Mission Trips

Dominican Republic and Haiti Missions

    Please note our Mission Trips Calendar for upcoming events (meetings, fundraisers, etc.).  We’d love volunteers to help with each of these events …. or join us for good food and fellowship!

 

A word from Julie


    I'd like to share my five weeks' mission schedule with you and ask that you pray for the safety and successful work of all the missionaries. We all fly into Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, take a 4 1/2 hour bus ride northwest to the border town of Pedro Santana, DR.  Each day we drive three blocks, cross the Artibonite River which divides us from Haiti, and we enter Haiti to do our mission work in the only land-locked province of Haiti. It takes us one hour to go 6.5 miles to the job sites due to the rugged roads, but it's all worth it.  We generally say morning prayers and reflection, eat breakfast at 7 am and hit the road at 8:15 am, work until 5 pm, home at 6 pm, shower and eat supper.  Evenings are spent chatting, playing cards, cribbage, Rumicube, dominoes, taking a walk, rosary, drinking a little refreshing El Presidente beer or a beverage of your choice.  We have a wonderful cook who prepares American food and delicious fresh squeezed fruit juices.  She does our laundry every day as we need it.  God bless her!! 

    Maybe you or someone you know might like to join a 2 week mission group next year.  We usually go in Jan.-Feb.-Mar. which is the dry season best for doing outdoor construction projects.  Start saving your pennies — $1,400 gets you your flight, 2 weeks of room and board, wonderful experiences in two distinct cultures, and indescribable satisfaction of helping local people to help themselves in a third world country that doesn't have the safety nets like we here in the USA have to assist its people living in poverty.  The beauty is that this is all done in collaboration, side by side, with the local native people .... no freebies!  We each also try to fundraise an extra $1,000 to donate to the expense of the projects.  

    I'm gone Feb. 6 - Mar. 12, back at home Friday the 13th in March. I have intermittent wifi email and can receive and send 3 line text messages to my cell phone WhatsApp.   

Sister Maria's definition of poverty: Poverty is Hunger without a Vision 
Hungering for basic needs or a better way of life but not having the insight to pull oneself up by the bootstraps, so we are giving them "the vision" by starting our projects which they, in turn, finish.

2020 Mission Groups collaborating with Sister Maria Marciano and Sister Lidia Resende

Jan. 16-23

Eye doctor, Dr. Mark Ebben with five person team offer clinics

Jan. 23 - Feb. 6

Four person team of construction workers, teacher of English classes finished Mr. Oknel’s house roof, some concrete floors.

Feb. 6-20

Jim’s seven person team, Paige and 1st videographer arrive on Delta 686 2:30
Construction of 2nd community center, assembly of dental plumbing.
Paige is collecting info and sites for her 20 min. documentary about Sr. Maria.

Feb. 9

Sunday visit of Liz and Tom, Barbara and Dan, Dick S. and Bob W. from Las Matas to see Sr. Maria and the Haiti projects.  After tour in Haiti they will eat afternoon meal with us. They are Fr. Bill Hoffman's diocesan missionaries helping Fr. Mike at Elías Piña and Padre Melanio at Las Matas with construction projects. (chapels, etc.)

7 of us  + 6 of them  + Srs. Maria and Lidia = 15 people eating Sunday dinner with us.

Feb. 6-14

Paige and videographer Pete with "drone" visit all the projects, Julie interprets.
Goal to get aerial shots and ground shots.

Feb. 14

Videographer Pete leaves the country. He needs transport to Sto Dgo

Feb. 14-16

Chuck VanderLoop, a guy from Green Bay who has a non-profit in Haiti, arrives from Haiti with Haitian chauffeur to visit sisters' projects in Haiti. Stay in hotel, eat with us.

Feb. 16

We pick up Josh K. from Green Bay, 2nd videographer, in Sto Dgo airport, flight 2:30 Delta 686

Feb. 16-20

Paige and videographer Josh tape all interviews for documentary; Julie interprets.  Also this week, Jim’s team assembles all plumbing for dental team, and continues to work on community center.

Feb. 20

Jim’s team of six persons leaves country.  The 11 person dental team arrives each with two suitcases and team has 10-15 large crates of equipment.  Also the painting team of Ken VandeHey’s 6 people from Appleton and Kaukauna arrive with two suitcases each to paint our mission house inside and outside and assist dentists; 20 people with Maria/Lidia.

Feb. 20-28

The dentists provide clinics in Haiti, painting crew offers two persons daily to assist with sterilization, blood pressure tests, crowd control.

Feb. 28

The dental team leaves for Sto Dgo to Hotel Riazor.  (Painters stay on.)

Feb. 28 - Mar. 5

Six painters plus Julie are still present

Mar. 5

Ken’s six person painting crew leaves for Sto Dgo airport, Julie stays to interpret for Nurses team.

The nine person team of nurses and PA arrive and need to be picked up at their hotel 1.5 miles from airport, after dropping off Ken’s team at airport.
9+ 1Julie + 2Maria and Lidia = 12 persons to cook for.

Mar. 11

The nurses team and Julie all leave for Sto Dgo Hotel Riazor to fly home Mar. 12

 

   We thank Sisters Maria and Lidia for the honor of collaborating with them once again this year. 

 

Again, thank you for your prayers for all of us. 

Julie
vargie95@gmail.com 
WhatsApp #1-920-765-1457

 


 

    Our Green Bay diocesan newspaper, The COMPASS, in their May 17th publication, had a great article on the 2019 Deacons' building project with Fr. Mike Seis in Elías Piña, D.R.

    Each of our seven mission groups had similar experiences, and many of our volunteers are anxious for another mission trip to the Dominican Republic and Haiti.  Our leadership team is in the process of setting dates for our next mission trips, and once we have that information we’ll make it available to you on St. Philip’s website.

   We have had volunteers celebrate their 80th birthday during their mission trip, and we’ve had teenagers accompanied by a parent or grandparent.  Most of our projects revolve around construction, but we don’t expect all our volunteers to be experienced in laying cement blocks.  What can you do?  Well, some of our volunteers straighten nails, hand the blocks to those who are laying them, carry small pails of mortar .... there’s always something where you can be of help.

   All our volunteers pay their own way ($1,400), and so all of the monies raised for our projects go to purchasing the materials for the projects they’ll be working on.  The $1,400 that our volunteers pay covers the cost of transportation and room and board at the project sites.

   Our mission trips are during the months of January to March, which are generally a time of little rainfall, advantageous for building projects.  Not to mention that this a great time to leave Wisconsin for two weeks and be in the Caribbean.

   Over the past years we have had generous friends of our missions who have financially supported our projects, but we also count on our volunteers to do additional fundraising among family and friends; we give all of our volunteers a goal of raising $1,000.

    Our mission groups are limited in number of volunteers at the different sites depending on rooms available at each site:
                         Haiti           5-6 volunteers
                         San Juan    6 volunteers
                         Elías Piña   10 volunteers

    A message from you, and a $100 deposit, can get your name on the list for 2020.  When you call or email us, please be sure to indicate which site you would like to work at.

 

Mission Trips Calendar

 

Documents

Photos

Reflection from Bishop David Ricken and more articles related to this mission.