“I’d love to go on an overseas mission trip someday, but…
…I don’t have the time or money for one of those challenging trips to Kenya or Poland.”
…I wouldn’t want to go without a family member accompanying me.”
…the language barrier concerns me.”
…I’m not sure it’s safe.”
Well, I’m glad to inform you that “someday” has come! RCC’s newest mission destination, the Dominican Republic (www.gomin.org) checks off all those boxes. It’s a true cross-cultural experience, but more accessible, affordable, and family-friendly than our other options — though those destinations are still fantastic, by the way. RCC’s first mission trip to the D.R., which will take place within the next year, is open to adults and teens. Whatever your age or skillset, you can make an impact and have a life-changing experience with God and His people.
Interested? I invite you to attend one of these no-obligation information meetings:
Sunday, April 23 at 12:30 PM
Monday, April 24 at 7:00 PM
Day 3 in the Dominican Republic was humbling!
Our guide, Tim, introduced us to the founder of Go Ministries, Brook Brotzman. We toured the present clinic, a small house structure. And then walked to the site of the future four-story med clinic, currently under construction.
It was exciting to see 100s of children playing and learning at the school!
Breakfast was with the Lincoln Christian University baseball team, who are in the DR helping with baseball clinics for children, helping stabilize a church building and playing a few teams along the way. GO LIONS!
At the end of our day, the only thing we could talk about was The Hole — a place where the people live beside a river. There are only two words we can use to describe our experience: humbling and convicting.
Only hours from now we’ll climb on the plane and say goodbye to the physical DR. For myself, a piece of it will always be with me.
We are in day 3 in the Dominican Republic, and the weather has been amazing. But what is more amazing is what we have seen and experienced! GO Ministries is a multifaceted endeavor to share the love of Jesus with the people of the DR.
We have stepped into a clinic, churches, nutrition program, seminary and a huge sports program that’s meant to focus on developing character first. Unfortunately, though, there is no hockey!
We hugged a lot of people! And we’ve seen some life changing places. I wish you could be walking beside us! Kathy, Mike and I wish you all well! Thanks for your prayers! And we can’t wait to have a chance to sit with you to tell our story!
In our Sunday worship gatherings, we commissioned three RCC servants — Kathy Peters, Michael Peters, and Andy Glass — to represent us on a short exploratory trip to the mission field of the Dominican Republic. They’ll leave early this Tuesday morning and return Friday night.
They’ll be investigating the work of GO Ministries in that island country. From the research our Global Outreach Team has done, this looks like it could be an excellent recurring mission trip destination for individuals and families who are seeking a quality cross-cultural ministry experience, but for whom a trip to one of our established partners in Poland (Graceland Ministries), Kenya (Missions of Hope), or Indonesia (Asia-Pacific International) would be too much of a stretch.
One aspect that especially excites us is that this could be a great multi-generational opportunity (parents and children, even grandparents and grandchildren, travelling and serving together); but we won’t know until we check it out more completely. That’s what this week is about.
Please pray for our friends, and ask God to use their experience as a source of wise guidance for future decisions!
workcampNE is a week-long service-based mission trip designed for high school students, college students, and adults. Not only will you connect with others, but you will reach out and serve people in need. Students and adults from several churches come together for a week of serving, worship, and connection. Projects include painting, roofing, deck building, cleaning, etc.
For an idea of what happens at workcampNE, check out the 2015 recap video.
Who can go? Any student currently in 8th grade through college and any adult.
What are the dates? July 9-15, 2017
Where are we going? Springfield, VT
What is the overall cost? $375 (Below are some guidelines to help you break it down each month. The only 2 we are strictly enforcing are the February 14 deposit and the May 22 final cost.)
- February 14 – $75 (this locks you in as your non-refundable deposit)
- March 15 – $100
- April 19 – $100
- May 22 – $100
We will do some fundraising to help with the cost. The are primarily to help students, who will most likely need more help with the cost than adults, but adults are definitely invited to join in as well. Below is a list of the fundraisers we are planning.
- January 6, 13, 20, 27: Babysitting for Grow Electives (4-week classes at RCC) – This is optional, but each team member who helps will get approximately $75 to go to their trip (exact amount TBD).
- Selling drinks at Easter Egg Hunts – This is an optional fundraiser, and all the funds raised will be split between those participating.
