Why the DR?
The simplest reason is because that was the place the Lord laid out for me. However, the tiny island of the DR is one of the world's leading countries in sex trafficking and tourism. The need for help with the victims and survivors is great!
What surprised you about the culture of the DR?
My 1st mission trip here was in 2015, and I remember being surprised at the cost of things! Anything that isn't made on the island, like name brands of food, costs SO much more than I would pay for it in the States because it's imported. Yet, I can get a bag of filtered water for less than 5 cents at the corner store.
What have been the hardest/easiest aspects of the culture to adapt to?
Hardest: It's really difficult to show people better ways of living that are sustainable for them and their environment. My goal is to make sure what I'm doing is to better their lives to lead them to the Gospel instead of just "Americanizing" them because I think we do something better. Many times, I learn so much by just watching them!
Easiest: The culture is SO welcoming! I love getting invited to new homes and trying new foods.
What foods do Dominicans eat?
Rice is the most common, most eaten food. It is a daily staple. Contrary to popular belief, they don't eat spicy foods or use tortillas. Think more island-ish than that. There are LOTS of homemade, fresh juices from MANY different fruits, and they are AMAZING! My favorite is chinola - passion fruit!
What do you wish people knew the most about being an overseas missionary?
We. Are. Real. People. We love the Lord, and we sensed His calling for us wasn't where we were, so we moved. But that doesn't mean we should be put on a pedestal nor should we have every aspect of our lives critiqued because someone thinks we are supposed to live a certain way. We're just failing humans trying to serve an unfailing God.
What are the biggest differences in living conditions?
Walking vs riding in a car when it's less than 2 miles, rice every day and sometimes 2x, heat/humidity and no central AC, no hot water (in my home)... The heat was the most challenging difference at 1st, but mastering the language has been frustrating, at times, as well.
Are there opportunities for mission teams to come to your area and see your ministries?
Yes! In fact, we LOVE when groups come! Groups help spread the word about our ministries, generating prayer and financial support, as well as share the burden of projects we have. Groups bring us much needed supplies from the States, and they take back things we need to send. Groups can be a time of refreshment and care for our team, and they help our economy! Contact me to help you set up your trip!
What are the best ways for people to support you financially?
Tax-deductible gifts can be mailed to my home church, Cedar Grove Baptist, 2944 Rapids Rd. Franklin, KY, 42134. Online giving can be done through the "donate" button located at the top and bottom of each page on this website.
Can you receive care packages?
Mail on the island comes at a cost. I have to pay 200 pesos (almost $4) per lb for anything I pick up. Care packages are always appreciated, but, if the cost to pick up is more than the value of the items, it is better to think of another option. Money and gift cards will be taken at customs and not given to me. Every package is opened and "inspected." Many times, this can mean things are broken or stolen. If you think your package will make it through, feel free to mail them to me at Jennifer Kubasch, 8550, NW 70th St, RP - 48070, Miami, FL, 33166.