Around the World, Day 3: Snapshots from the Dominican Republic

My Dad’s cousin Joyce has two daughters who have moved to the DR, married and made it their home. I enjoyed learning a few things about life there. Praying for your family as you continue to minister!

Bread is a main stay of a Dominican diet along with rice and beans. I asked why this bread is orange colored, but never got an answer. When we were told we were going to tour a bakery this is not exactly what I pictured. We were taken down into this dark basement room. The dough was mixed and shaped into this flat bread and the trays put into this oven. The oven has a kind of elevator in it- that the loaves are continually in motion going around and around until done. If the electricity is off, a man has to crank it by hand. He has to sit right beside the oven so that is a very hot job. When the bread is done it is dumped into blue plastic barrels and then onto a table to be packaged in long plastic sleeves. We have seen motorcycles loaded with bread–a long stick behind the driver with sleeves of bread hanging out both sides.

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The outreach at La Mayita–David–our son-in-law -is pastor of a church of the brethren in Los Toros. About a year ago they decided to start having children’s ministry in La Mayita once a month. La Mayita is a town that has formed when the government moved people down from a mountain town, so they are closer to the road and hopefully can make more money. So far most of their income is from shelling a bean that is similar to our soybeans and if they can get enough people in the family to help, they can make maybe $5 in a day. Anyway David’s church has to hire a truck to haul–generator, benches, chairs, people to La Mayita and that costs about $15 so they could only do it once a month. While David and Jewel were with us for 2 months this summer a church here offered to sponsor the cost of hiring the truck so now they go out once a week. Jewel soon realized that talking to kids about Jesus who are hungry for physical food didn’t work real well so they have also been taking food along. The youth from their church have really helped with this project. Also while David and Jewel were here this summer she got sponsors for 20 kids from La Mayita to be able to attend the school that their church has in Los Toros. When Jewel was interviewing parents about sending their children–mothers asked her if they could also attend as they didn’t know how to read.

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When Jewel first talked about taking the youth of their church camping –I thought what a strange idea. Many have outhouses and cook over a fire outside already so why go camping? Earlier this year when Tim and I were in the DR we went camping with them and I now know why. Everyone was so excited! We pitched 10 tents–several for the boys and several for the girls and then several for married couples. The kids enjoyed many games of volleyball, holey board, horse shoes etc. They also went swimming in the river. Everyone pitched in to cook–spaghetti, plantains, chicken, hot chocolate. And now they count on Jewel to bring hot dogs to roast over the fire.

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Our experience in the DR has been very positive and we are humbled by the examples of sharing and giving by those who have so little of the things we often take for granted or think are important.

Blessings—Joyce Sheeler

Bonus pic:

Our 2 year old Granddaughter Amber is will to help with daily household chores 😉 Mopping the floor and laundry… Editors note: notice the laundry lady’s flip-flops 😂

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