December 5, 2013
December 5, 2013
by Kristin ~ Jackson, MS

During the month of October 2013, my husband and I had the opportunity to travel to Barahona, Dominican Republic and spend time with the Hispanola Mountain Ministries staff. Leading up to our trip, we were extremely busy and focused on our work, daily goals and checklists. Our departure date arrived more quickly than we realized, and suddenly, we found ourselves en route to a life changing experience.
After landing in Santo Domingo, we hopped in a van for a few hours, headed for the Barahona HMM compound. This building has been “home” to many groups that have stayed or passed through en route to Haiti, and will forever hold a special place in my heart. The HCBC team studied several verses in the mornings on the balcony of the compound, but Mark 10:14-15 spoke to our hearts all week. Our trip to Barahona was one of the greatest experiences of my life; How He calls us, loves us, and equips us with what we need to serve Him in the midst of such great need is truly awesome.
Most of our time was spent on painting the new children’s church. It is SO amazing to read earlier posts on this blog and see teams that worked on its foundation, etc. To know God uses each of us as part of one body for his Kingdom and purpose is so cool!  In the midst of all the heat, sweat and painting, we realized it wasn’t about painting the building at all – it was about the sweet children that will soon be lifting their voices to Jesus in that place! The children in that community flocked to the church while we were painting and wanted nothing more than to RUN into it, sit in it, play in it and sing and worship in it. They can’t wait to be there, and I am so thankful for their lessons of childlike faith and eagerness to worship they shared with us.
By far, the hardest part of the trip was not going, coming up with the money or even the actual physical labor…the hardest part was leaving. My husband and I left our hearts in Barahona, and I don’t know if we’ll ever be the same. I wondered as we drove away – how can you love so deeply so fast? In those moments, I realized what He was trying to tell me all week…how simple He really intended it to be. God clearly said in His first two commandments to “Love God and Love People.” The team of HMM lives that out daily, and I am so grateful for them teaching us to simply “Love God and Love His People.” Sometimes we think our worlds are so different, but we were reminded how universal HIS LOVE is. I am so grateful to God for the vision of HMM and the dedication for this ministry and these people. We will look forward to the day when we can go back and be changed all over again. 
Kristin ~ Jackson, Miss