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Mission: Dominican Republic 2005

Dates: June 24 to July 2, 2005. Click here for DR DISPATCHES and FINAL REPORT.

Team: (Space is limited) Johnathan Esper, Long Lake, NY; Gary Fallesen, Rochester, NY; Jesse Fallesen, Rochester, NY, and Jose Veras, Rochester, NY/La Romana, DR.

Purpose: Climbing mission during which team members will witness and distribute Spanish Bibles and tracts in the Dominican Republic and Creole Bibles and tracts in Haiti.

Climbing For Christ member Johnathan Esper was the student coordinator of a Messiah (Pa.) College mission trip to Hato Mayor from June 10 to 24. A team of 15, mostly students, helped build a half-constructed student center for a church. The team also worked with the youth enrolled in the center (there are 270 children registered, 90 of which are 17 or older). Hato Mayor is a large city located in the northeast of the Dominican Republic.

After the student mission, Esper was going to stay in the Dominican Republic, where he was joined by other Evangelic Expedition members to climb the highpoint of DR (10,127-foot or 3,087-meter Pico Duarte) and Haiti (8,793-foot or 2,680-meter Peak de la Selle). The team intended to share Jesus with whomever they encountered while traveling to each mountain and during climbs. "Explaining our purpose for climbing to those who intimately know the mountain because they live on it, along the trail or are climbing it is not only a natural thing to do, but is a perfect opportunity to share Christ," Johnathan Esper said.

The trip was expected to be spontaneous (read: Spirit driven). "I often say that traveling in another country forces you to more fully rely on God, and truly have faith," said Johnathan Esper, who has climbed all 116 of the 4,000-foot peaks in the Northeastern U.S. as well as highpoints in 43 states and eight countries (Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands and Romania). For Esper, this mission trip was a chance to go back to the place where he re-committed his life to Christ.

A Friend of Climbing For Christ donated Spanish Bibles and tracts to be distributed during this mission. Creole Bibles and tracts also were acquired for the mission.


Map of Dominican Republic

Pico Duarte is located west-southwest of Jarabacoa in Parque Nacional José del Carmen Ramírez (left center of map). Chaine de la Selle, the highpoint of Haiti, is found south of Jimani near the border with the DR (lower left). Map reproduced by permission of Lonely Planet Publications from the Lonely Planet Web site (www.lonelyplanet.com).

View from Pico summit

Views (above and below) from the summit of the Dominican Republic's Pico Duarte, the highpoint of the Caribbean. (Photos courtesy Jose Versas)

Another view from Pico's summit

Helping hands

To support Mission: Dominican Republic – or any other Evangelic Expedition – send your financial gift (marked “Evangelic Expeditions” or the specific mission) to:

Climbing For Christ, Inc.,
P.O. Box 16290
Rochester, N.Y. 14616-0290

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