Success in the DR

This year In the Dominican Republic I decided not to do a daily journal. Actually, I didn’t decide to not do a daily journal entry, I just didn’t do it. So it was not a conscious decision but by default. I was ask to do a devotion toward the end of the second week and I shared on a topic that comes up frequently for all of us as we return home from a mission trip.

Inevitably, as we return people will ask, “How was the trip, was it successful?” So in anticipation of that question, I began to think and ponder the trip and our time in the DR. I first sought the Webster’s definition of success because I knew that success had to be more than a money or business term. I found that success can be defined many ways but the first definition was: the favorable termination of endeavors or the accomplishment of one’s goals. I also look to the antonym or the opposite and found failure. Then I went to my Bible software favorite, You Version and searched for success. I found more references than I could ever look up and read that success is something separate from financial prosperity. 1 Samuel 16:14 says “In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him” speaking of David. In Proverbs i8:18 it says “with me are riches and honor, prosperity and success.” So, success appears to be much more the monetary gains. So, I chose to look upon the success of the trip in light of the attainment of our goals.

If you are like me, you probably don’t spend a lot of you day setting daily, weekly or even monthly goals. But in regards to the mission trip each year, I do spend some time setting goal and planning for our trip. So I thought I’d share with you some of them and the results of our Monte Plata 2014 trip.

Goal One: Glorify God

This one is pretty basic in the life of a Christian. Everywhere we read in the Old and New Testament we are told over and over that our only job is to glorify God in all that we say and do. Everything is secondary. So, I can say that what we did in the DR was for the glory of God and we tried to be his witnesses and ambassadors to the people of the DR. Goal One – Success

Goal Two: Be Faithful to our Call

Well we did pretty well on this one too. God had selected just the right group of people to be here this year. Each of us felt a call, a tug on our heart or something that stimulated us to come on this particular trip. All of us showed up, paid our fees and worked hard the whole trip, knowing that we were appreciated by a people that would not have had the access to the type of health care we provide. Goal Two – Success

Goal Three: Travel Safety

Our travel down, while there and back, while not exactly as we planned in all cases (in case some of you forgot the harrowing bus trip thru the palms) was free of accidents and injuries. Goal Three - Success

Goal Four: Maintain Health of Participants

This year we all stayed relatively healthy, except for some minor ailments associated with cramming 40 close friends into a smaller space that we are used to be. But, by and large there were no big problems for all who came. Goal Four – Success

Goal Five: Metrics

Metrics are the score cards that are used not only to record what we did but also to communicate to the Dominican Government and MMI office what we were doing while there. I do a budgeting process early in the year before a project, to try to anticipate how many patients we will see and treat. The supplies and medications that we take are somewhat determined by what is donated, but also what we think we will need. We didn’t run out of anything this year either in medications or supplies. There are many of MMI’s projects that don’t have enough to do what they want to do. Success

In the medical clinic, we saw and cared for 445 Adults and 381 children. Also we treated 757 patients for parasites. Over 1400 patients received health education by a trained Health Educator in their own language. Almost, 2700 prescriptions were given to those in need. Success

We were honored to help inaugurate a new Provincial Hospital in Monte Plata that had been under construction for at least the last 3 or 4 years that we knew of. We saw 181 patients in consultation and did 87 major surgeries and 47 minor cases in our two weeks. We had much closer interaction with the local health care providers than in any year in the past. Success

The seed of the Gospel message was planted in the lives of over 1000 people during their stay with us. No one was required to respond but 30 people answered a call from God on their lives to follow Jesus. Success

So, I guess you can see that by all measures, we had a successful project to Monte Plata, Dominican Republic in 2014.