News & Thoughts from the DR Medical Mission Trip

February 28, 2023  |  Written by David Johnsen.

The sky is dark, the air is cool, the coffee is hot, the triangle clanged at 6:45 am—our day officially begins. Nathan continues his devotional theme drawing parallels from the creation story in Genesis with Jesus’ ministry—today God separates the waters creating atmosphere and sea from which life emerges and is sustained. Jesus meets an outcast woman at the well and reveals Himself as living water that quenches the thirst for forgiveness and redemption. Clean water is huge issue here. It is close to 90 degrees during the say it is essential to stay hydrated.  But you can’t drink tap water—actually I guess you can, but 12 hours later you will really wish you hadn’t. We get our drinking water from clean source supplied at the guesthouse. The barrio teams fills their water bottles to tote along with them. And the guesthouse, like many homes in the DR, doesn’t have hot water for showers. The juxtaposition with our American lives is manifest. But it is Living water that calls many us to this place that is so different from home, and that water brings life, not illness.And the day proceeded: the Surgery team surgerized, until 8 pm; the Barrio team provided healthcare in a small hamlet in the outlying hills; the Orthotics/Prosthetics team crafted new limbs and new lives for amputees. The Construction crew built steel shelves for the new clinic. And our new team member, midwife Degra Nofsinger, taught child birth classes to Obstetric providers—in Spanish (she is fluent)! We sit in the Cabana and dining rooms in the evenings playing games, trading stories, and watching for updates on College basketball scores.Mar 1, 2023 morningIt is the halfway mark of our Mission week. Nathan continued his compelling devotional series paralleling the Creation story with stories from Jesus’ ministry. Today God separates the water from the earth, and dirt joins water as an originator and sustainer of life.  He reminds us of some curious things that Jesus does with dirt—drawing in it instead of speaking to refute the verbal traps of detractors, and spitting in it to make mud that he applied to a blind man’s eyes—who then washed it off with water and could see.The countryside in the western DR is stunningly beautiful. The DR is the most visited island  destination for Americans but few venture beyond the resort strung like pearls dotting the eastern coast.  The west is a palette of rugged mountains, verdant fields of farmland and vast skies. El Cercado is a village that conjures up a vision in my mind of what the Garden of Eden might have looked like. And dirt is what drives much of the economy in the west. The Dominican farmers work the earth and it gives back to sustain them and their families. It is a rare privilege to meet these people in their environment and offer them what we can through the Solid Rock ministries.A Shout-Out to the Solid Rock Ministry staff who work year round with many groups such as ours and make the whole thing work smoothly—the logistics of coordinating so many visiting groups doing so many different things is amazing and they do an awesome job! Jeff and Kamanda Bucher, In-country DirectorsTyler Cox, Guesthouse HostSarah Heinz, Medical CoordinatorJason and Nicole Hoover, Operations Support and Child Nutrition Program CoordinatorAdditional shout-outs to come will recognize and appreciate the efforts of the the Solid Rock Dominican Staff who make the SRI trains run on time.Time for me to get to work…