"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.