Home Safe & Sound

Hey guys,

I'm home! I had to change my flight to get out of there before the hurricane, but I'm back safely. I already want to go back, but I'm glad to see my family and friends :)

These last two weeks I worked in the health education department. After the patients see the doctors at the clinics, they come to "health ed" while the pharmacy is preparing their prescriptions. There we give talks about health issues and present the Gospel. My friend Lindsey and I prepared and delivered talks on nutrition, clean water, exercise, avoiding high blood pressure, etc. To clear up what my mom said in an earlier email, the goal in health ed is to find ways to live healthy lifestyles within the resources in the community. This public health and spiritual ministry is what I consider the most important part of the clinic. This was definitely my favorite two weeks because I got to know a lot of the Dominican workers and volunteers better. I worked with some amazing people in health ed, who presented solid preaching and Bible teaching to the patients. It really inspired me to be more confident and bold in my faith. I also enjoyed hanging out with them in the evenings. Also, the other Americano participants on the trip were all students, except for two doctors and a nurse. They were a fun group, and we had a lot of laughs. This whole summer was life-changing and full of miracles for me. I realized not only that there are people with great physical and spiritual needs in the world, but also (and more significantly) that I can do something to help.

It was really emotionally difficult for me to come home, but I know that I need to finish my studies so I can have the skills to be more useful in medical missions in the future. I left a large part of my heart in the Dominican Republic, and I have a family there that, God willing, will remain close. I would love to share more of my experiences and pictures with anyone who is interested, and I want to hear about your summers! (So if you email me now, I'll get back to you :) )

When I was talking to my Mom today about all the things that hit me about this summer, one of my favorite quotes came to mind: "The rich are not those who have the most, but who need the least." I encourage each one of you to experience the freedom and wealth of contentment. I understand joy and love differently now, both having to do with thinking of others before yourself. God wants us to depend on Him and each other, so don't be afraid to have deep, meaningful relationships that allow you to ask for help and give some in return. Take risks for what you believe in so you have no regrets. I pray that each of you continues to have experiences that stretch your faith and world view, that help us grow closer to each other as we grow closer to Christ.

Dios les bendiga mucho.

With love,