Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sea World Trip

Before our Trip to the Dominican Republic, we went on a family vacation
to San Antonio.  We stayed at the Radisson Hill Country resort.  We went on a 
Wednesday and stayed until Friday.  Wednesday after getting to the resort, we 
swam at the pool for a few hours and then headed to the Riverwalk and ate at
a Mexican restaurant.  When we got back, the resort had a movie going outside projected up on the building.  They have a bunch of fire pits with chairs surrounding them.  We took advantage of the smores kits that you could buy.  So, we sat around the fire pit eating smores and watched Alvin and the Chipmunks.  It was really nice and relaxing.  Thursday, we went to Seaworld all day.  It was a long day, but we had a great time.  The kids loved Shamu and all the different shows that they offered.  We also tried out the waterpark there at Seaworld.  It was all so much fun.  We came back to the resort and had dinner at the resort and watched Finding Nemo outside on the side of the building.  Friday we packed up and headed for a shopping center.
All in all, we had a great time.  We recommend Sea World to anybody.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Day 3 in the D.R.

Today was our last day for visiting the Compassion International projects.  We went to a more rural area today and visited with the children there.  At first we went to one of the kid's homes.  His name is David and he lives with his parents and his two siblings.  We were just so stunned at the living conditions here.  The pollution was just hard to even describe.  They cannot drink the tap water in fear of getting diseases and illnesses.  Today's visit really was heavy on my heart and my heart went out to all of these kids.  It was really hard to take in all that I saw and the amount of pollution was just unbearable.  

David and his tutor at Compassion with his two sisters at his home.

After our visit with David, we went back to the church/Compassion center and played with the kids outside.  Some played soccer, while others played jump rope.  A group of girls came to me fascinated with my cameras and wanted me to take pictures of them.  They loved for me to take the picture and then show them.  What is so humbling for me is that in these pictures, these kids look just as normal as you would see in the U.S., but when you visit their homes, you see how they live and it is nothing short of tragic.  You can see God shining through their smiles and joy illuminates them because of this incredible opportunity that Compassion has offered them.  They have hope for once in their lives and can possible dream a big dream for themselves.  I am so blessed to have witnessed these past few days and I wouldn't trade this experience for anything.  I am a changed person because of this and after seeing what I have seen, I feel I have a responsibility to be a voice for these kids.  I hope that your life will be changed just by seeing these beautiful faces.

This is it for now, but I plan on trying to put together a video of all the photos and video footage that we took.  I am eager to show you all just how much this experience has impacted me.  

Goodnight and God Bless  :  )


Day 2 in the Dominican Republic

Yesterday was our 2nd day to go out and visit a Compassion project.  We learned a lot about the behind the scenes of Compassion and what actually makes it all work and fall into place.  I was absolutely impressed with how organized and efficient they are with everything.  

We also got to meet the band's sponsor child.  Her name is Raquel.  She is seven years old and lives with her parents and her 9 other siblings.  They all live in a tiny shack looking home.  All the kids sleep in one full size bed.  She is absolutely beautiful and sweet.  We were able to go to her home and meet her family which we originally had not planned.  We met her mom and a few of her siblings.  They were very excited to meet us and thank us for sponsoring Raquel.  The picture at the bottom is a picture of her mom and some siblings.  This program that she is in not only helps her in a huge way, but it allows the entire family to benefit from her experience.  She is able to reciprocate what she learns to her siblings and her parents.  

Robbie, Liz, Ryan and I put together a bag full of toys, a dress, art supplies, a doll and many other things.  She absolutely loved it as you can see.  You could tell that she was proud of it and that she could call it her own.  I was absolutely moved by her and her family.  Their love and faith in God is evident in their smiles.  Despite all that is happening around them and in their home, they still seem be so happy and content.  I ask all of you to keep her and her family in your prayers.