This is the first installment in a two-part series on the mission trip Legacy students made in June of 2018 in partnership with the 25 Project.

It’s 4 am in the township of Los Alcarrizos, Dominican Republic. There are twenty-nine Legacy Christian Academy students exhaustedly slumbering away in apartments when they are jarred awake by the Dominican alarm clock, a big old white rooster giving it his all. They are hot. They are sweaty. They are cramped. But most importantly, they are thankful.

Upper School Assistant Principal Lynn Dupree had always envisioned expanding the missions outreach at Legacy. In the fall of 2017, he made the leap to bring that goal to fruition when he started talking with Upper School Spanish teacher Rosie Sonneborn. As it so happens, Rosie attends church with Nathan Bogue, who is the Director of Mobilization for the 25 Project. The 25 Project is an organization that is compelled by the gospel of Matthew 25 to share hope, meet needs and seek the well-being of vulnerable children around the world. It was clear that God had his hand in this mission from the very start.

Once the connection was made with Nathan, the pieces began to fall into place and the trip was announced. Of the twenty-nine Upper School students from Legacy Christian Academy who volunteered to attend the trip, twenty-four of them had never been on a mission trip. For some students, it was their first time out of the safe harbor of the United States. It was also the first trip to the DR for the three Legacy staff members who attended, Mr. Dupree, Mrs. Sonneborn, and Morgan Meyers, Legacy's International School Program Coordinator.

To say that the trip had a profound impact on every single person who attended is an understatement. From the moment the team hit the ground in the DR, they were overwhelmed. They were overwhelmed by the cultural differences and the abject poverty that was so clearly visible, but it was the joy and the love immediately expressed by the children that were the most astonishing. Many of these kids literally do not have a roof over their heads when they go to sleep at night, which is wildly different from what kids in Frisco, Texas know.

The first day of the trip, Legacy students visited a shanty town camp known as the Batey where litter lines the streets. Most of the houses have a dirt floor with makeshift walls made of cardboard. Although the living conditions seem at first glance to be destitute, it is all that the children in the DR know. That is their normal and they accept it. Despite the plight of the country, and the fact that more than 42% of the population lives below the international poverty line (with an income of $1.25 per day or less), the children are filled with tremendous joy and appreciation. It is simply astounding.

While many of the students who volunteered were trepidatious at the outset,their hearts, eyes, and minds were opened once they met the kids. By allowing themselves that vulnerability, they experienced tremendous growth and spiritual maturity. Part two of this series will explore the impact this incredibly special trip had on our students and staff.

Legacy Christian Academy is Frisco's preeminent Pre-K through 12 Christian school committed to educating students in a college preparatory environment balanced in academics, athletics, and fine arts–all within the context of a biblical worldview. For more information on Legacy, visit our admissions page.