It's been nearly four weeks since we have returned form the DR. Just a few days after our return, we received our first letter from Ashlie which was sent before the trip. We appreciate and keep all of the letters from our sponsored children but this letter from Ashlie was different since I literally hugged her and her mom just days prior.

I haven't written much about the trip since I've been back. I've been doing a lot of thinking and internalizing. I am finding myself think before I buy my FourBucks or Chipotle. I have noticed T even doing more around the house. We heard from the women who are entpreneuers and how their children make dinner, clean the house (not just their own bedroom…cuz they don't have a single bedroom) and, in some cases, act as the male role model (since most are fatherless). I think that's made him think a bit more about the chores for which he is responsible. It's nowhere near what the kids his same age are doing in the DR.


And, honestly, it's made me think a lot too about the community feel in the people I saw and how I relate that to what I do. Blogging is a great community but there is strife and negativity. After my DR visit, I do have a new perspective, which is simple for me. It's black or white. I will either be doing my part to make a difference with what experience and influence I have worked for. Or, I will simply not. And, anything that does not achieve that goal is simply not.

Seeing and experiencing all that the Dominican Republic is, what World Vision is doing has changed our perspective. But, for how long?

I've been praying and thinking a lot lately about the results of this trip. Will my and T's behavior be different for a short period or will we always think before we act and remember the smiles we saw, the heartfelt moments we experienced, the lives we are changing…and who ultimately have changed ours.


This trip I took was on behalf of World Vision. The purpose was, and will continue to be for me, to raise awareness for Child Sponsorship. While our trip took us to the DR, there are kids in nearly 100 countries that need sponsorship. You can still sponsor a child – search your heart first, then I promise you will find a child that will speak to you through your screen.

If you did sponsor a child during our trip, already sponsor a child, or even follow along reading about our trip, I personally thank you. I have organizations email me all the time to “promote this great cause” or “share about XYZ organization with my readers.” Knowing that you listened to the call from above to act means the world to me. And, I appreciate all the comments left during our trip.

I am reminded of our trip daily: seeing my Twitter Profile Pic, seeing the mountains of Silly Bandz in my own home (Amanda gave these to the kids on the trip), seeing the hundreds of pictures taken, hearing the drums I brought home for the kids as souvenirs (and wondering why no one talked me out of them when I was buying them knowing they would be beaten like this) and many more.

I am thankful for those daily reminders. Each time a memory comes up, I remember that what I'm doing here can have an impact on a child somewhere else. That's my perspective for what really matters.

All of the great people who experienced #WVinDR together!

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on June 05, 2010


  • Michelle - June 05, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

    God bless you for your dedication to this cause. Our family had 6 children through Compassion International and our lives have been changed in SO many ways since we started.

    • Andrea Deckard - June 05, 2010 @ 3:06 pm

      Michelle, that is amazing!! I just stopped by your blog. I LOVE IT!! All of your kids, sponsored kids included, are just adorable!!

  • Heather Schisler - June 05, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

    I love reading about your trip! Thanks for sharing and thanks for always being an encouragement to me!

  • Stacey - June 05, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

    Your perspective and habits have changed for the rest of your life. I went to Haiti in 2008, and my perspective changed much. I’m in the process of going on another trip by the beginning of August if I can raise the money I need to go. I was ready to go back before I even left. I really didn’t expect that, nor did I expect that I would be changed in such a way when I returned. I look at the value of everything now, and wonder “Why in the world did I think I NEEDED that before?” And it takes a good bit of time to internalize and digest everything you saw and were a part of when you go on a trip such as yours and mine. Thanks for sharing it with everyone.

    • Andrea Deckard - June 05, 2010 @ 3:08 pm

      Stacey, when we came back home, I wanted more. I wanted to find another project (and we are working on *something* that I pray works out). I’m feeling just like you said with needing things. I pray you get the funds to go on your next trip too!

  • Jenna - June 05, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

    Because of your blog and sharing your story of helping- my husband and I are looking into sponsoring a child. I love you blog and thanks for all the hard work. It REALLY makes a differance in my life and my small family of 3…for now!

    • Andrea Deckard - June 05, 2010 @ 6:18 pm

      Jenna, your comment just made my night!! Seriously, I’m so glad to have you reading my blog!!!

  • Annie - June 05, 2010 @ 7:58 pm

    I’m so glad to read more about your trip. I know it was life-changing for both you and your son. The processing and internalizing will continue indefinitely. I know for my family, we didn’t have as much culture shock when we visited E Africa, then lived in Central Africa. For us, it was the reverse culture-shock (experiencing c-s upon returning to one’s home culture/environment). Our lives were forever altered in those 5 years. Even my son, who was 3 when we returned to the US, has moments in which he questions life as usual here. Continue to process, pray and act. Find the ways in which you can make your experiences in the DR an everyday part of your life here that your life becomes a witness to the love, mercy and grace of God to all you meet. God’s peace and blessings as you continue!

  • Amy in OHio - June 28, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

    I love watching you on your journey Andrea – you really inspire me.


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