Dominican Republic – June 2016

dom02After a rocky beginning that had us leaving one of our team members behind, we made our way to the DR. And then we started a joyous trip. I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart — down in my heart — down in my heart to stay. Joyful, joyful we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above. These are tunes that perfectly describe the Dominicans we worked with and served with on this mission trip. We also have wonderful relations with the team that came from Kenedy. All this resulted in a trip full of joy and wonderful reunions with Dominican friends and Kennedy friends. Our tasks were not quite as challenging as past years, but we were still able to touch the lives of many young people through English camps (working with Dominicans to improve their English) and VBS. We were also fortunate enough to visit the orphanage in Monet Plata where we worked on construction of a transitions home, played with the kids and cooked and ate a meal with them. It was a great chance for us to show God’s love to these precious children. We were able to share with them some wonderful clothes that were made by our Trinity ladies. There was much joy in their faces. We had some lovely bonding during our session of cutting out sheep heads and legs for a craft project — lots of laughter and sore hands — and joy (that we finished). On the third floor where the sewing room is, we found some very accomplished ladies sewing costumes for a pageant that will be presented in July. They were sooooo grateful for the sewing supplies and kept telling us that it was an answer to prayer. The construction crew built some very fine bookshelves and some great playground equipment. Children were already joyously playing on them. It was a trip of joy, renewed relationships – beginning relationships, sad farewells, and looking forward to the next chance to minister to these joyous Dominicans.

Jan Cody



My reflections from a week on the DR Mission Trip:
  • Loved renewing friendships from previous years in the DR
  • Loved making new relationships with people at IBQ Church,
    Kennedy Mission Team, and individuals at our own ministry sites
  • Loved giving smiles, hugs, and kisses to Dominican children at VBS
  • Loved seeing the girl we sponsor and seeing how much she has grown and to be able to encourage her in her school work
  • Loved seeing progress of projects we have worked on in the past and how they are being used to glorify God
  • Loved seeing active sewing classes. We began the sewing
    ministry about 4 years ago.
  • Loved seeing the faith of the Dominican people lived out even in very primitive and simple situations
  • Loved that we are supported by Trinity-a mission minded church
  • Loved seeing the pantry filled with foods purchased with World Hunger Funds for the school that we have worked with for 10 years.
  • Loved that as we started to leave and asked to pray with the pastor and his wife )at 4am) and his prayer request was “that we would pray for God to give them (the church) another ministry site!

Praise God for the trip!

LaVerne Boles



The DR trip of 2016 was an amazing blessing to me and to our team. Every year we get to serve there we are blessed, but this year was especially blessed. Our days were filled with work and service, but we weren’t over burdened with work. My main thing is always construction. This year we built playground equipment and book shelves. We built a train for the kids to play on and a swing set. One blessing was when we got to deliver and set up the train, swing set, and install shelves in the school library. We got it set up and enjoyed watching the neighborhood kids play on all the playground equipment. As always I come back challenged to have the faith in my daily walk that the Dominican people have. In spite of their poverty they walk in faith .

Rick Boles


During this trip we were able to see the projects that Trinity has been a part of for the past 10 years. The people and the church IBQ were generous and delightful to get to know this week. God showed us that ministry works both ways and that the open heart has so many available opportunities for God to grow you. Being my first time in the DR, I was blessed by the ministry at the orphanages and look forward to seeing how God uses the transition homes we helped with.
Carrie Sparkman
With this being my first mission trip God really showed me how He can be powerful no matter who you are or where you live, or what language you speak. I enjoyed meeting new people, and liked working with the Kenedy team.
Chrislyn Sparkman
I am thankful for the opportunity to have this experience.  I made many new friends and that friendship extends beyond language and nationality. God taught me that I need to be less selfish and think of others.
Caleb Boles
The Dominican Mission Trip taught me so much. First I have come to see just how beautiful and diverse is the body of Christ. It transcends language and explanation . I have also come to see that it is better to be wealthy in love and faith than in riches. I will never forget this experience.
Julie Boles



Trip began with disappointment-one of our members did not get to come.

