Dominican Thoughts on Genesis 28:10-19a
Jacob... came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. ..Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place-- and I did not know it!" And he was afraid, and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."
On first impression the D.R. Doesn't seem much like heaven. It is poor, cluttered, and crowded. The roads are pot holed to an extent that makes our roads seem smooth as silk, and the traffic is crazy...buses, trucks, and motor scooters contend with donkeys and horses for the right of way. The Dominican people are friendly, and they are loud. Music and drumming fills the air at all hours of the day and night. It is so hot, most of life is carried on outdoors. In the Dominican Republic, much of life is lived in public.
It might be a temptation for some visitors to dismiss the problems of the 3rd world as simply hopeless. Too much poverty, too much unemployment, and too many people... And indeed, these problems are very real and very great.
But none of the four adults and two youth who were on the CCC mission 2015 (part 2) are inclined to dismiss the D.R., or to feel hopeless about its people. Just the opposite...
Instead we have come away saying "how awesome is this place...this is none other than the gate of heaven, and we did not know it!"
We found among the Episcopalians of Puerto Plata a warmth and hospitality that are contagious. We are used to greater efficiency and convenience, but they are the ones building a beautiful new church with their own hands, not us! We will return to the welcome cool-ness of Michigan more inclined to love and laugh, more reckless in the way we follow Christ into the future, more...Dominican, as it were.