Palisades Christian Academy Sends Students to the Dominican Republic
“I will never again doubt that I am very privileged,” says Abigail Pedersen, a student at Palisades Christian Academy (PCA) in Spokane, Wash. “I knew the people in that country were going to be poor, and at first it was a little shocking.”
Pedersen was referring to the two-week mission trip that PCA took in March to the Dominican Republic. Led by Ruth Lenz, one of PCA’s teachers, 25 seventh- through 10th-graders were accompanied by 16 adults, making a team of 42 who split into five teams:
A block crew that built a Sabbath School addition onto an Adventist Maranatha church in Barharona;
A foundation crew that built the foundation for the Fudeco Church, a church family that had been waiting for a church of their own for more than 25 years;
A paint crew who painted the Fidelidad Church, recently built by another Maranatha team;
A medical crew of three doctors, one dentist and one dental assistant who saw well over 70 patients per day combined, including many Haitian refugees or poor with no medical help available;
A Vacation Bible School crew that conducted two VBS programs per day at two different churches for the community children.
In addition to these projects, the group was able distribute 144 new pairs of shoes, 100 Steps to Christ, 1,000 GLOW (Giving Light to Our World) tracts, medical supplies for the local clinic, communion supplies for the two new churches, and money for a protective block wall and a children’s Sabbath School room at the Fidelidad Church.
“This trip has taught me many things," says Joelle Townsend, a PCA student. "We are so privileged in America, but we take everything for granted. The people in the Dominican Republic were happy with little things. I have been truly humbled.”
Another student, Rafael Grigoryan, adds, “I think that on this mission trip I felt God’s presence a lot more and truly understood how much God cares about us. There were times when it took a miracle to carry us through, but we made it. God is great!"