Posted August 21, 2017 in Featured News

By Rachel EliserNWMC

Every year, the New Wilmington Mission Conference selects a small group to spend six weeks on a mission trip. The scholarship program offers an opportunity for young adults to serve in one of a variety of locations around the world and experience mission work first-hand. On June 5, a group of nine left for the Dominican Republic to continue this tradition.

Members of the group included Deja Dawson (O’Fallon, IL), Andrew Diehl (Wayne, PA), Jimmy Dykstra (Bethel Park, PA), Evan English (Toledo, OH), Kim Jayson (Waterford, MI), Gillian Lawhead (Sewickley, PA), Deidre Pully (Cuyahoga Falls, OH), Stuart Sutherland (Waterford, MI) and group leader Rob Bradford (Kalamazoo, MI). Diehl, Dykstra and Lawhead are from the Synod of the Trinity.

The group arrived in Santo Domingo on Tuesday, June 6. Throughout their time in the Dominican Republic, they also did mission work in Barahona, Samaná and Sabaneta. In each town, the group worshiped with Dominicans.

The work they did in the Dominican ranged from painting churches to volunteering at health clinics. The team had the opportunity to spend time with the children while also gaining medical experience in the clinic.

In their free time, the group often chose to play basketball with the locals and go to the beach. They also decided to give their hosts a break and cook dinner for the pastor whose house they were staying at. A few team members went shopping at the market for the ingredients, and they began making pizza when they returned.

Upon arriving back home on July 17, team leader Rob Bradford wrote on the team’s blog, “We are happy to be back, but also extremely sad to have left the Republica Dominicana. We had a wonderful time and made many memories that will not soon be forgotten.”

On the Friday of the New Wilmington Mission Conference, the team gave a presentation about their trip in which they were all able to speak about where they saw God in action. Interviews are held by the Summer Service Committee throughout the week of the conference. All young adults are encouraged to interview to gain professional experience.

To read the team members’ accounts of their experiences, visit their blog here.

In 2018, the conference will be held from July 20-27, again at Westminster (PA) College. All ages are welcome to attend. The conference has been sponsoring the Summer Service Team for 57 years. Previous trips include Cuba, Nepal and Thailand.

NWMC is pleased to offer Summer Service experiences at no cost to the young adults participating. This is made possible through the NWMC Endowment Foundation. Consider a gift to ensure that young people continue to have the opportunity to travel and serve for generations to come. Visit to donate or for more information on the 2018 conference.