On a Mission with More to Give – Sarah Sierralta SVMP ’08

During this past spring break, I joined my campus ministry on a mission to a small village near the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti called Banica. While in Banica, my team and I worked with kids ages 2‐14 in different activities, including arts and crafts, sports and religion. We also taught them the Stations of the Cross to prepare them for Easter, and played ceaseless games of Frisbee. Although we were expecting spring break to give us sufficient time to share ourselves with the kids, we were left wanting to give more, for the love we received was far more than what we could give.


Being exposed to this culture and its people made me question what having a quality of life really meant. In the U.S. we are often preoccupied with our own ambitions and desires to succeed, that we forget to look around us and see who is falling behind. Although the Baniqueros’ level of poverty is excruciating and heart‐breaking, their solidarity and love of their neighbor is ever present. They were not afraid to demonstrate us their love, even though there were cultural and language barriers between the Americanos and them.


Upon graduation, my desire to go back to Banica grew deeper. Coincidentally, a volunteer position was available with the Diocese of Arlington and the St. Francis of Assisi parish in Banica. Without hesitation, I applied for the position and readied myself for the journey of my life! Along with six other volunteers from Northern Virginia, I embarked to Banica for ten months, beginning from late August 2009 through May 2010. I now teach kids catechism, English, lead Bible studies, and direct their choir and music group.


I am thrilled about this new journey and there is still a chance for you to join my mission! My goal is to raise $7,000 to cover living expenses as well as project materials. Any amount, big or small, is greatly appreciated and will allow me to move a step closer to fulfilling my desire to serve in Banica. Please visit my mission website at http://www.lordsvineyard.org formore information.


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