Each year, Maranatha offers at least two projects specifically for families of all kinds, usually in the summer and over the Christmas holiday. One of these mission trips recently wrapped up in the Dominican Republic with 92 volunteers serving near the capital city of Santo Domingo. Each day, two groups worked in construction at separate sites, in extreme heat and humidity, laying block walls for the Caleta 4 Seventh-day Adventist Church and pouring the slab foundation of the Hacienda Estrella Church.

A third team provided a fresh coat of paint to the La Caleta 2 Church. Another volunteer team provided medical clinics in the community, seeing around 200 patients each day. Others led Vacation Bible School (VBS) programs for community children, and health education in various neighborhoods.

One of the special aspects of Maranatha’s Family Projects is the unique day camp that volunteer children take part in, allowing them to experience construction, local culture, and outreach activities throughout the mission trip. Ten volunteer kids took part in day camp on this project, working hard to lay block walls, painting, and helping with kitchen duties. They participated in community outreach by grocery shopping and distributing food to those in need, entertaining neighborhood children who were waiting with their parents at the medical clinic, as well as assisting with VBS. Kids also experienced local culture and had fun by visiting a chocolate factory, a cave with three lakes, a zoo, a water park, and a park at the beach.

“It was very satisfying to watch the kids do these things for other people, not complaining about the heat,” said day camp coordinator Chris Duckett. “You could see they weren’t afraid to make friends, step out of their comfort zone, and do their best to speak some Spanish.”