Last year, in our 13th year, we unfortunately were not able to travel to the DR due to the pandemic. It was the 1st and only time since our inception in 2008 that we were not able to go and carry out the mission of Starfish. It was a difficult time for everyone all over the world, including the U.S.…
Once again, I was given the privilege of speaking to the church in La Romana during their Sunday morning service. I always try to speak directly to the children in an effort to inspire hope in light of the school supplies that God has blessed them with. Since the article from Christianity Today that I referenced earlier had inspired me so much, I decided that I would attempt to give a message that would inspire hope, build self-esteem and expand the children’s views about their own possibilities.
Some of the children we have supported over the past 5 years have finally graduated from high school. These students have a real desire to continue their education and would love to go to college. They are hoping to have the resources to enroll in college classes sometime over the next 6 months. This year, Starfish helped equip them with some basic school supplies. But the students will still need to come up with resources sufficient to cover tuition, registration, books and transportation costs.
In the final days leading up to our 6th annual mission trip to the Dominican Republic…I must confess – I wasn’t feeling up to the task. After celebrating Starfish’s 5th anniversary last year and enjoying all of the excitement surrounding that milestone – our 6th year had begun to feel like somewhat of a letdown. For the first time in 5 years, our fundraising was down from the previous year. This would mean turning away some kids that were helped last year. I was disappointed in our efforts and felt like we had let the children down. I was discouraged, and even began to second guess the work that we do. After 6 years of equipping these children for school…I began to wonder – are we really making a difference?