Written by Megan Anthony from the field in The Dominican Republic
Giving back to the community around me, and reaching out to those in need, has always been a very important cornerstone in my life. Whether tutoring at a local school or making care packages at a local organization, I have always been eager to be involved in the community around me. However, there is one experience that stands out among the rest. When I was in middle school, I went on a mission trip to a small village in Mexico. It is well known that during these trips, emotions run high and everyone comes together and feels connected to God by interacting with those in need. Although this trip changed my heart and intensified my faith, it stands out in my mind for other reasons.
Once the emotions wore off, it was hard to ignore the fact that this mission did not have an impact that was entirely sustainable, to not only my team members, but to the members of the community that we went to help. Yes, my team experienced the love of God in an amazing way, but after coming down from the emotions of all that we had seen, I realized that the physical projects wouldn’t last. Although we reached the goals we had set, they did not seem to be projects that would continue to be beneficial for years down the road. This is not to say that short-term mission trips are failures. I know that the connections made between two communities are very special and appreciated. But, after a few years of annual trips to Mexico, my church eventually had to stop going due to reasons beyond our control. The ties were cut, and overall, a long-term goal of sustainable impact was not met.
Fast forward to today––I just moved to the Dominican Republic for 3 months. I’ll be supporting all the incredible Healing Waters Field Staff that live and work in Santo Domingo. After experiencing a few short-term missions, I am so excited to be a part of a team that has found a creative way to make a sustainable impact on communities. Instead of simply handing out help, Healing Waters works alongside those in need to provide clean water starting a microbusiness that aids in the growth of the community. I love the holistic and purposeful approach Healing Waters takes. They don’t just stop at providing clean water, but they go above and beyond by teaching the basics of a healthy lifestyle in communities through Health and Hygiene classes.
I feel so fortunate to be given this opportunity to relocate my life for a time and join an organization that’s working to fulfill a common goal––a mission I hold in such high regard. I look forward to experiencing firsthand the impact that Healing Waters has in the Dominican Republic and sharing my story along the way.