Member notes and letters - Mission Trips

4th Foreign Mission Trip to The Dominican Republic by Doyle Heimann

On January 19, 2008,  I will join the
fourth foreign mission trip's team of adults to the Dominican Republic  from the First Baptist Church of Downers Grove. We will complete a second floor addition for a pre-school building in the Palo Blanco "Barrios" (slum area) which have rat-infested shacks with dirt floors and drafty walls made from scraps of wood and tin. This location is about 20 minutes from Jarabacoa, a small village in the center of the Dominican Republic. The area adults will also have the opportunity to learn to read and write. The team's projects include painting, plumbing and electrical work. We will also have an opportunity to minister to the children, at the EI Arca orphanage for a couple afternoons.

Doyle Heimann

Other team volunteers: Doug Artis, Bob Beine, Fernando Garza, Greg Gunderson, Kyle Haring, Tom Haring, Shayne Healey, Ed McCabe, Paul Pleva, Kathleen Reilly, Bryan Rimmer, Jeanne Rimmer and Lety Yon Kerens.
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3rd Foreign Mission Trip to The Dominican Republic by Doyle Heimann

In February 2006, I went with 20 adults from the First Baptist Church to help with various stages of construction on two homes in an orphanage named EL Arca of The Ark. The orphanage is located in Jarabacoa, a small village in the center of the Dominican Republic. This new home allowed new orphans the opportunity to be cared for and educated in the name of Jesus Christ. Our projects included painting, pouring cement, plumbing and electrical work. We had other opportunities to minister to the children, both at The Ark and in the nearby "Barrios" (slum areas), which have rat-infested shacks with dirt floors and drafty walls made from scraps of wood and tin.

Doyle Heimann, D.C.
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Foreign Mission Trip to The Dominican Republic by Doyle Heimann

It was just before Thanksgiving of 1999 that I first heard about a missions trip to the Dominican Republic.  It was a simple announcement in our church bulletin.  Another church in the area Wheaton Bible Church, was partnering with Kids Alive International, located in Valparaiso Indiana.  Kids Alive operates orphanages all around the world and one of the largest is in the D.R., called El Arca.  Kids Alive organizes church groups schools or youth groups of a few people to groups of 20 or so.  These groups work on repairs of the facility or in new construction of homes.

We left for the D.R.  On Saturday the first week of January 2000.  This was my first trip out the country.  After two plane fights we took a bus for about three and a half hours into the mountains to a town called Jarabacoa. The house we stayed in was plain but adequate, all painted concrete with electricity and bathrooms.  The electricity was not dependable and the water was not safe for drinking.  They have a poor septic system in the D.R. so all paper products are burned not flushed.  On Sunday we went to the Spanish speaking church. That was were we first met the kids of the El Arca, they would just sit right next to you.  Everyone was so friendly.

Our first day of work was Monday.  We were divided into work groups base on levels of skill or experience.  My profession is Chiropractic; I was also the team "nurse".  However I have an extensive construction background.  I was ready to build, build, and build.  I was assigned to minor repairs like window screen replacement.  It seemed that everyone else was working on plumbing and electrical in teams, fellowshipping, working together and having a great time.  I was disappointed and wondering why am I doing this stuff, my abilities could be used better elsewhere.  I remember questioning God.  An hour or two into my projects I had 3 or 4 little boys watching me replace the window screens.  A little later I had them helping me with the job.  It was then, that I realized that I had the better job I got to be right with the kids and interact with them.  A short while later I heard a bunch of the kids yelling outside.  I went outside and one of the staff was walking with a little girl who had fallen at the playground.  They asked me to look at her arm. I did and I said I was sure that it was broken.  They asked me go to the hospital with them. Now things are really changing.  I went from woe is me to I'm helping cast this little girl's arm at the hospital.

I am getting the opportunity to experience unique things that were available only because I doing a lowly job.  I was right where God wanted me to be.  And little did I know that I made a friend for life.  That little girl's name was Rubelina, I am now one of her sponsors. All this and my first day at El Arca was not even over. The week continued with me working on special projects and with having a shadow buddy giving me small flowers and other little gifts.  During the evening the team shared experiences and what they had learned.  Later in the week, I was also involved with leading up a team to make a small bridge and a couple of sidewalks.  When Friday came I was off to the hospital with Rubelina again.  During the week I had several opportunities to treat (give adjustments, that what Chiropractors do) several of our team members for migraine headaches with back complaints

Our last evening with the kids ended with a party.  The following day we had a little R&R at the beach and flew home back to the states, not without a delay however. The trip was quite an experience.  I learned several things.  1) No matter how special or qualified we think we are, it is God who knows where and when we are needed.   2) God can and does use anyone for his purpose.  3) When you go planning to help someone, that is to be a blessing to someone, it is often the case that you are truly the one receiving the blessing.

Doyle J. Heimann, D.C.
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