Travel was good except luggage for  2 of the Kenedy group did not arrive with us. Came a couple of days later

Construction crew got along well making bookshelves, counter tops, play ground equipment and train for the playground. Built above Tuesday & Wednesday-delivered & set up Thursday until after dark. Children & their parents showed up to play & take pictures. Many, many smiling faces

Wednesday night service was full of testimonies & prayer requests ending with couples praying together (American & Dominican together) each praying in their language.

Friday– Trip to orphanage to see new building & we got to move a few hundred cinder blocks from the ground to the second floor using an assembly line of Americans & orphans. I do not remember dropping any as we swung them to each other up a muddy, slippery set of very rough stairs which were hard to climb without a cinder block. Had lunch in separate orphanage homes & got to play with the children after lunch. Manuel is embedded in my mind.

Saturday Pastor John, Pastor Matthew & myself (we keep looking for Luke to make our set complete) taught about a dozen or so pastors, leaders, etc. from 8:30 to 3pm and had lunch with them & their wives. They seemed to appreciate our efforts.

Sunday worship was beyond words. The singing was marvelous and when the Pastor started a verse the majority of the congregation quoted it with him. It was a glorious representation of how the body, the local church, should look & act.

Sunday afternoon I got the privilege to speak to the leadership of the church and they received the word with gladness.

I pray He produces much more fruit.

Mark Clemons


dom31Dominican Republic Mission Trip…
Learning new ideas and teaching techniques
Loving and being loved by new friends
Leaning more…on God


After going to Mexico on TBC mission trips for almost thirty years, I found the Dominican Republic mission trip VBS planners used some different approaches, such as having color-coded teams of boys and girls. I followed the Red team of girls ages 12+ who…led by our energetic Dominican young adult leader…won the last day competition with a lively chant, red hair bands and painted faces. As a ESL teacher of both middle school (now retired) and adult classes, I loved working with Tina from Kennedy who led the English Camp for the youth at the church. Even the shy ones practiced their English playing her inventive learning games.

The young Dominican adults’ commitment to their church and the schools which it and STCH (South Texas Children’s Home ministries) support, as well as their career aspirations were impressive. Harold and his wife Sara (both 26) will be heading up the Rosa Elena School as teacher/principal and counselor respectively. He wants to obtain a degree in school administration and finance. Valentina (32), the vivacious leader of the yellow team of 3-6 year olds, wears many hats as Assistant to Rebecca, the Director of the Samuel Fund through which young people and their families receive monthly support for education via sponsors such as our team leaders Rick and LaVerne Boles. Her goal is to become an attorney!

At the orphanage in Monte Plata, Valentina and I conducted a mini-VBS using the craft we at TBC had prepared for the parable of The Lost Sheep. Valentina placed a little robe and staff on young boy to be the shepherd and chose a tyke to hold the example of the sheep craft while hiding out. She ended by explaining how Jesus wanted each of them to invite Jesus into their hearts. For those who had already done so, she explained salvation was a one-time thing; but Christians young and old need to pray daily for God’s guidance, study the Bible and ask for forgiveness for any wrongs they might have done to their siblings or friends. Afterwards each child made their lost sheep. Later Harold led the group of both adults and kids in a fun game. He called out a random number. Those who couldn’t link up in a group would have to sit down! Imagine the hilarious task of huddling up in groups of 10!

For me, the DR Mission Trip was filled with learning, love, and inspiration!!!

Blessings, Jody McCulley


dom39God has blessed Trinity Baptist Church through the years of her continued support of Iglesia Bautista Quisquiana in Villa Mella, Santo Domingo. Once again it was encouraging to see our Dominican brothers and sisters as they continue to reach out through their church to share the gospel and make a difference. Those in leadership at the church are so hungry to serve the Lord. It has been a blessing over the last few years to plan for leadership development among their leaders and ministers. It was also a double blessing to see how far Rosa Elena’s school has come knowing that Trinity Baptist Church has had such a vital role in taking a small dwelling to an established school in the neighborhood. We are so blessed to have had the opportunity of seeing one of God’s humble servants share life with her community. Rosa Elena was one of God’s special people. We learned recently that she has gone on to her eternal glory. The words really ring true, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”  Psalm 116:15 (ESV) Thank you Trinity for not only making a difference in a place but also among a people.

Pastor John