Our last day working & the team's final words

Written by: 
The EVE team

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For our last day of work in the Dominican, the team travelled to the youth detention centre where we met with the directors of the prison who explained the programs  offered to the boys who are there. They currently have approximately 160 boys ages 13-25; however, they can hold up 350. We then split into two groups and spent some time talking with the boys about violence, post traumatic growth, and the importance of staying strong and having hopes and dreams for their future. The boys were very engaged, present in the conversation and eager to participate. One special moment was when one of the boys put his hand up and asked if we thought that there was hope for him and if we thought that he could change. The team was impressed with the programs and services that the prison offers to the boys to set them up for success when they are able to adjust back to normal life. Following a tour of the grounds, the team loaded up into the van to head back to pack up as our work in the Dominican Republic is complete. 

Gillian: I am honoured to be a part of this amazing group of women. Every workshop and program we ran this week has been a success. The participants were left full of knowledge and eager to share information. It was clear to see that our EVE messages will continue to spread through the Dominican and that’s really all we can hope for. 

Debbie V.: What an amazing visit to the youth prison. It was my turn to speak to the young men, and all of a sudden words of encouragement just came flowing out of my mouth. It was like something took over my mind, and I could tell the boys were engaged and listening. I love these trips because of the joy I see on the children’s faces everywhere we visit. I truly believe that I learn more than the people whom we are teaching.

Barb M.: When I hear people say our cup runs over, I sometimes wonder what that really means. I learned what it meant for me on this trip: from the amazing communities we visited, so full of love and caring and the people who serve and help anchor them, to the beautiful school children, so full of caring and wisdom, to the young men at the detention center, who staff believe in and have hope for their future, and amazing teammates, so strong, so loving, so caring...so my cup runneth over with love and gratitude for this physical and spiritual journey. 

Shonah: It was a different trip for me, and I wasn’t able to be involved as much as I wanted to be and missed that, but I so appreciated our team, the staff at Pro Infancia and Juan Thomas. They cared for me so well. I made lots of K9 friends. 💝

Ang: Sometimes things don’t always go as planned, and really, they rarely do. What impacted me on this trip is that when we let go, there is room for the supernatural to happen and the Spirit to move. I am so honored to be a part of this team of amazing women who leaned into the Spirit’s leading, supported each other and built bridges of connection for life change.

Abby: God designed us to need each other. On this trip we saw the power of connection and working together to discover solutions! As the team, we overcame challenges as we worked together, but we also witnessed such beautiful collaboration and dedication from all of the participants in each workshop and all of our partners. We are confident that EVE’s message will continue on after we leave!

Patty: We were so incredibly honored this week to present our program to the Dominican Republic's Ministry for Women and Ministry of Public Health. They showed their commitment by attending every session we held: three inspectors from the Ministry of Health attended our leadership training in New Jerusalem, two doctors  from the Ministry of Health and Consuelo, the social worker from the Ministry for Women, attended our leadership training in Juan Thomas, and Dr. Betty from the Ministry of Public Health attended our session at the youth prison. Carlos of Pro Infancia told us our presence had helped solidify their relationships with these government ministries. Our hope is that the ministry officials who attended our sessions can report back the value of working with their communities in ending violence.

Debbie D: This trip to Dominican Republic was my fourteenth humanitarian mission with the EVE team. When we return to Canada, our friends and family will congratulate us for our accomplishments and maybe ask some questions about what we did. We are seldom asked “Why do you do this work”? It’s a question that we struggle to explain. What is our motivation? Food, accommodations and weather are less than ideal. Little sleep, long days and changing itineraries is the reality. So why? Yesterday we were invited to speak in a youth prison to a group of young men. The discussions included how they could use their experiences to help others in similar circumstances, and how their lives were just starting and they had an opportunity for change. But more importantly than that they matter, their dreams matter, and they are deserving of love and forgiveness. Abby talked about God’s love and the importance of prayer. A flood of emotions overcame me, and as I turned I saw tears in the eyes of our field partner and the representative from the Ministry of Health. Sometimes we don’t know how much it means to just tell someone “we care” and allow God’s love to shine through. That’s my “why”.

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