“My trips with Shine the Light have brought me face-to-face with people and situations that I would never have had occasion to experience before. They have allowed me to put faces, names and personalities to an ethereal mass that I might have referred to as “poor people”. Through them I have learned that they are perhaps only poor in the measurements that we think are important. They are certainly rich in the measurements that I now understand are the ones that can make and complete one’s life.”
“The most profound realization that came to me, was that I was able to re-define what “poverty” means. I now see that, simply put, the “poor” are those without love in their lives, without support from their family, friends and neighbours and those without happiness. When you go to Agua Negra, the genuine feeling of love is overwhelming. When I returned home, somehow big homes, fancy cars and the white picket fence became just symbols…I couldn’t help but question which of the two worlds were better off.
A second realization was what was brought to our group’s attention on Day 3 by a young local girl. She suggested that perhaps we weren’t in Agua Negra just to build a house…maybe it was the house that was building us. How true that statement came to be…
My experience was life-changing and I can’t wait to go back in Jan. ’13! Thank-you Brent & Wendy and family for providing the opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of us all!”
“I am personally very thankful for the privilege of experiencing the October Trip – along with my teenage daughter. Accommodations, food, organization etc. was all great – Thank-you Brent and Wendy and all.
The experience was like being included and feeling included in someone else’s family function – enjoying the camaraderie and relaxed unity – both in our work and in play. As an adventure, it was full of surprises – requiring that I go deep into places of geography – Wow! – and places in my heart – Ouch! – that I have never seen before. We saw people in need – ourselves – needing to reassess things – needing to reconsider our own “needs” and values. Yeah – the price of my lawn mower would build a house for someone homeless there – or buy citizenship for many children – how do I reconcile that? We witnessed love – love of the people there for others in the community – and for us – and we all became richer for it.
Money cannot buy the things that we might like to bring home from there – and very few of us would be willing to pay the price. Riding in an open-air truck to and from work was a real experience for the senses – as was working on the construction site – interacting with the community and with each other. For just a few days, we were part of their life – and they were part of ours. It may be that we went there to give – but truly – it became not about us giving, but rather, we each received something unique – something profound and precious from the Giver of all. I cannot name or even properly describe what it is – but I carry it in my mind – and it isn’t a cold.”
“The Shine the Light trip I went on was truly life changing for me. It was inspiring to be involved in a house build that made such a difference in one family’s life. It allowed me an opportunity to connect with people in way that’s just not done anymore in North America. I felt humbled and privileged to be a part of it. It was a wonderful experience.”
“After finally agreeing to go to the DR with Shine, ( Brent tried for a long time) I wasn’t absolutely certain of what to expect. When we got there, and were shown around it became obvious why we were there. Brent and Wendy had seen the need and answered the call.
The people we were to help were more than appreciative for our presence and that in itself hits one directly in the heart!!! We can only help one at a time, but without doubt that one is helping others in turn..
It was fabulous to meet and grow friendships with the others that came out… The trip was absolutely life changing and I am planing my next visit!!!”
“These trips have been a special blessing to me 🙂 The locals are very welcoming and embrace you as family. Working together as a team and getting to know the rest of the group is also rewarding. Highly recommend this experience to everyone!”
Dr Cheryl Wong
“Its so hard to find words to fully describe how mission trips with Shine the Light have changed my life. I have met some of the most amazing people who have touched my life in so many incredible ways. Its interesting, our intention is to go to the the Dominican to serve and bless the people there but what I learn and take back from each trip is a return of tenfold. These mission trips are an incredible opportunity to share the gifts you have been blessed with as well as create new, lasting relationships that have been built with all of the tools that matter. I have seen kindness, generosity and love in a new light, I will always carry this with me, and i will forever be changed.”
“It’s hard to sum up in one sentence how going on this trip has impacted my life. All I can say is I can’t stop going back! The people are beautiful, the work is rewarding, and the money spent is nothing in comparison to the lives that are changed (both theirs and mine). Living in Canada, I feel it’s my responsibility to help those less fortunate and this trip is one great way that we can help out.”
“Happiness should be part of everybody’s life. Unfortunately there are so many children and people who can’t afford it. I am glad that I was given this amazing opportunity to give those in need a little bit of hope and light at the end of their tunnel.”
“I don’t even know where to begin! I went this past October 2012 on my first Shine the Light trip and it was a life-changing experience! It was so great to meet new people and build new relationships. The trip has made me realize how much I take for granted and it has changed my perspective on what is truly important. It is so great to use the gifts we have been given to help and bless others. I can’t wait to go again!”
“Volunteering with Shine the Light, in the DR, has been a life changing experience for me. Having practiced as a registered nurse in the Canadian heath care system for almost 40 years, had me yearning for a more grassroots practise of nursing. Volunteering in a culture other than my own has been both facinating as well as rewarding, although at times difficult and demanding. I have had to realize that I cannot stamp out poverty but can help where I can, to alleviate suffering. I have been inspired by individuals surviving despite impossible odds.
At the end of the day, supporting local strengths and initiatives has alleviated much of the discontent I feel when I can not be present due to other competing life issues. Clearly, these mission trips are the most profoundly different thing I have done that has changed me into a more introspective human being that is choosing to make a difference.”
“When I was asked why I was going to the Dominican Republic with Shine The Light, I said that I wanted to see how other people live. I got my wish. In just one week I saw strange new things – poverty combined with brightest colour, sunshine on dark skin, hearts opening in a gated community, and a neighbourhood blooming out of discarded things. The experience dilated my senses and coaxed me into deeper awareness of some of the other people on my planet. I got to know and work and play with like-willed adventurers, tourists resolved to make their getaway a “get-into.” Travellers who thought about their destination as someone’s home, something to regard with love. Fun, tough, and worth it!”