Many of you may know that our own Destiny Aragon left for the Dominican Republic about a month ago to serve in mission with the people there. She sent us an update, which you can read below:
“Hello church family!
Reporting back to you all from Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic! I have made it safely and have been in the beautiful country for about a month! Thank you all for the prayers for safe travels! Many of my co-interns have some crazy airport stories trying to get here, from sitting on the tarmac for 3 hours to having to find a hotel room for the night.
All is well and each and every one of us have made it safely, so thank you for those prayers. I feel like I just got here but have done so much already! The first week we got here, we were given some grace to relax, settle in, and get familiar with the town and each other. I am here with 5 other girls who are all serving at different sites within this community. The second week was our first week at site. It was amazing to be able to visit the physical therapy clinic I had previously volunteered at over a year ago. It was amazing to see not only the staff, but some patients. Although I wish they weren’t still in need of therapy, it was great to see some familiar faces! The third week, all the interns were split up around town to live with host families! This is so we can fully immerse ourselves in the culture and language, which can call for very long days. My host family is comprised of a mother and her 13-year-old son. I am EXTREMELY blessed that they both know English. The mother used to teach Spanish to English speakers, which has been extremely helpful, and the son goes to a bilingual school and is currently learning two other languages!
Our nights are filled with talking about the gospel, finding similarities within our lives, and playing tons of games (very competitively I might add)! Fridays and weekends we have off from work to have a group Bible study, explore town, hang out with the other interns, get lots of coffee, hike to waterfalls, and spend time with our host families. One weekend, the organization put on an all staff retreat for the Jarabacoa and Santiago staff (I am currently in Jarabacoa and previously led a trip to Santiago earlier this year). It was amazing getting to see everyone and having time to fellowship. We spent time diving into Ephesians 5 and discussing the importance of prioritizing our time.
In about two weeks, the interns will be moving back to the intern house and getting ready to host short-term mission teams, which I am extremely excited about, because that was what sparked my love for this country a little over a year ago.
I am sure you have all heard of hurricane Fiona that tore through some of the Caribbean. I am grateful to share that everyone and everything is okay in the town I am staying in. The government did call for a day off of work and the closing of schools just to ensure everyone’s safety. My experience with my first hurricane was filled with TONS of rain, some wind, and warnings of mudslides and flash floods. Now that it has passed through, things are back to normal and I am back serving at the physical therapy clinic. However, Puerto Rico and the Eastern side of the Dominican was not so fortunate with escaping the damages. Although the storm has passed, let’s keep those communities in our prayers as they are still dealing with the damage. As for me, I have just reached my one month mark of being in the country and can’t wait to see what the Lord teaches me and how He uses me for these next three months!