The past 8 days I spent my time in the Dominican Republic. The majority of our time was spent in a part of the Dominican that tourists don’t usually see. And yet to me, it was better than any beach could ever be.
I went on a mission trip with my church to help a school in the DR by the name of Makarios. Makarios is a K-6 school with one class per grade. It offers 2 meals a day and health care to all the students. Now that is amazing. It reaches out to 3 different communities. However, not every kid within those communities goes to this school. Some kids get barely one meal a day with no education. And the highlight of my trip was helping those kids.
One of the communites, Poncho Mateo, had a little boy named Christopher who was five years old. The second I stepped out of our vans this little boy sprinted into my arms. We spent the entire day together and although there was a language barrier, we talked a bit and played A LOT. When we said bye it was extremely sad. But then the next day we went back to the same community and Chris automatically recognized me and come running into my arms yelling “KAH-TEE KAH-TEE”. That night was probably the best night I had all week.
Christopher was the happiest little boy I had ever met. Everyone I met was. I don’t know if Christopher gets 3 meals a day, or if he has a bed to sleep on, and yet he was the happiest little boy I’ve ever met. The sense of friendship and community and generosity that they had was extremely humbling. These people had nothing materialistically, and yet they were the richest people I had ever met. Their hearts were full of grace and joy, and it was beautiful.
I will never forget how I felt when I saw Christopher, or when I went to the communities. I aspire to be as kind as my friends in the DR. This trip had a remarkable impact on all of those who went on it.
We can only hope that one day, we’ll truly be as rich as those who have nothing.