A Mission Trip By the Children, For the Children

08/08/13

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take a six-year-old on a mission trip? Three families recently found out what it was like when they took their children, ages six to ten, on a Venture Trip to the Dominican Republic. The trip was specially designed for the families and their children, and focused on books—reading, enjoying, and even making them.

 
“Books are fabulous,” says Tiffany Werner, one of the mothers on the trip. “They just bring people together.”  Tiffany’s girls, ages eight and ten, love to read and were excited to share their favorite books with children in the Children of the Nations (COTN) Village Partnership Program in the Dominican Republic. “I really loved getting to serve with our kids,” Tiffany adds. “It was harder, but it made the beauty of it so much more beautiful.” 
 
The team shared their favorite books with the children.
             The team shared their favorite books with the children. Some were in English and some in Spanish.
 
The Dominican and American children alike enjoyed the book-making activity, and learned a lot from it, and from the trip as a whole. “We’ve talked through the years about wanting to do this with our kids to bond us together as a family,” says Tiffany. She and her husband Jonathan had always wanted to expose their children to a different culture and were excited when Erica mentioned this trip to them. “This was the right timing,” Tiffany says. 
 
The children enjoyed creating their own books about their lives
The children enjoyed creating their own books about their families, school, or favorite memory. The team left behind the rest of the book making supplies for the staff and handed out markers and crayons to the children.
 
Although the American children and the Dominican children spoke different languages, that didn’t stop them from having fun together. “Children speak the language of play,” says Erica Goos, who led the team. 
 
By the end of the week, the families knew they wanted to take their budding relationships with the Dominican children one step further. “You get to the end of the trip and you feel like you’ve had this really rewarding experience with a stranger,” says Tiffany, “but they’re not a stranger anymore.” Each of the families decided to sponsor children they’d come to know well throughout the week. Now, even after they’ve returned home, the three families feel connected to the Dominican Republic and the children they served there. 
 
Each of the families decided to sponsor children after their trip
The trip had a big impact on the three families. Each of them decided to stay connected with the Dominican Republic by sponsoring children.
 
Erica’s family has talked about the trip almost every day since returning home. “We’re going to be talking about this for a long time,” she says. Erica is working hard to help her children bridge the gap between their day-to-day lives and the experience they had in the Dominican Republic. She’s already encouraged by their response. “I don’t want to complain so much,” says Erica’s ten-year-old daughter Helena. “I realize how much stuff we have and how much opportunity.”
 
You can provide better opportunities for children in the Dominican Republic! Sponsor a child or join a Venture Trip today!