Mission Trips to the Dominican Republic
Sponsored by Christ Episcopal Church
Christ Church has had a long-standing program to sponsor annual mission trips to the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic. Now that the most recent team leaders have stepped down for reasons of age and health, this mission trip program is in hiatus.
Mission Planning and Recent Trip Reports
The 2019 trip took place between June 17-24, 2019. For the trip planning page, click here. For the trip summary report, click here. For the trip evaluation report, click here. An online album of photographs from the trip is still in the editing stage but will be posted here as soon as it is completed.
The 2018 trip took place between June 23-30, 2018. The following after-action documents are available: trip summary report | daily diary | comprehensive photo album | highlights photo album To see the planning page for the 2018 trip, click here.
El Pedregal, Our Work Site
The camp of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic, Campamento Monte de la Transfiguratión (Camp of the Mount of the Transfiguration), is located in El Pedregal near the city of Jarabacoa, and the facilities to support mission teams are similar to our diocesan camp and conference center at Honey Creek. Campamento Monte de la Transfiguratión has dormitories and separate “motel” style rooms to house approximately 150 people, and there are an on-site kitchen, dining room, meeting rooms, and recreation areas. On the grounds of the camp are an Episcopal church and a church-sponsored K-8 school. Mission teams from Christ Church have been instrumental in the construction of the church and the school, in supporting scholarships for students to attend the school, and in the improvement of facilities at the camp and in the village over the past years.
Organization and Financing of Our Mission Teams
At Christ Church, mission team members are responsible for paying for their own travel and housing expenses and for the cost of construction materials and other supplies that are obtained in the Dominican Republic. In 2018, this cost was approximately $1,650 per person. The mission team members have raised funds to support other mission trip costs such as scholarships at the local Episcopal school, knitting supplies such as needles and yarn, and Vacation Bible school materials through contributions from the Christ Church budget, other churches, individual supporters, and the proceeds of an annual Auction and Dinner. The individual supporters are known as the “Home Team,” and their contributions are vital to the success of the work of the missioners on the “Go Team.” For more information, contact Julia Ariail or Julius Ariail.
History of Our Mission Involvement in the Dominican Republic
Members of Christ Episcopal Church first visited El Pedregal in 2001, and mission trips there have continued almost annually since then. The Diocese of Georgia and the Diocese of the Dominican Republic have established a “companion diocese” relationship, and Bishop Benhase spoke at their diocesan convention in 2010, soon after his consecration as the 10th Bishop of Georgia. Our former assistant rector, the Rev. Tar Drazdowski, represented the Diocese of Georgia at the Dominican conventions and served as our diocese’s representative on the board of the Dominican Development Group, a US-based non-profit foundation that works to generate financial support for the programs and facilities of the Episcopal Church in the Dominican Republic. Currently, Julia and Julius Ariail serve on the DDG board, and they also volunteer as the editors of the DDG website, newsletter, and social media sites.
For the web page of the Diocese of Georgia’s Companion Diocese Commission with links to mission trip reports from other congregations in the Diocese of Georgia, click here.