2019 Mission Trip
to the Dominican Republic
Christ Episcopal Church
Valdosta, Georgia
Fundraisers: Four Silver and Larimar Crosses
and Fr. Johnson's Books of Sermons
When we were in the Dominican Republic in October, we commissioned six sterling silver and Larimar crosses to be made by our favorite jewelers in Santo Domingo, Jesús Ramos and his wife, Vielka Velasquez. We picked them up during our November trip. If you are not familiar with Larimar, an excellent article about it is here. The crosses are approximately 2" tall and 1.25" wide, with a ⅜" Larimar stone.

We would like to use these crosses as gifts to donors who contribute at least $100 to Christ Church's DR mission fund. The proceeds from these donations will be sent in advance to Padre Ramón Canela, the Episcopal priest in El Pedregal, for him to hire a Dominican contractor to start construction on a bedroom for Pirlulu, one of Leidy's first cousins and Elena's grandson. We have supported Pirlulu for several years in attending a Dominican special-needs school in Jarabacoa. During our November trip, we learned that he is currently sleeping in a rickety bedroom made of plywood sheets and poles that is attached to Elena's concrete-block house in El Pedregal. We would like to build him a concrete-block bedroom and equip it with the appropriate furniture. Our plan is to start this construction before we arrive, and then finish it while we are there in June.

Two of these crosses has already been shipped to a generous supporters of our team. If you would like to have one of the four remaining crosses for a donation of $100 or more, please contact Julia Ariail <(229 563-0074) or juliacariail@gmail.com >.

Another fundraiser for our 2019 trip started last week when Fr. Dave Johnson's latest book of sermons went on sale at Christ Church following the 10 a.m. service. A photograph from our 2012 trip of children from the village of El Pedregal playing in the rain during our annual party for them is used on the book's cover, and all proceeds from the book's sale will go to support Christ Church's mission trips in the Dominican Republic and in the United States. The "children in the rain" photograph is at the top of this team message. The book sales will continue in the parish hall this Sunday and in the church office during the week.

Fourteen missioners have committed to join the team, and their names are on the trip planning page (link below).

The deadline to join the team remains January 31, 2019, or whenever the 18 slots fill up -- whichever comes first. In mid-February 2019 Julia and I will return to the Dominican Republic to represent the Diocese of Georgia at the DR diocesan convention and a Dominican Development Group board meeting. During that trip we will also spend several days in El Pedregal making more plans for our projects and other special activities, including arranging for the construction of Pirlulu's bedroom. Knowing the size of our team and our talents and interests will help in that planning process.

If you are interested in joining Christ Church Valdosta's 2019 team, please contact us just as soon as you can to discuss your interest and your possible role on the team (contact information below).

Once you receive an OK to join from us, then send a $100 deposit made payable to Christ Episcopal Church with "DR Mission" in the memo line to the church (see address below). Then proceed to choose your departure city and purchase your flight tickets. Send copy of the airline confirmation to juliacariail@gmail.com .

All missioners will have the choice of starting the trip either at the Valdosta airport or at the Atlanta airport on Monday, June 17. All will fly back to Atlanta on June 24, where missioners can decide on their own to leave the trip in Atlanta or to fly on to Valdosta that same night.

Here are the designated flight numbers and times:

Monday, June 17
Delta 5034 VLD 6:15 a.m. --> ATL 7:25 a.m.
Delta 686 ATL 9:50 a.m. --> SDQ 1:16 p.m.

Monday, June 24
Delta 759 SDQ 1:45 p.m. --> ATL 5:21 p.m.
Delta 3420 ATL 9:10 p.m. --> VLD 10:15 p.m.

As of 10 a.m. on December 6, the cost of these flights from and back to Valdosta was $1,467.73. The cost of the flights from and back to Atlanta was $899.63.

-- Julia and Julius

The planning webpage for the 2019 mission trip is now online here. All information about the trip will be added to this page just as soon as it is available.

For information about Christ Church's mission work in the Dominican Republic, including a summary report and photographs from the 2018 trip, click here .