Jamaica 2016: Daily Highlights

Dispatch recently sent a group of Sioux Falls employees to Jamaica to serve for a week at CCCD (Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf).  One of our trip participants, JoAnna, shares:

How can one week change your life? But it can. I miss Jamaica already…

Coming back to the United States, I was struck by how nice our houses and roads are. Things like hot water, air conditioning, windows without bars, and the amount of clothes in my closet are more noticeable. My wedding ring feels heavy wearing it again, and our house seems unusually large. We have a dishwasher, stores for our every whim, and commercials to get us to buy more. Our American over-extravagance makes me miss the simplicity of life in Jamaica.

JoAnna captured some really beautiful moments and I would encourage you to read her daily account. Her day by day journey gives a great glimpse into what this trip is all about: serving!

Nicaragua 2016: Questions

nicaragua-2016-overlooking-matagulpaEarly May, 2016, Dispatch Project sent 9 individuals oversees to Nicaragua.  Their trip was filled with a lot of variety and everyone had the ability to immerse themselves in the culture.  One of the trip participants, Michaela, provided a recap of the trip saying:

I love asking questions. As I was preparing for my first international service and learning trip to Nicaragua, I realized that my questions were partially based in worry and partially based in excitement. All because of the unknown. I found myself looking at blog posts of other teams and individuals around the United States that have traveled to Nicaragua. Googling “What should I bring on my trip to Nicaragua?” Reading and re-reading the pre-field guide. Asking my co-workers that have traveled there what they brought, what the experience was like, how bad the mosquitos were, what the food was like, and the list goes on.

You can read more about some of the questions that Michaela had and how they were answered by reading her blog post in full.  She also gives a great glimpse into the projects and initiatives they helped with while they were there.  Michaela also reflects on her time in Nicaragua, stating:

I traveled with amazing leadership and teammates and made truly memorable connections in Nicaragua. Sometimes we focus on what is done on these short-term trips, but we need to remember that there are so many people doing so many great things in Nicaragua—from missionaries and teachers to students and staff. I’m thankful for the opportunity to go on this trip, meet amazing people, and open my mind further to the amazing work that is being done in Nicaragua.

Read the full recap here.


Haiti : Progress Being Made


Written by: James Krueger, Dispatch trip participant and Mission Haiti board member

Over the past 2 years the Dispatch Project has partnered with Mission Haiti sending multiple teams to their mission area in Haiti. Mission Haiti is a non-profit established over 20 years ago that focuses on Christian Education. The idea being, true change will never happen in Haiti without Christian education being at the forefront and acting as the catalyst. Along with their focus of education, Mission Haiti serves orphans, has an elderly care program, evangelizes and helps with medical treatment for the local town. Based on this list, I’m not sure what they all do in their free time 😉

One of the unique things about this particular Dispatch trip, is that the Mission Haiti board members have all traveled along during our trips. Not only has this been a comfort for team members, but has acted as a window into the Mission Haiti organization itself. Who better to learn from then board members walking alongside you on your trip! Continue reading

Participant Spotlight: Sam Goemann

Sam G headshot-31We’d like to introduce you to Sam Goemann! Sam has been a Dispatch participant over the last few years on our trips to Jamaica.  We asked him to sum up his experience for you. Read more below!

What did you take away from your Dispatch trip?

Prior to my trip to Jamaica I had never left the United States and I’ve spent the vast majority of my life in the midwest. My time at the Jamaica Deaf Village was an opportunity to expand my view of the world. I was in an unfamiliar place, culture, climate, all without a cell phone. God was the consistent presence throughout my time there. He is present and at work in Jamaica in the lives of those living there just as He is to me in Sioux Falls. In places I can’t comprehend, with my still limited view of the world, God is at work.

Jamaica2015groupTell me about a specific moment that stands out from your trip.

This happened the first year I went to Jamaica. Our team was visiting a children’s home and another team member and I were watching a young man harvest coconuts from a tree in the back of the children’s home. She was snapping pictures of various things and I was helping by holding the ladder. Everything was going fine and the guy on the ladder kept tossing coconuts down into a pile of brush about 20 feet from the tree. Until one slipped and fell toward the base of the tree. I reacted but quickly determined I wasn’t in it’s path and didn’t watch it continue toward the ground. It wasn’t until seconds later when I heard a loud “KNOCK” that I looked down and saw my teammate lying in the brush a few feet from the base of the tree with a coconut rolling away from her. Fortunately she wasn’t seriously injured. After plenty of rest and taking it easy she was able to laugh about it.

How did this trip impact you as an individual and in the roles you fulfill? Continue reading

Serving in the Dominican : 2016

Dominican Republic – Learning to build up people and structures

Written by: Tyler Evans

“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”  ― Mother Teresa

Overview of the Trip

Twelve strangers full of passion, compassion, kindness and love came down to build a home for a pastor and his family that so desperately needed a home in the community. We had a few meetings to get to know one another, but for the most part, we were complete strangers before the trip. But what we gained from that was the chance to learn about each other, learn from one another and share in an experience with a new friend.

The Team

The need to build

When we signed up for the trip we knew that we would be building a physical structure in the Dominican Republic, but who and what that was for, was not known. What we learned when we landed in the DR was that we were going to be building a home for a local pastor and his family so that he could live near those he was serving. This is a man who is committed to helping others, overcoming obstacles of distance, poverty and violence just to help others. Powerful actions, by a humble man – inspiring.

What is it like?

People often ask what it was like to go on a journey like this.  To be honest, it is hard to put in words. It’s hard to describe the emotion, the internal struggles, the breath-taking love that is experienced, the deep feelings of not doing enough, the joy that you feel when you know that you are helping someone in need and the pure kindness and humility that surrounds you the entire time.

Continue reading