8th March 2018

“Everyone should go on a mission trip at least once!” That was pastor Christian Salcianu’s conclusion after he joined a mission to provide humanitarian assistance to the Dominican Republic from 25 February to 5 March.

Group photo of missionary volunteers in the Dominican RepublicThe mission trip was conceived by youth directors from the British Union to provide a practical, hands-on response to reports of devastation caused by the recent hurricanes and earthquakes in the territory of the Inter-America Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

The excitement was palpable as a team of 17 young professionals, including six pastors and church workers departed. Pastor Christian Salcianu, associate youth sponsor of the Irish Mission of Seventh-day Adventists joined the team.

 building site in the dominican republic“We divided into three groups. Each had a special building or repair project. The houses we helped to build were damaged or destroyed by the hurricanes,” explained pastor Christian. “The physical construction work was challenging, but also extremely rewarding as we could see the results of our labour in almost no time!”

“We did not only do physical building work,” says pastor Christian. “We helped the household to re-establish itself, amongst others, by buying a washing machine and a refrigerator.

Dominican Republic Mission trip group photoOn the Sabbath, our group took over a local Seventh-day Adventist church. We preached, participated in a Pathfinders share experience, gave special items.”

In the afternoon, the group joined forces with the local church organisation to set up a medical clinic that was attended by more than three hundred people. They came for general check-ups, advice, and medicines. The medical supplies were sponsored by the British Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. During the outreach, church members extended an invitation for an upcoming evangelistic series of meetings based on Bible prophecy.

Pharmaceutical supplies distributed during mission trip to Dominican RepublicPastor Dejan Stoijković leader of the British Union Youth department, and Pastor Juan Carlos Patrick, director for ministry to teenagers in the South England Conference consulted with local volunteers, as well as church and government authorities in the Caribbean to find a place where they could provide real relief and make a meaningful intervention. This is how they eventually decided on a project in the Dominican Republic.

Pastor Dejan produced two VLOGS during the trip that captured a real sense of the adventure that the team of mission workers experienced. Many photos were also taken. If you take some time to look through them on Flickr or Facebook, you might be inspired to sign up for the next trip that will be organised. “We’re still working on the details. We plan at least one more trip to the Americas, and another to Eastern Europe. We will let you know as soon as the details become available,” says pastor Dejan.

In the first VLOG the team arrives in the Dominican Republic and six strong volunteers have their endurance tested carrying hundreds of concrete blocks up a hill! 

The second VLOG documents the team's experience of the Dominican Republic's independence celebrations. They also wonder how they are going to build the house that they were assigned to build! But watch the miracle unfold!

The third, and final VLOG features the project that Pastor Christian was involved in. On one or two occasions in the video he is a bringer of bad news, even though he claims his profession is about sharing "The Good News". The video also features an epic five-mile journey! Hopefully it inspires you to join a similar mission trip in the future.

[Weiers Coetser with Christian Salcianu]


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