Mission Trip to Banica

I recently returned from a Mission Trip to Banica, a small town in Dominican Republic near the border of Haiti. The goal of our mission was to assist a family of nine that had recently been displaced from their home. In the photos below, you will see the patchwork home the family was living in prior to being displaced. The other photos are of 6 of the 7 children in the family, and a photo of a home that was just built by a prior mission group that we were going to use as a template for our project.

Through the generosity of colleagues, friends and family, we were able to raise enough money to purchase a small plot of land and building materials. After gathering suitcases full of other donations (school supplies, clothing, toys, sporting goods, tablets, medicine), our group headed out into the unknown.

Upon arriving in the Dominican Republic, we were treated to the most beautiful weather. Each day was warm and sunny. Every morning of our trip, we would hop in the back of a pick-up truck and ride to our work site. It became our daily routine to wave to the locals who would call out "Hola, Americanos!" each morning and afternoon as we passed. At the work site, there were three local laborers and a foreman who managed our crew. The work was physically demanding –filling a flatbed truck full of gravel, mixing concrete with pick axes, carrying lumber through town on our shoulders – and I loved every minute of it. Without electricity, running water or the convenience of modern tools, each task was a challenge.

The children, who were ever-present at the work site, were a welcome break. Our favorite past times were playing Frisbee and teaching each other words in our native language. We were also treated to several meals with families who were kind enough to invite us into their homes. I will be forever changed by each and every person that I had the privilege to meet.

When the home was finished, it was a 380 square foot structure with smooth concrete floors, freshly painted wood walls, a leak-free metal roof, solid wood doors, vented windows and an outhouse– a palace compared to the home they were living in before. I have also attached a picture of the home we built and a few of the children in the family seeing it completed for the first time.

I want to thank my friends and colleagues at ShounBach for supporting this endeavor and allowing me to take the time to pursue this worthy cause.

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