VBS…and more…Caribbean style

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Santa Ana Temple young adults travel to the Dominican Republic.

by Doug Williams Jr. –

In Moca, the mission team leads VBS in the courtyard of a neighborhood house. [Photo by Doug Williams]

August’s heat didn’t stop the young adult group from Santa Ana Temple from traveling to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip—inspired by this year’s World Services partnership between that country and the Southern California Division.

At the Moca Corps, led by Captains Marcos and Kenia Pina, the team led vacation Bible school in the small rubble courtyard of a nearby home. Over 150 children attended. Later, during a visit to the Moca hospital, the group prayed with patients—one young woman accepted Christ as her savior. We also participated in evening worship services, food distribution, and open air ministry with timbrels and praise music.

Cotui is a small corps located in the center of the country. Led by Corps Officers Captains Rafael and Fiortaliza Maria and Sgt. Major Juan Miguel, it is known for its strong children’s ministry. In a pied-piper fashion, the children shadowed the team everywhere. Whether it was walking to the park or back to the officer quarters for dinner, there was a constant trail.

Caobos, an outpost just outside Cotui, is so rural that it has just acquired running water and electrical service. At VBS, each child received balloon animals and gift bags. Parents also attended, enjoying the puppets and games along with the kids.

Prior to the trip, Santa Ana Temple held fundraisers, including bake and food sales and car washes. Donations also came in from friends, family, and coworkers; the final tally was more than $2,000. The money was used for repairs at the Moca Corps, new doors at the Caobos outpost, new uniforms, VBS supplies, reimbursements for meals cooked by the corps officers, and gas money.

Team members, who were supported by Santa Ana Corps Officers Lex and Patricia Giron, were Alexis Ruano, Lindsey Ponce, Doug Williams, Erick and Kelly Rodriguez, Luis Enrique, and Jackie Rivera. Additional “members” included four puppets; the leader was Ivan, who didn’t make it out of the country but remained for further ministry—a gift to the Cotui Corps.

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