This year I am going to the Dominican Republic (the DR) with my school, Desert Christian Academy (DCA). Fourteen other students and I will be going to the DR to serve and spread the Gospel of Christ to the residents of the DR. It will be an 8 day trip from June 17 to June 25. We will be traveling to minister within the areas of Puerto Plata, Gaspar Hernandez, and Luperon. The DCA Team will serve in the areas of children’s outreach/VBS, door to door prayer & evangelism, and a possible construction. I am a part of the skit team and we will be putting on a skit, in spanish, for the kids at the VBS that we are volunteering for. We will also be doing outreach in the form of door to door evangelism and spending time with the locals. This trip will be an amazing spiritual experience as we will do morning and evening devotions with my classmates and chaperones as well as fun group activities to help use build our relationship with each other and God.
It would be a lie to say I was not slightly disappointed when I saw the dates this trip was taking place on as I will be at the DR during my 17th birthday. However I felt an odd calling to go on this trip. To be honest I don’t remember why I attended the first meeting. I had never talked with my friends about even in passing or even talked to my parents about the possibility of going, yet I felt strongly compelled to attend the first meeting. I believe and know that this was a true calling from God to attend this trip. I know this because even though I will spend one of my last birthdays in my parents household on this trip, I am so excited to attend it! I have a real excitement for this trip and I know it will be worthwhile for both the people I will serve and myself. My parents and I have prayed about attending this trip long and hard and I have only felt more and more compelled to go. This to me is a sign from God that big things will come from this trip in terms of my own relationship with God which is one of the main purposes of attending a trip like this.
The thing you can do first and foremost to help is to keep me and my team in prayer. Prayer for safe travels, successful fundraising, and generally good spirits! Of course this trip will not free. For each student attending it will be $1500 to $1800 in cost. This covers food, room, plane tickets, and other activities we will be doing. We need your help to raise this money! Last year the kids went to India and all I have heard was that it was a great experience in a multitude of ways. Please consider donating $50, $100, or $150 (donations over $100 are tax deductible). Of course all donations, big and small, are very helpful. The money will put first and foremost into my fund to go to the DR. Then any overflow will be distributed to other students as needed. We have also been holding fundraisers such as a taco lunch fundraiser and selling t-shirts with special dominican republic designs on them. All help is appreciated and remember please to be lifting us up in prayer!
Thank You and God Bless,
Jonas E. Smith