I was happy to see this from Barb Below yesterday on the Witness, Mercy, and Life Together blog.  She helps me piece together the names of all the towns and villages that got together for this dedication.  She also had a differenct perspective from the top of the hill that I climbed.  I was good until the last twenty feet and thought I was going to roll back down.  Barb is serving as assistant to Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).  Below is the first woman to serve on the executive-level staff for an LCMS president.  Prior to joining the president’s staff in September 2010, Below, a licensed clinical social worker, served for six years as director of social ministry organizations for LCMS World Relief and Human Care, the disaster relief and mercy ministry of the Synod.  She is my friend and here is her view……………………

“Two weeks ago today, on Sunday, March 10, 2013, on the top of a steep hill with overcast skies (a blessing so it wasn’t too hot) and strong winds blowing, excitement built as members from several mission sites in the Dominican Republic and others gathered to dedicate The Reformer Lutheran Seminary in Palmar Arriba. It was a bit surreal to see that after eight years of intentional mission development, a Lutheran seminary in the Dominican Republic was finally established.

Early that morning, members from the church in Las Americas and Los Minas, communities on the south end of the island and a three-hour bus ride away, loaded up a large passenger bus and headed to the hillside, rural town of Palmar Arriba. Another bus loaded up members from Licey, a small town outside of Santiago. About 30 minutes prior to the anticipated start, residents and church members from Palmar Arriba began to gather at the top of the hill outside the seminary and waited for the service to begin. P1000576While more townspeople gathered at the seminary, we waited for the buses. As we stood at the top of the steep driveway looking down the road, we finally could see the buses arrive. Everyone was here and we could begin . . . almost.P1000585

As the buses stopped at the bottom of the hill, we began to see people unload and begin the climb up the steep driveway to the seminary. The transmission on the bus was slipping, and the driver was hesitant to take the bus up the hill. All passengers were able to climb the hill, despite being winded when they arrived up top.”

We did arrive up top and then we walked back down for the dedication service.  It was a great day

The pictures above are Barb’s view – this was mine….

up hill in the doimincan