Update from Cooper

February Update

Hey West Side!

I just wanted to tell you a little about my current situation and what is going to look like going forward.

I am currently serving in Constanza, Dominican Republic. It is, as you might know, a town located in the valley of the central mountain range of the Dominican Republic. They say it is the highest inhabited settlement or city in the Caribbean at over 4,000 feet.

It gets pretty cold here by Dominican standards, it is usually in the mid 70s throughout the day time and then drops down to mid to low 50s in the evenings. It is a town of just over 70,000 however this area produces around 70 percent of the food consumed in the country.

I moved into the team house here last Saturday evening. I got started here at the school on Tuesday because Monday was a national holiday, Juan Pablo Duarte Day.

At the school I assist in teaching English, French, and Physical Education. I couldn't count to 5 in french if my life depended on it, but I am trying my best.

At the school I will also be helping with the "Child Champions" sponsor project, but I will talk more about that when they give me those responsibilities.

After the school day I help with the baseball ministry. Here in Constanza, Fred O'Brien the missionary here started a baseball program for kids from 6 - 18. It's called "Christ the King" and it serves around 140 kids. It's the only baseball of 6 programs here in Constanza that doesn't charge a fee to play. They also provide the kids with everything they need to succeed as they provide youth pastors and ministers, gym memberships, and English classes every Tuesday.

I was with Fred and two kids Friday and Monday last week in Santo Domingo for the U14 national team invitationals and one of the two kids made it on the team!  

I am doing well and hope you are as well.
Cooper

January Update

This week has been a great week! I arrived in Puerto Plata last Friday, January 5th. It was so fun to meet up and reunite with the workers at the Caraballo school. I was amazed with how the painting our West Side team did in 2020 still looks good!

I am currently leading a father and son team from Chicago. We are working in Caraballo on a new site that was abandoned and donated to the school. This new property is adjacent to the current school and the plan is to develop it into a special education area.

I learned that the school now serves approximately 300 children. Vic Trautwein mentioned that West Side has helped tremendously through our Bless Big Global donations. We have been removing concrete, dirt, and rubble to make way for a new sidewalk as well as painting the outer wall. See the pictures below of the work site and what we are doing with it.

I spent a lot of time this week speaking with the people in the community getting to the know them and improving my Creole and Spanish. I have really been growing and trusting the Lord and His leadership.

I am currently leading the group alone for a little while as Vic has some appointments and the other missionary had some things come up. I can finally say I've driven in the craziest country to drive in!!

I’m looking forward to what is to come and excited to see the West Side adult team next week in Santo Domingo!

Cooper

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