Words and pictures fall short when trying to convey the sights, sounds and smells of the barrio we visited during our time in the Dominican Republic. This barrio, called ‘The Hole’, is home to thousands. Shack houses built on top of shack houses built on top of shack houses. People live here. Children live here.
This was my second time walking through a section of The Hole. It is what its name implies… a hole.
The narrow streets are filled with garbage and sewage. The small shacks where families live have no doors. Chickens, roosters, cats and dogs roam freely. It is crowded and loud. It smells.
I was allowed to take my camera into The Hole to photograph it. It was ripe with photographic moments. It was ripe with photographic sights. As a photographer I could have spent hours there.
But I put my camera away when a little girl reached out for my hand and squeezed it, as if to say to me “I’m so glad you are here to hold my hand.”
I could have held each little hand I saw and it wouldn’t have been enough. I could have hugged every little boy and girl I saw and it wouldn’t have been enough. There wasn’t anything I could have done that would have been enough to change how these children are living.
It is impossible for me to grasp why children and families live in such desperate and oppressive conditions. It is impossible for me to grasp how it could be fair that some have so much while others have so little.
Our hope is not in our income or possessions.
Our hope is not in our living conditions.
Our only hope we have is in Christ.
Our hope is in Christ for the families and children of The Hole.
Our hope is in Christ for our own families and our own children.
Without Christ there is no escape from the oppressive and evil in this world. Without Christ there is no hope for the future and an eternal life spent with Him.
It is for these children and families of The Hole that the kitchen at Primera Iglesia was built. It is for these children and families of The Hole that we continue to have mission teams in the Dominican Republic.
Please pray that God will continue to use Grace Baptist Church and Primera Iglesia to help these children and families. Please pray that God will continue to bless the relationship between Grace Baptist and Primera Iglesia and use the relationship to His glory.
To God Be All the Glory