Open Letter to 2012 Trip Participants and Sponsors,
Welcome back to the reality of our world which is quite different from where we were in the Dominican Republic. If I did not get a chance to express Sherry's and my gratitude to everyone individually, I would like to do so now to everyone as a group. We had another terrific trip and thank everyone for their contribution of time, prayer, and money.
The 2012 Motley Mission Crew VII roster included Canadians Kim Walko, Erin Barry, Dave & Terri Campbell, Tory Walko, Nick Walko, Matt Campbell, and Adam Campbell; Samantha Martin, Jaime Collins, and Stephen Pearce from Newfoundland; and Michiganders Ken-David Finnerty, Dave & Sheila Krofcheck, Bob Eaton, Jack Malone, Martha Purvis, Marty & Edelbis Uldriks, and Rick & Sherry Raymond.  Many of the participants have been on multiple trips which speaks volumes for the impact the trips have on everyone.
This year 2 homes were constructed by the 'Crew'.
Each trip brings new memories and accomplishments. Some we can see, others not. Rest assured though, you helped make a major difference in many lives of the people we served. Two new families now have homes. I can tell you from past experience, they will never, ever forget what you have done for them. --And another (Jaime from Francis and Milargos' neighborhood) is having a small home constructed right now by the community with leftover construction materials and donations by members of the group and even donations by Gustavo's church. Moreno is setting up and supervising the workers from the community. Countless others benefited from food, clothing, and toys that were distributed (over 2,000 pounds worth that we carried in our suitcases plus everything that was purchased in the DR). Over 200 bibles and new testaments were distributed to people that WANTED to have a bible to read. Our hope is that as a result of placing the Word of God in the hands of so many people each year, many will come to Christ. The word of God is a powerful tool. We showed Christian movies, challenged the homeowners and the whole community to come together and unite under Christ. We saw members of different denominations work at the same time on a job site, even interdenominational house dedications. For those of you who have been on many trips--you know this was a giant leap forward.
We introduced the community to microfinance and then told them if they wanted something like this instituted, they would have to put together the infrastructure--it remains to be seen whether any of that will come to fruition, but we are excited about the prospects. It was nice to hear from the whole community that they did not want us to stop what we were doing--if we could only do one or the other they wanted us to stick to our game plan.
Many homes were made more secure with the concrete, wood, and other items that we ordered extra. Rabbits were purchased from the money that Steven raised and Nickolo and his family will give it a go trying to raise them. Money that was left over will be used to purchase chickens and other animals that hopefully will be a sustaining way to provide food for other families.
I am so proud of the way the group always showers the local children with love and affection. There is no doubt that is noticed and appreciated by the parents and the whole community. Once again the community really came together to work with us and to thank us collectively. Over 200 people attended each of the house dedications. I thought this year the whole team was remarkable.