Until now, this website has been dedicated to child sponsorships. Beginning in 2006, Project Santiago expanded in to another endeavor, short term mission trips. Because of our diverse backgrounds we were dubbed the "Motley Mission Crew" and the name still applies. Every year, the Motley Mission Crew has scheduled at least one mission trip to either the Santo Domingo or Santiago area of the Dominican Republic. Although we are Christian based, we are an inter-denominational, primarily humanitarian organization that has two focuses; tearing down walls (denominational) and building walls (homes for the most extreme hardship cases). Having said that . . . . . Has God ever laid it on your heart to do a short term mission trip?? There are many ways to explore short term mission work with a small group. If you are interested in pursuing short term mission opportunities, please read on.
Erin's Story Do you have a desire to participate in a mission trip but don't know how you would be able to raise the money? Then read Erin's story on the News Page. Just click the link News Page
Upcoming Missions Trips
The 2017 trip has been completed. Stay tuned for updates on 2018 trip. Trips will be limited to the first 14 applicants. If there is enough interest we will add a second week, however, we must know by October 1st if you would like to participate in a 2018 trip. No minors allowed unless accompanied by their adult guardian. Because of the geographic limitations of the group, we are updating news through email and this website. At least one house will be constructed each week from the ground up, movies will be shown to the children (2 nights), light repairs such as painting and roof repairs to distressed houses, and distribution of food and clothing to the poor will keep the 'Crew' busy. We also place an emphasis on building friendships, so no experience in the building trades is necessary. Our facilitators, Gustavo & Bienvenida Guzman, are in charge of preparing our meals, providing us with sleeping quarters (their home), and securing and delivering all materials to the job site. They have provided excellent assistance to the Motley Mission Crew and the past couple of years have made sure foundations were in, floors completed, and framing done. We are streamlining our building process through the use of a 'model home' that is similar to the houses constructed in 2008-2017. This should allow us to complete the building process in four days (weather permitting)--and will allow us to spend more time with food and clothing distribution. In fact, the past few years we have been able to complete a home in two days when the framing is complete upon arrival. We will depart from Detroit sometime between mid-January and the 1st of February 2018. We will not set a firm date until approximately July of this year. Based on past trips, we estimate costs for food, lodging, transportation within the Dominican Republic, and each participants shared cost of building materials to be approximately $1200 for one week or $1600 for two weeks. There is no specific charge per participant. All money is collected and accounted for by making checks payable to Grace Community Church and designating Dominican Mission Trip 2018. The money is pooled together and dispursed as needed for purchase of air fare, food, lodging, building materials, bibles, supplies, etc. We recommend that each participant try to raise $1200-$1600 or more in order to achieve our objectives. We also count on money from private donors who have consistently contributed money to help offset some of the expenses with the trip. Places are reserved on a first come, first served basis. It is important that you prayerfully consider this trip. Please let us know asap if you need more information. For updated information on the 2018 trip, go to news
If you would like information about past trips, please click on the various dates of past trips while on the mission page. If you need financial assistance or would like to help raise additional funds for special needs that arise when we are on our trips, please check out the following:
Adobe Acrobat RequiredHelpful Missions Information By clicking the PDF File icon below, you can download an example of a sample letter with instructions designed to raise both Prayer and Financial support for an upcoming missions trip. Please contact anyone on the Contact Us page for further information on upcoming Project Santiago / Motley Mission Crew trips or to schedule a slideshow.
Once or twice per year, either one or two week duration.
What is the destination of the trips?
All trips that are planned will take the participants to either Santo Domingo or Santiago in the Dominican Republic.
What are the entry requirements to the Dominican Republic?
Currently, all that is needed is a passport to gain entry. No shots are required.
What is the typical cost of a trip? While we do not "charge" anything for the trips per se, we do suggest that each participant try to raise support to help with the total costs of the team. We suggest a goal for each participant to raise and then rely on fundraisers and separate donations from private donors to help pay the remainder of trip expenses.
All trips are priced to include food, lodging, airfare, and ground transportation in the Dominican Republic and it is typically suggested that each participant attempt to raise support in the $800-850 for one week. In addition to the trip costs, the participants are asked to try to raise an additional $400 per participant for material costs. Trips are limited to 14 people maximum. Medical teams are required to be part of an effort to collect materials needed for their respective clinics, but are not required to raise additional money. Every single dollar collected to support the mission team will be spent on materials needed for construction, to feed the poor, or take care of the needs of the poor, purchase bibles, and other materials as needed. There are absolutely no administration costs.
What is the Dominican Republic like?
The areas that we serve have year round tropical weather, with the average temperature in the 80’s, high humidity, and lots of sunshine. We have never encountered hostilities from the locals, in fact, they have been an instrumental part of the ministry by offering their help.
How do I solicit funds for the trip or material costs?
Letters can be mailed to friends, relatives, and associates asking for support in your ministry. IRS rules must be followed or contributions may not be deductible. Click here for a sample letter.
Are donations tax deductible?
Donations are tax deductible. Checks should be made payable to Grace Community Church. On the memo line of the check write “Dominican Trip—2018.” Please do not specify any individual when writing a check for the trip. All funds must be deposited in a general fund for the trip. How do I apply for a slot on one of the trips? Send an email to rickraymondrequesting an application. Once we receive the application, we would like you to begin your help with the fundraising effort. Do I need a religious affiliation to participate in the trip? No specific religious affiliation is necessary, although most participants are Christian. Our nickname
“MOTLEY MISSION CREW” was given to us because of our diverse backgrounds.
Do you have slideshows of past trips that can be viewed by interested parties?
Yes. We have slide shows of past trips that range from 4 minutes to 30 minutes long. We are happy to show them to either individuals, groups, or organizations. Please contact anyone on the contact us page for details. There are slideshows beginning with the 2013 trip on the mission tabs.