Walking through the halls of the hospital last week, I flashed back to 25 years ago when I was on the same piece of land pouring wheelbarrows of cement into the holes in the ground for the footings of what would become the Good Samaritan Hospital (El Buen Samaritano Hospital). I knew in 1990 my life was being impacted, but my realization during my two week stay in 2015 is that my heart will forever be with the poor in the Dominican Republic.
The landscape of La Romana literally speaks to me with echoes of “you are home” and “this is where you belong”. The endless miles of cane set in a backdrop of mountains mesmerizes me and I find myself longing for the bus rides out to the bateyes just to take in the view. The random sighting of cane workers, appearing so weathered by their harsh living conditions, set against the beauty around them, stirs my soul. I ask myself, “could I endure the life of the cane cutter and still be as joy-filled?”
A young man on Batey 80 talked to me of his confusion and questioning about the suffering around him and where God was in that. I admitted I didn’t have all the answers. After a long talk and sharing of scripture and God’s love demonstrated by sending Jesus to stand in our place paying for our sins on the cross, he accepted Jesus as his savior! It was so moving to watch him as he prayed and what came next. He said he felt different, he felt as though someone was hitting the delete button in his brain and all of his sinful past was being erased. His eyes showed a depth of thought I have never seen. It was as though he could physically see his thoughts. I have stayed in contact with him through his limited use of Facebook. Remarkably, he has self taught himself to speak/write enough English that we get by. “Don’t drop me” he asks, worried I will forget him. His most recent communication humbled me and blew me away with his insight. “It is not bad luck to be born poor, it isn’t good luck to grow rich, but each one with the task that God assigned us… to show our love…the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich”.
(This is actually how he wrote it: is not a bad luck to born poor it´isent a good luck to grow rich but each one with the task that God assined us… to show our love…the riches with the poors and the poors with the riches)
I return to the states not wondering IF I will return to LaRomana, but longing to return now.
– Aimee Powers
For more info on the DR Mission Team, please visit drmissionteam.org or search #DRMT15 on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.