Since I shared pictures last week of our 2013 mission trip to the Dominican Republic, I thought I would share a few pictures from this year’s trip. We worked on two projects: building the cistern for the new church and working on a fence to surround the new church.

But first, some pictures. They have made so much progress since 2013!

Front of the new church

Front of the new church.

Front of the new church

Sanctuary area of the new church.

Digging the cistern deeper

Job one: Digging the cistern deeper.

Preparing the trench for the fence

Preparing the trench for the fence.

Mixing the concrete on the ground

Mixing the concrete on the ground. The first batch of concrete on the day after this picture was taken had 36 wheelbarrows of sand, 36 wheelbarrows of rock and lots of bags of cement. Those three ingredients were mixed together with shovels and pickaxes and then the water was gradually added while the mixing continued.

Starting the walls in the cistern

Starting the walls in the cistern. All of the blocks had to be carried down into the cistern hole. The blocks were mortared together and concrete was poured into the holes in the blocks to make the wall stable. As the block walls became higher, getting in and out of the cistern became difficult, especially the first day when the walls weren’t strong enough to hold a ladder.

Nearly completed cistern

Nearly completed cistern.

Tying rebar for the fence

We tied rebar together to make two different types of structures for the fence. One was laid down in the bottom of the trench to help make a stable base for the fence. Concrete was then poured over the rebar for the fence foundation. After the concrete cured, the block wall was built on top of the concrete. The other, smaller, rebar structures were for the fence posts.

Building the fence

Building the fence.

Taking a break

Taking a break and enjoying some local fruit—limoncillos.

It was such a wonderful experience to return to Jacagua. We were able to renew relationships and help them, again, on the building of the church.

Judith Ackland has more than 26 years of experience in accountancy and financial planning, including seventeen years as a CFO of a diverse business. She started Crystal Financial in 2010 to help a wide array of individuals, families, and business owners better understand their finances and how good financial management could help them achieve their goals. Judith has an MA in Professional Accountancy from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln as well as a Certified Public Accountant Certificate and a Certified Financial Planner designation.

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