Dominican Republic Mission


Thursday, March 6 through Monday, March 17

The 2008 mission trip marks the tenth trip to the Dominican Republic. Dr. Tony Torres has led every one for a decade. Julio has provided the local transportation.

The group returned to the north of the country of the Dominican Republic. Besides the intense work and rewards of helping people experience Christian love, there is time for some relaxation: shopping, sightseeing at local museums, and absorbing rays on the beach!

  • four medical clinics—over 2000 persons seen
  • evangelistic meetings in the Sosua church
  • evening activities for the children
  • donated children's clothes were distributed
  • audio recordings of the Bible were presented to churches
  • Bibles were provided for the church members
   Etla Van Horne, R.N. (SWAU Nursing Faculty)
Tony Torres, M.D.
 Southwestern Nursing Faculty:
   Catherine Turner, R.N., Ph.D.
 Southwestern Students:
   Joy Clavecilla, R.N.
Summer Cox
Elizabeth Fagan
Wilson Rivas
Steve Rodriguez
 Other Participants:
   Tom Bell
Jeanette Castillo (Corpus Christi)
Teo Espiritu, M.D. (Corpus Christi)
Margaret Eustace, R.N.
Margery Johnson
John Loeckle (Corpus Christi)
Rocio Rodriguez
John Sygal, M.D. (Corpus Christi)
Dedra Torres
Lawrence Turner, Ph.D., (SWAU faculty)
 Bus Master:
   Julio Ramirez with Ernesto

From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.
Arthur Ashe      

From various places and at various times the group converged in the Dominican Republic; landing at Puerto Plata on the north coast of the island.. The majority traveled on Thursday, but Dr. Tony and Dedra had arrived a few days earlier to exchange funds, make arrangements, purchase medications, and all the necessary contacts. For the group leaving Keene the day started early enough to arrive at the SWAU Nursing Building at 3:00am!

Our home away from home was the Hotel Picaflores between Puerto Plata and Sosua. Besides the typical living arrangements, we had a large room for our meals and meetings as well as a room for storing and preparting the medications.

Friday was literally a day of preparation. After a morning trip to exchange money, make purchases, and phone home a good portion of the afternoon was spent in preparing the individual doses of the medication for distribution in the clinics.

During Sabbath morning several of the group attended a worship service led by Tom. Others joined in the worship at a local church. The entire group returned to the church for the first clinic of trip. The evening was devoted to an evangelistic meeting for the adults, led by Steve, and craft and story activities for the children, led by Rocio.

Sunday was a relaxing day—it was needed after the intense activities of a clinic and a evening meetings for the adults and activities for the children. The entire group spent a number of hours at the beach! The four from Corpus Christi arrived in the late afternoon in time for supper and the evening's evangelistic meeting. A few of the group stayed at the hotel and prepared medications for Monday's clinic.

Monday morning was devoted to purchasing food. The afternoon was another clinic—this one among the Haitian workers in the village of Muñoz. A number of large bags of children's clothes that were collected by the Cleburne First Seventh-day Adventist Church were given to the local pastor for distribution. The evening was a repeat of the previous two evenings with interested adults and energetic children!

A day with a clinic and evening meetings is a very grueling one. Generally clinic days are scheduled with a break day between. Tuesday was a break day! The group was driven to the base of the mountain near Puerta Plata with a statue of Christ that overlooks the city and the harbor. Fortunately the trip to the top was a leisurely cable car ride. We found at the top not only the statue but numerous walking trails through dense vegetation alive with colorful blossoms. After lunch, another short trip took the group to the Amber Museum—much amber is mined in the nearby region. The final stop of the day was at the Fort of San Felipe built centuries ago to protect the town from pirates. The evening was a continuation of the daily spiritual meetings.

Wednesday was another clinic at the town of La Goleta and evening-meetings in Sosua day. In the morning the group split—some worked on medicines for the next two clinics, some went to Sosua to exchange money and shop for food, and others washed clothes and generally caught up to date!

Following the very busy clinic day was a R&R day at the beach. Before returning the group stopped for a few minutes to look over the land donated by the Sygal's for a future clinic and support buildings just outside Sosua. The evening's meetings was greatly blessed. A number of those attending the evangelistic meetings did not have a Bible. Marge funded and made arrangements to have over fifty Bibles purchased and distributed in the next few weeks.

Friday morning was a visit to the Jewish Museum and synagogue in Sosua. In the afternoon was the last clinic, this time in the town of Islabon and the last meetings in the evening.

Sabbath was a full day with church in Sosua in the morning; a "potluck" dinner after church; a regional baptism in the afternoon in the Puerto Plata Church. Six persons from the Sosua church were among those baptized. In the evening a film on the history of the Domincan Republic was shown.

Sunday was a full day also. Etla was dropped off at the airport early in the morning, and the rest of the group spent the day at Ocean World. Everyone enjoyed the dolphin and sea lion perpormances. Several chose to swim with dolphins, sting rays, sharks, and/or sea lions in pools around the park.

The flight back to Texas was another adventure. Weather delayed everyone from a few hours to almost an entire day! But by Tuesday night everyone was snug in their own beds.

Photo Album