Team Dominican Republic

by Michelle Siemens '06

Team Dominican Republic (DR) was an eight person medical team whose desire was to use their medical skills to minister to the impoverished in areas of limited access to healthcare. Serving through mobile medical clinics, health education, and health promotion, their primary target was the Haitian sugarcane workers in the plantation villages outside the city of La Romana.

In the course of the three week trip, Team DR saw over 1,200 patients. They braved the rough roads, crazy drivers, and tropical storms to give out medication, conduct physicals, treat wounds, and refer patients to other health care agencies. They ministered in the capital city of Santo Domingo, as well as in the bateys outside of La Romana. The group also taught classes to the health promoters and medical personnel at the local Good Samaritan Hospital. The opportunity to teach the people proved to be a blessing as it provided an education that would have a lasting effect, and continue to change lives after departure.

Although the trip was challenging in many ways, Team DR emerged from the experience spiritually strengthened. Many of the people living in the bateys are bound by voodooism. The team and its audience learned more about the amazing power of prayer and the reading of scripture in changing lives. One of the team’s themes throughout the trip was, “Victory in Jesus.” Singing songs of praise, praying, and reading scripture about the victory found in Jesus encouraged both team members and locals. To see God work through faith in His promises served as an incredible experience for each team member.

The mobile clinic ministry was overwhelmingly fulfilling for Team DR, knowing they had met needs in tangible ways.