Dominican Republic (MNN) — There are many ways one can extend Christ’s love, whether through giving, praying or…sweating?
Yesterday we told you about the Sweat Hawgs and their work on the island of Hispaniola. They take short-term mission trips every year, led by Food for the Hungry volunteer Doug Geist. They’re meeting physical and spiritual needs, but how exactly did they come to be?
The idea came in 2001 when Geist was asked to go on a FH Vision trip with his Central Christian Church in Mesa, Arizona.
“From there, that led into leading teams to go to our first community in the Dominican Republic called Puello,” Geist explains.
Now, Geist leads two trips per year. He brings two teams–a medical and a construction team–which do projects such as build latrines and hold dental, medical, and veterinarian clinics primarily in the Placer Bonito community.
They are only in the D.R. for less than three weeks per year, so one might wonder just how effective they can be. But through a well-organized partnership with FH, they’re making a difference.
“We have to rely on Food for the Hungry’s follow-up which is year-round,” Geist says. “That’s another reason why…this community development concept works well: […] FH is in those communities year-round.
“We’re there primarily for two reasons: one, to serve God. And the second, to serve Food for the Hungry. So we take [FH’s] suggestions as to what…we can focus on. We accentuate their strategy and their teachings and projects and so on. In a way, we’re helping them, and that’s obviously creating a benefit to the community.”
Does this sound like something you would want to get involved in? For the small sacrifice of physical energy, you can make an eternal difference.
“If you have a real desire to impact and establish relationships with people in other cultures and walk along beside them long-term to help them improve their lives in terms of…spiritual, economic, social and physical,… then that’s exactly the type of thing that Food for the Hungry does,” Geist says.