What I Learned When Leaving The Country For A Mission Trip

Going To The Dominican Republic On A Mission Trip Taught Me More Than Words Can Explain

Overall this trip taught me to love others and live out a Matthew 25:35-36 life.


"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'"

- Matthew 25:35-36

A little piece of my heart will always be in the Dominican Republic. Although this was not my first mission trip, I still learned a lot. This trip taught me to put others first. This trip taught me to see the good in others. This trip taught me to love others. This trip taught me that you don't need money to be happy. This trip taught me to be okay with what I have in my life. This trip taught me that I have a purpose in life. This trip taught me that a smile can go a long way.

I learned so much about myself in the week that I was away. God has called us to love others. I barely can speak Spanish so the language barrier was a real problem but we made it work. A smile can go a long way. A smile puts everyone at ease and automatically makes everyone feel comfortable.

I accomplished a lot in the week that I was in the Dominican Republic. I could see God doing work there and it made it that much harder to leave at the end of the week. We visited an orphanage, a juvenile detention center, and a special needs home. We went into peoples homes to pray for them and give them food and water filters. We led a vacation bible school for over 200 children in a local church.

We walked into people's homes that were made from pieces of metal and wood and had sheets hanging up to separate the rooms. But the house was probably 100 square feet that on average 5 people were living in. This made me feel extremely grateful for what I do have. But seeing everyone's welcoming smiles as we entered their homes made me realize that they are content. Hearing their stories truly broke my heart but again I was able to feel so grateful for the life I have.

The things we take for granted from running water to filtered water, being able to use the tap water to brush your teeth, and being able to throw toilet paper down the toilet. All of these are simple things to us in America and things that people don't even think about.

Overall this trip taught me to love others and live out a Matthew 25:35-36 life.

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5 Key Difference In The Levels Of Hispanic Unpunctuality

Even though we're known for being late there are some key differences between our levels of unpunctuality.

Patience is a virtue, that is constantly being practiced by people in Latin America. It's not that they don’t get annoyed sometimes by the tardiness of others, but in general, they had to learn to adapt themselves and not to expect others to work as a Swiss clock.

As a disclaimer in most Latin American cultures, people account for tardiness while planning events, for example, if you were invited to a party at 6 p.m., what they’re really trying to say is that the party is starting somewhere around 6:30 or 7:00. Therefore, if you’re trying to be fashionably late you will arrive somewhere around 7:30.

Here are the 5 level of unpunctuality by Hispanics:

1. I’m almost there.

Growing up Hispanic, one of the things that bother me the most was not that someone was late, instead was the fact that they will never admit that they are late or how close they are to the location. Hispanics, love to use the quote: “I’m almost there” in order to give the impression that they are on their way and give others the false hope that their wait is almost over. When in reality they can be either too far or just waking up from their beds.

2. Trying to be on time.

There is nothing wrong with being on time, actually. Even in Latin American culture, there are places in which you are required to be on time. Generally, Hispanics are known for being late for social events, like gathering and parties. However, there is always an exception to the rule and there are those who do arrive on time and appreciate the punctuality of others. Sadly, in some cases, their level of responsibility is not reciprocated and they are forced to wait for others. But, to be honest, what’s the point of being super early when you know that someone is going to be super late?

3. Arriving when everything is over.

We all have that friend that takes fashionably late to a whole new extreme and arrives when everything is pretty much over. Being late is part of their qualities and they always arrive when no one is expecting them. Also, it’s hard to tell if they even attended an event or not because you might have just left minutes before they arrive.

4. Getting up early and being late anyways.

It's not that they wait until the last minute to get ready, their problem is that being late is part of their nature. Some people start preparing for an event at least two hours in advance, however, they assume that they have enough time to get ready and start procrastinating. They take a shower, followed by an hour break and then start preparing again and by the time that they finish it’s already late.

5. I wasn’t my fault.

Because Hispanics don’t like to admit that they are responsible for their own delays, they like to blame the traffic. They always find a way to correlate their unpunctuality with the current route conditions. According to them, a street was closed, someone in front of them was slowing down everyone else or simply the traffic was insane. But, they will never confess that they were supposed to account for traffic before leaving home in the first place.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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Will There Be A New Future For Venezuela?

What's in store for Venezuela, now that the whole world is fighting with them?


Venezuela was once the richest countries due to its abundance of petroleum. In the year 1998 Hugo Chavez became president and it all went downhill. He took charge and changed the country drastically. He became a dictator until 2013 when he died of a heart attack. Nicolas Maduro quickly came into power, being Chavez's Vice President. Maduro was deteriorating the country and soon enough Venezuela did not provide what the people needed.

People wouldn't find enough food in the supermarket, medicines were limited and people felt unsafe roaming the streets. Juan Guaidó is a politician and on January 23rd he was sworn in as interim President of Venezuela. Many countries, including the US, have recognized him as President. In the eyes of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, he is not the President, due to their support of the Maduro regime.

Nicolas Maduro, Cilia Flores Ariana Cubillos (AP)

President Trump preached about an America First policy during the election, but intervening in Venezuela's political conflict is a new approach for the President. Such as for European countries, they have also stood up and announced that they recognize the opposition leader as the interim president of Venezuela. Some countries in the EU have declared for Venezuela to have early elections to determine a permanent president. Maduro has spoken out and said that he will not step down as president or have elections. This has resulted in countries threatening to recognize Guiadó as president. Maduro has blamed all of his problems on the US, saying the world is following President Trump's lead. A major blow for Maduro was when a military official, who is stationed in Colombia, said he would follow all of Guiaddó's orders since he is now the leader.

As for now, Venezuela is still fighting for its freedom, but they do have hope and see a new horizon, a new beginning.

Juan Guiadó Venezuelans intirem President.CBC News (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

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