It’s not everyday you get to meet a living hero. Today, that’s what our DR team did!
We left our posh hotel around 8am and headed northwest through Santo Domingo. When we got off the highway, it was clear we were outside the tourist district. As we neared our destination, our in-country Compassion reps described to us that the community of Gualey was one of the top five crime areas in Santo Domingo and that drug lords control the community. Despite this, we were reassured that we would be safe because we would have protection. Talk about a warm fuzzy!
Soon after this heads up, the van stopped. We had arrived at the Compassion project where our CSP was located. We exited the van and two seconds later we entered the first floor church to see about 100 mothers, babies, and students. It felt like we were pushed onto a stage at a rock concert. It was a little awkward at first, but then reality set in. We were looking at the mothers and babies that are fully supported by our company. You could see the warmth and appreciation in their eyes. That was an awesome moment in time worth repeating!
After singing and dancing with everyone in the church, we toured the project and saw the CSP facilities and how the program is administered. We also got a chance to walk through the community and make some home visits to families that are being supported by the CSP program. Despite the crime warning, we felt extremely comfortable walking around and it gave us a new perspective on what struggles the CSP families deal with daily.
Despite the extreme physical and mental poverty, one thing that was inspiring was the people who make the CSP, Compassion project, and church work. Pastor Pablo and the Compassion staff were amazing. Pastor Pablo is not just a pastor. He plays many roles. Sometimes he’s a father to the students, a big brother to the mothers, a marriage counselor to couples, and director of the whole project. Pastor Pablo and his staff are the real heroes. They go into homes, address child neglect, spousal abuse, and general health issues. Without these courageous folks, the CSP wouldn’t work.
We’re excited to do the easy part and get the dollars and cents distractions out of the way so these living heros can focus on making a difference! Click here to read on about Day 2!