- RCC’s Got Talent & Silent Auction (6-8 PM) (Time commitment is 5-9 PM @ RCC) – This event is required for everyone attending, and the primary purpose is to raise funds for our transportation. DATE: TBD.
In addition to paying what you can out of pocket and fundraising, we also encourage every team member to send letters to their friends and family in order to raise awareness of their trip. In this letter, you may also ask for financial support, but the main focus is prayer support. If you need a sample letter, please get in touch with me.
In order to attend workcampNE 2017, everyone will go through an application process, but the good news is that it is all online! Just click the link below and go through the process to register!
Remember, the deadline to register and turn in your initial $75 is February 14, 2015 (pay online or via check made out to RCC).
To learn more about the workcampNE organization, head to their website at www.workcampne.com.
Last week, 24 students and adults headed to the Berlin, NH, area to serve others in Jesus’ name by doing minor home repair. This was the ninth year we have participated with workcampNE in this amazing mission trip.
Below, you’ll find a quick recap of our trip in a video, along with several photos from our trip. If you would like to join us next summer, please contact me! We’d love to have you come along!!
From July 24-30, 2016, six adults and 18 students will head to Berlin, NH, to represent RCC on a mission trip with workcampNE. This will be the ninth time we have sent a group to help out with this amazing mission located right in New England. It will be the second time we’ve served the community of Berlin.
Please keep this group in your prayers, as they serve others in Jesus name and pray for the one (or possibly more) they can impact every day of their trip!
If you would like to follow along with them, make sure you follow the RCC Student Ministries’ Instagram account (@rcc_students).
You can also subscribe to workcampNE on YouTube to get daily recap videos from all the work projects.
Thanks to everyone to gave through personal donations and the RCC’s Got Talent fundraiser to make this year’s trip happen! We will post a follow-up on our blog with a video after we return.
Rockingham Christian Church is planning to send a mission team to the Dominican Republic next year! The dates are February 25 through March 4 (NH school break week). The team will be partnering with an excellent ministry called Go Ministries.
This will be a multi-generational experience; anyone middle school or older is invited to apply. Parents and their children are especially encouraged to participate together. All applicants will be asked to go through a screening process to assess readiness.
Interested? If so, plan to come to one of our informational meetings:
Sunday, July 17, 1:30 PM or Wednesday, August 3, 7:00 PM
Meanwhile, please indicate your level of interest to any RCC staff member.
We’ve been back now for two weeks and have had time to process our trip. We are so humbled that God has lead us to share Ryan and Devon’s story, inspiring a community to embrace change. We were able to share their life stories in family, school, church, and work to let parents hear that their children are a blessing from God, not a curse. It was awesome to see the hope come into parent’s eyes as we spoke of all the dreams, talents and interests of our children; when they heard that their children are not a mistake, and that God doesn’t make mistakes. MoHI is ready to embrace this change with these families. My “Mom” heart is still dancing, thinking of the Mom’s faces changing as we shared these words.
The classroom has not opened yet as we are waiting to have a teacher and occupational therapist hired. The “launch” we participated in while we were there was an announcement of intent to the community that MoHI is dedicated to opening this classroom and to supporting people with disabilities and their families. This is HUGE in a community that has never seen any purpose, hope or worth in people with disabilities.
On our last day in Mathare Valley, we were able to go to Rockingham Christian Church’s sponsored school in Korogocho-Nyayo. It was great to see the change in the children and to notice the maturity and growth in all of them. We were able to deliver sponsorship bags from some RCC families to their child that they support there. Hannah, a social worker, and Peter, the school Principal, took us on a walk through the community to view the newly purchased property for the new site of the Nyayo school. This is such an answer to prayer because the location of the rental property is in a dangerous place, because it is on both sides of the road. The motorcycles go at high speeds through those “streets” with little regard for who might be crossing. Funding is needed for the school, so, if this is something that God has laid on your heart, please contact us and we will help facilitate your donation.
As I stood in front of the community of people on Launch Day speaking of our children, it was a real “aha moment”, another reminder that this is what faith is all about. Thirty-six years earlier when Ryan was born, I began asking “why” of God. He is once again answering that question. Here is yet another reason why. He is using our story and our lives in Kenya to inspire people.
