry way to a restaurant that was rented out just for us! We had a buffet that entailed of a wonderful salad of cucumbers and tomatoes, fried plantains (that I will miss dearly when we return), Alfredo pasta, and a variety of meat. We ate good all the while participating in fun fellowship with our Joshua siblings and SI staff. Afterwards we finished the night by getting amazing ice cream and driving back to the base praying it wouldn’t rain on us as we were driving back in our uncovered buses (and it didn’t, thank the Lord!).
It was a day full of adventure, community, encouragement, conversations, games, exploring, and good talks. I’m so thankful for our time here, I cannot believe we have a whole other week of embracing the Lord through a different culture and experiencing His character in a new way here. Thank you for your time and your desire to hear about what the Lord showing us. We so appreciate you! Till next time,
Hebrews 11 is what we are basing our devotional on these 2 weeks. Read about the faith we are called to have alongside us!
P.S. Hello family! I miss you too and I love you immensely! I am praying for you and excited to talk to you soon!
Hey howdy hey it’s Sunday
Today was the day where we took the entirety of the day to just relax. A large majority of us took the opportunity to take a nap and catch up on sleep that we have been missing throughout the week. We had the opportunity to attend one of the local churches in the area, one of them being on campus and the other in town. Honestly the service was great and it was very considerate of them to have a slideshow in English of the entire sermon for us to read. It made us feel included in the community.
We had a little group prayer time tonight as well. It was refreshing to pray as a group and rejuvenate everyone for the upcoming week.
Today in general was very laid back and relaxing, it gave us the freedom to just enjoy where we are at and hang out with everybody. The trip so far is tiring and I’m very tired as well, but we still have a week ahead of us and we all are going to finish strong and minister to our locations to the best of our ability.