The Nagasawa Family Photos
June, 2014: Mako in Haiti and the Dominican Republic
During the month of June, Mako went on a summer missions trip with InterVarsity-USA students, joining students from ADEE (Asociacion Dominicana de Estudiantes Evangelicos) in the DR.
Sunday, June 22nd
We arrived at El Puente Communitario, a ministry house right next to the university La UASD. Here is Sarah's mom Rosa, the national director of ADEE, sharing with us the vision of ADEE and what she enjoys most about campus ministry.
We had a very nice visit from Grace Donovan, who is from the Hispaniola 2013 team!
Then we went to Laura's church in the Zona Colonial.
Monday, June 23rd - Thursday, June 26th
Quite a few of our team loved playing volleyball, and walked down the Malecon to play.
We offered English and Spanish classes to mostly Haitian students studying at La UASD. We did this as a service to them, and also to invite them to a big party on Friday afternoon.
We also did proxe station outreach on campus, using a modified version of the "What Can We Do About Evil?" proxe station. This is my favorite proxe! I really enjoyed training our team in how to answer tough questions about evil, suffering, and the goodness of God.
We hosted a campus panel discussion on the topic of Dominican identity and the naturalization laws that affect primarily Haitians in the D.R. Our panelists argued that Dominican identity is influenced by an anti-Haitian and anti-African sentiment, especially after Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (1930-61) vigorously stoked fear and loathing of Haiti. It was challenging for Dominican students to hear that if it was their first time; but the U.S. students were prepared because we had watched Dr. Henry Louis Gates' PBS program, Black in Latin America.
Unfortunately, Emma got pooped on by a bird; notice the spot on her leg
And Isabel had a flying street light land on her head???
Eileen and Marcos, Sarah's younger brother, had really good conversations with people
And we did a big push of phone invitations to everyone who filled out a contact card (we talked to over 50 people directly, not counting voice mail).
Friday, June 27th
This was the big day! The "deviled eggs" team.
Arleny helped me with the chicken, both washing it with vinegar and water, and then cooking it on the stove (thanks Arleny!!) because at the last minute, the oven stopped working!!
With all four burners on in the kitchen, it must have been over 100 degrees. The camera lens instantly fogged up when Yanyi came into the kitchen.
Tiffany and Eileen working on plantains, missing Emma and Victor as the rest of the plantain team
The final dinner!
Games before the official start. About 40 people came to the big party we threw. One noticeable improvement over last year was that women came! Last year, we held it at 7:00pm, and at that time, most women at a commuter campus would have family obligations back at home. This year, we moved the time of the party up to 4:30pm. I talked to a few Haitian students of varying levels of faith commitment who expressed interest in ADEE. Please pray that some would stick around!
Folks on our team enacted the Good Samaritan parable.
Then Henrico and Elena shared stories. Henrico had a "Good Samaritan" experience. During the Haiti 2010 earthquake, Henrico was trapped for 2 days under a collapsed university building. He was able to make one phone call to his mom. She tried to get help to him, but no one came. Henrico was discovered and rescued by a group of Dominicans who had come to help Haitians after the quake. That surprised and affected him deeply because Dominicans and Haitians have had a long, uneasy, and sometimes tense relationship (we experienced that when two of the Dominican students said "hola" to greeters in a Haitian church, and they dropped their hands and didn't shake hands). Henrico decided not to go to France to study medicine, which was more prestigious. Instead, he chose to learn Spanish and come to La UASD in the Dominican Republic to show his appreciation for the fact that Dominicans saved his life. He was one of five friends from ADEE (the sister org of IVCF-USA) who came on the project.
Isabel, Elena, and Sarah performed their rendition of "At the Cross"
Marina did a great object lesson with chlorox bleach, which turned the red food colored liquid into clear liquid. She used the "new humanity" paradigm to talk about how Jesus cleanses, heals, and saves us from the corruption in our human nature.
Then, we ate!
For whatever reason, our team cleaned up and then wanted to do pushups
Arleny's pushups were quite memorable
Laura made both chocolate chip cookies and a pecan coconut chocolate pie!!
This was a-mazing.
Saturday, June 28th
In the morning, Laura, Marina, Henrico, Arleny, Brenda, and Robinson went on a 1 hr national Dominican news show!! On the left is Diana Contreras, the news journalist. In this clip, Henrico and Brenda are sharing about the missions trip. They showed pictures of our time in Haiti and Elias Pina and Santo Domingo. And they talked about some of the justice and reconciliation issues we learned about.
We visited an ADEE professionals' event at a retreat center about 40 minutes north of Santo Domingo. It was some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen.
Charles, virtually in heaven. Mango is his favorite fruit.
In the evening, Elena, Sarah, and Victor went on a radio show! They also talked about the project!
Sunday, June 29th
After team affirmations, clean up, and a last run to the market, it was time for the U.S. team to go to the airport. Although I'm glad to be home, I miss each person deeply!