For some time, Steven Fitzpatrick, the owner of Made To Last, has wanted to find a way to reach out to people affected by poverty in a practical way that will have long-term benefits.
As a result, we have teamed up with an organization called Dominican Vision. We travel down to the Dominican to build homes, schools, and churches in communities where there is extreme poverty. We also bring compassion suitcases filled with medical supplies, tools, and clothes for those in need. Medical clinics are offered to help those who don’t have the privilege of seeing a doctor, and we bring food hampers to families who suffer from extreme poverty and often AIDS.
Being able to give back has opened our eyes to what really matters and encouraged us to do even more. It is something we feel called to do, and we wish everyone could have the opportunity to do a trip like this.
Matthew 25:35–40 says:
“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’”
During our first trip to the Dominican at the beginning of this year, we built a church. The people in the area have been using the land where we built the church for a few years. Their church building was more of a shelter that consisted of tarps placed on top of branches. We put up a 50-foot by 25-foot building out of cinders with hand-framed roof trusses that we built on site. The building was powered by solar panels and a battery bank. It also had two washrooms and running water.
On our next trip, we will be building a home for a single mom.