2024 Dominican Republic Homes for HOPE Trip Recap

Mar 18, 2024

In early February, a dynamic group of powerhouse women in the building industry, along with a few HOPE staff and I, had an unforgettable experience on the Homes for HOPE Trip. Visiting the incredible entrepreneurs we have the privilege of serving in the Dominican Republic was indescribable! It is impossible to adequately summarize all we felt and witnessed, but here’s my attempt to do so:  

As the backdrop for our time together, we discussed the very concept of hope. Why is the drive to place our hope in something so powerful when the things we are hoping in constantly let us down? Why do we keep hoping in the wake of pain, hurt, or disillusionment? A coworker’s pastor recently said, “What your hope is in determines when your hope runs out.” We’re called Homes for HOPE. If the hope we point toward is found only in our financial services, business training, or access to capital, we’d be doing the people we serve a disservice- no matter how excellently we render these services. Jeremiah, the author of Lamentations, says this after walking through a season of disillusionment: 

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’” (Lam. 3:17-24) 

In spite of this, we keep hoping. We’re driven toward hope; and we do so because we were made to ultimately find our hope in the transcendent eternality of a relationship with God. Any hope short of a relationship with God- built on faith, is left wanting. We encouraged our trip attendees to put us to the test… to ask the associates, whom they would be meeting, where they place their hope.   

Each of us had interactions that stood out, but a general consensus was that meeting Aracelis was a major highlight of the trip. Aracelis ran a small home goods store in a busy section of Santo Domingo. She was a smart, no-nonsense businesswoman who listened to her customers’ wants and needs. She used unique procurement strategies to offer high end items, like luxury mirrors and beautiful paintings, to everyday items, like deodorant and mops. A customer even pulled up on his moterbike and purchased some deodorant from her while we were all there!  

When one of our trip participants asked how she deals with competitors who may sell similar items in their nearby stores, Aracelis replied, “If God wants me to sell this mop, I’ll sell this mop. If He wants them to sell a mop, they will.” We were all struck by her contentment and trust in God’s sovereignty over her business. Her hope wasn’t in her business – it was in the Lord to provide for her. Later in the day, when a home sale back in the US had the potential of falling through for one of our trip participants, she said, “If God wants me to sell this house I will…” It was real-time life application of the lessons we were collectively learning!  

Hopefully, you’re beginning to see that a Homes for HOPE trip isn’t typical. Sure, there are elements of sightseeing, eating good food, and making new friends, but the experiences and memories you’ll take with you are unparalleled. It’s impossible to come back unmoved.  

This summer we’re inviting you to join us on another Homes for HOPE Trip in the beautiful country of Paraguay. We’ll be visiting our partner ministry called Diaconía, which was founded by Judah Mooney. Judah paid his way through college in the US by framing homes, then moved back to Paraguay to start a successful building company called Legados Inversiones in the late 2010s. He started Diaconía to address poverty through Christian microenterprise development strategies and put the country’s loan sharks, who prey on those in need by charging as much as 100% interest per day, out of business. What an incredible opportunity to spend time with a gifted builder who is effectively fighting poverty in all its forms, and witness firsthand where true, enduring hope is found. Register today! 

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