La Republica Dominicana fue Maravillosa!

 Our Cabrera students' enthusiasm was contagious!

Our Cabrera students' enthusiasm was contagious!

The Dominican Republic was wonderful! But, wow! What a whirlwind! Our two weeks in the DR just flew by. We had a great time, enjoyed working with our teams, and feel confident that our training had a positive impact. All in all, it was time well spent!

 Motorbikes and motorcylces were everywhere, and the traffic patterns were amazing!

Motorbikes and motorcylces were everywhere, and the traffic patterns were amazing!

We went to the DR as the guests of Steve and Toby Hopper, our GTN colleagues. They've been working in the DR for some time and we so appreciated the opportunity to join in. Regrettably, Toby couldn't make this trip - she was caring for their adult son, Steve, who had recently broken his hip and elbow!

 Week 1 Team (L to R): Doug, Abby, Ann, Michael, Mary, Mesa & Steve

Week 1 Team (L to R): Doug, Abby, Ann, Michael, Mary, Mesa & Steve

Our DR hosts, Mesa and Mary Taveras, were amazing. Their warm welcome, wonderful personalities, constant consideration of our needs and outstanding translating abilities really made the trip easy.

 Week 2 Team (L to R): Mesa, steve, Sandy, Mary, Abby Compa & Doug

Week 2 Team (L to R): Mesa, steve, Sandy, Mary, Abby Compa & Doug

Our fellow team members, Ann Yorty & Michael Brogna (week 1) and Sandy Brown (week 2), were so much fun and were very gifted teachers, as well. It was wonderful to work with them.

Our driver, Compa (short for compadre), was terrific. Watching him negotiate the motorcycles in cities where stop signs are "only a suggestion" was truly a sight to behold.

And, last but certainly not least, Steve was a great team leader who kept us Christ-centered and focused every day, encouraged us every step of the way and was a delight to hang out with.

 Templo Biblico del Sur in Barahona was one of our host churches.

Templo Biblico del Sur in Barahona was one of our host churches.

We taught in four locations, Rio San Juan (10/23-25), Cabrera (10/26-27), Barahona (10/30-11/1), and Azua (11/2-4). At each location, we were warmly welcomed by the host pastor and his wife. We taught pastors, pastors' wives, elders, key leaders and laypersons at all four locations. Everyone warmly welcomed us!

 Our students were focused and attentive.

Our students were focused and attentive.

Abby taught Family & Church Systems, helping the students to understand the Lord's plan for their lives and ministry. I taught Key Themes of the Old Testament in Rio San Juan and Making Disciples in the other locations.

 Abby's Barahona students were very responsive!

Abby's Barahona students were very responsive!

The need for training in the DR is enormous. Mesa explained to us that, outside the larger cities, pastors are typically untrained and work full-time jobs outside the church. Comments we received from pastors echoed this:

 Pastor Jesus and his wife, Virginia, warmly welcomed us in Azua!

Pastor Jesus and his wife, Virginia, warmly welcomed us in Azua!

One pastor said, "I've never received teaching like this before!" Another commented, "You have planted a seed in our hearts which will not fail to bear fruit." Still another, "When are you coming back to teach an overview of the New Testament?"

 Eddie, the Worship Leader in Azua, was an especially enthusiastic student who spoke English fluently, and it was great to get to know him.

Eddie, the Worship Leader in Azua, was an especially enthusiastic student who spoke English fluently, and it was great to get to know him.

Our hosts in Cabrera were Pastor Julio and his wife, Maritza, who welcomed us into their home, fed us several great meals, and gave us a tour of Maritza's Christian school which welcomes special needs kids. The school was beautiful and the presence of the Holy Spirit was palpable. It was great to get to know Julio and Maritza who both spoke great English, by the way. Ahh...

 Pastor Julio and his wife, Maritza, were delightful!

Pastor Julio and his wife, Maritza, were delightful!

 We enjoyed meeting this precious girl, a "little person," who attends Maritza's school.

We enjoyed meeting this precious girl, a "little person," who attends Maritza's school.

Steve, Mesa and Mary have graciously invited Abby and me to return to the DR to do further training. Would you join us in prayer as we seek the Lord's will about this? One thing we do know, if we decide to return we'd like to learn a bit of Spanish. No debería ser muy difícil, ¿verdad?