Throughout the years, Ryan and Devon have inspired many classmates and adults that they have come in contact with. We know of people who have joined the Peace Corp to help others, people who have given up their jobs and gone back to school to become therapists because of their relationship with the kids, or times when they gave perspective to people who get caught up in selfishness and self pity. God is constantly using them and we’re so thankful for that. Anyone who has ever been around Devon during worship, there is no doubt that Jesus is real in that girl’s heart and many have been blessed just by witnessing it.
We’re back into our routines here at home again and have just enjoyed a weekend filled with time with family. But part of our heart and life is in Kenya. We appreciate everyone’s support, love, comments, and encouragement. We know that our trips to Nairobi will continue. We will be going back at a later date once the school has begun and the timing is right. Your continued prayers are appreciated.
Thanks for following our blog, and stay tuned for the next trip!
Gail and Steven
“God is good all the time, and all the time God is good” is a common saying in Kenya which we wholeheartedly echo.
Yesterday we began our day with our final meeting with the team for the Disabilities Classroom. As we sat discussing the progress and next steps, I was suddenly hit with a God moment! 37 years ago when the doctors told us that Ryan was born with disabilities, we would have never imagined that our journey would lead us here, doing this! God knew that this was the story that He had written for us, if we were obedient and listened. And, here we are in Kenya!!!!
So, as I was saying, we had our final meeting with the team. What an awesome team of passionate, committed staff and missionaries. Continue to pray for the right teacher and occupational therapist to come and complete the team. Then, the class will be ready to begin. We have some good ideas of some of the potential students for the classroom. Also, pray that, as word of the classroom gets around the community, other parents will be empowered to speak up if they are hiding their children from those in their community. Pray that they will accept help from MoHI.
To back up a bit, as we were waiting for our meeting to start, we ran into Fred, a MoHI staff member that offers sports in the community and mentors men in other ways. He was telling us that he was getting ready to start a Bible study with a few of the “thugs” in the valley, and he asked if Steven could go and pray with them. A few minutes after the meeting started, Steven joined the study, where 11 men were quoting scripture and discussing the importance of dependence on God. He had the opportunity to share about how he had to give up control, and let God take control, and was able to pray with the men, before he had to leave for our meeting. There is nothing better than those spontaneous moments where we can be used!!!
Steven was excited to put his organizational skills to work as we organized the Learning Center materials at Pangani, to sort out some things that will go to the Disability Classroom in Baba Dogo.
There is so much growth and change taking place at MoHI. The skills training (sewing, beadwork, hairdressing, etc.) rooms will be moving from the Pangani Center to a newly acquired building and property in Baba Dogo, not far from the school. The first to move was the sewing program. Yesterday all of the cabinets and sewing machines left the building, leaving more spaces for offices and consolidating all of the skills training to one facility.
We were excited to start today (Friday) with a trip to Korogocho Nyayo to see “our” school and “our” sponsor children. It was nice to visit each classroom and see them hard at work. It was wonderful to recognize so many and to see such physical growth in them. It was so refreshing to enter the kitchen and see the big pot of ugali cooking and see the shining faces of the staff there. And, then there was Hannah, the social worker in Nyayo that just oozes with excitement! It was great to see her, and find out what has been happening since our last visit. We went to the newly purchased site where they will build a new larger school. It is off of the main street where the current school is located, which is so dangerous for the children to be crossing. The school is on both sides of a central street in this village, that is filled with traffic and people all day long. The children must cross the street to go to the bathroom, go to the office, etc. The new facility will be in a quieter location, away from the main stream of traffic.
We ended the day back at the Pangani Center. The Child Sponsorship team is working on preparing the stationery for the first round of letters that the children will write to their sponsors. It is a daunting task, considering that there are more than 12,000 children in schools now. We got to help them out a bit with that project.
This has been an amazing trip. We have a whole new and different appreciation for what the CMF missionaries do here and the importance of the partnership with MoHI. They all very willingly accepted us as short term (two week) missionaries and let us see their day to day struggles and blessings. We have felt honored to be a part of it.
We leave here knowing that the slum will never be the same. The communities view of disabilities is taking a change. Past stigma’s will begin to fade away. Parents are beginning to embrace the fact that their child is not a curse and not a mistake; that God made them perfect. I pray that when we return (and, yes, we will!) that we will see these parents dream about what God will do with their children’s individual strengths, talents, likes, and dislikes; that they will hold their head high and know that they gave birth to a child of God. And, that God will bless them.