McKinley L., a student at Calvin College, traveled with us to the Dominican Republic twice before deciding to intern there for 5 weeks this summer. The post below was written her final week in the Dominican. Thanks for all your hard work this summer McKinley!
I have less than three days remaining in the place that holds my heart. I’m not quite sure what to call what I am feeling right now. I love this place and I love the people and I love the way of life so to leave after becoming so comfortable and growing so much will be extremely hard. I have left even more of my heart throughout this island than I had left behind previously. I’ll probably be left feeling empty and depressed. On the other hand I have been working constantly for the past 5 weeks and am looking forward to sleeping in past 7 o’clock and being able to relax a little bit.
This experience has been incredible and so life changing. It has affirmed the calling God has placed on my life. I am meant to be here in this place working as the hands and feet of Christ. That is now undeniable. I thrive when I am in Dominican Republic. One of the most rewarding parts of being here was the interaction I had with the team members. I met older people, people from Texas and Colorado, people I would have never met if it wasn’t for this common interest. Listening to testimonies and stories from adults about how God has been faithful to them taught me so much about life. I learned that despite crappy life circumstances keeping hope in God is the best way to get through it. I learned that prayer is truly powerful. I was able to witness the strength and healing power of prayer in so many ways. I was able to be a part of anointing a newly built house with oil and praying for no ill will to fall upon the house or its inhabitants. I learned that I am actually quite a patient person. I am able to handle anything that kids can dish out with relative ease and grace, which I experienced not all people can. This patience extends to adults as well. I worked with many types of people, whether they were type A personalities or childish I was able to communicate effectively and remain merciful.
I played Dominican baseball, explored underground caves, surfed Dominican waves, laid hands on people, watched a wedding, got tickled endlessly, snuggled adorable kids, ate rice and beans, had my fill of chicken and served this country with ALL that I had.
I can’t wait to see what next summer has to offer!
Dios te Bendiga