The location of the village of El Pedregal (red marker), the site of our 2017 mission trip. 2017 will mark the sixteenth year our team has worked at this site.

Planning For Our 2017 Mission Trip

This page has been established as a central online site for planning information about the 2017 mission trip to the Dominican Republic sponsored by Christ Episcopal Church in Valdosta, GA. This page was last updated on June 4, 2017.


Sign Up for Email Updates for the 2017 Trip
Click here to sign up to receive general updates about the 2017 trip.

Confirmed team members (as of March 12, 2017):
1. Julia Ariail (Lake Park/Valdosta, GA)
2. Julius Ariail (Lake Park/Valdosta, GA)
3. The Reverend Deacon Leeann Culbreath (Tifton, GA)
4. Bonnie Hanson (Valdosta, GA)
5. Caroline Hiers (Thomasville, GA)
6. Meg Hiers (Marietta, GA)
7. Phyllis Hiers (Valdosta, GA)
8. The Reverend Dave Johnson (Valdosta, GA)
9. Paul Johnson (Valdosta, GA)
10. Grady Lacy (Woodstock, GA)
11. Bill Querin (Valdosta, GA)
12. Fred Richter (Statesboro, GA)
13. Paul Stevenson (Valdosta, GA)
14. Erin Twomey (Adel, GA)

Destination: the village of El Pedregal (near the city of Jarabacoa – map).

Team Leaders: Julia Ariail, (229 563-0074; and Julius Ariail, (229 563-0209;

Trip Dates: June 12-19, 2017.

Leidy and her son, Emanuel.

Projects: Our major projects for 2017 will be to build a house for Leidy Rosario, her fiancé Jesús Rosado, and their son Emanuel; to conduct Vacation Bible School and a “splash party” for the children of the village; to rebuild the basketball backboards and goals; and to conduct a veterinary clinic. We may add other small maintenance tasks at the Episcopal Campamento and service projects in the village depending on their feasibility and the amount of funds that we have for projects.

These projects have been approved by Padre Daniel Samuel, the priest in charge of the Campamento, and by the Rt. Rev. Julio C. Holguín, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic. The logistics of our trip and the work on these projects are being coordinated by the Dominican Development Group, a coordinating agency for the 50+ mission team from the US that work in the DR each year.

This is the site for the house we will build for Leidy and her family. To see an online album with a satellite map of the house site in the village and photos showing the progress on clearing this site and constructing the house, click here.

Specific Skills Desired

  • For all: A servant’s heart
  • Optional: Ability to do light construction work (concrete blocks, wooden roof rafters, metal roofing sheets, painting) under the direction of a Dominican supervisor
  • Optional: A love of working with children in a Vacation Bible School setting
  • Optional: Ability to speak Spanish (not required, but any Spanish proficiency level would be very helpful)

Joining the Team DEADLINE PASSED
If you are interested in information about our 2017 trip or in joining the team, contact either of the team leaders (contact information above) before December 6, 2016. A $200 nonrefundable deposit is required by December 6, 2016.


December 6, 2016 DEADLINE PASSED
–Sign up for this trip with payment of a $200 nonrefundable deposit applicable to the cost of the flight.
–Send photocopy or PDF scan of passport ID pages to Julia. If you have gone before and nothing has changed, Julia can use the passport information she has on file for you.

February 1, 2017 DEADLINE PASSED
–Personal information form (click for Word file) | (click for PDF file)
–Medical information form (click for Word file) | (click for PDF file)

–Deadline to pay the remainder of $740.86 for flight tickets for Valdosta travelers, payable by check to Christ Episcopal Church with notation “DR Mission Fund.” Mail or hand-deliver check to Christ Church, 1521 North Patterson Street, Valdosta GA 31602. For Atlanta travelers, flights have been scheduled and paid for as individual tickets through Debi Saeger at South Georgia Travel (229-244-2324).

–Deadline to pay the mission team fee of $650.00. (See below)

Team Fee: In addition to paying for the airline ticket, there will be a team fee, payable by check to Christ Episcopal Church (mail check to Christ Church, 1521 North Patterson Street, Valdosta GA 31602). This team fee pays for in-country transportation, our room and board at the camp, the “splash party” for the children, some of the costs of our projects including the house construction, basketball goal repair, and Vacation Bible School supplies, plus the one-night stay in the hotel in Santo Domingo. You will need to bring funds to pay for lunch and dinner on Sunday in Santo Domingo, plus any items you might want to buy in El Pedregal or in Santo Domingo. As usual, Julius will have Dominican pesos to loan to team members anytime during the trip, with repayments in US dollars not due until after we return home on June 19.

Information about our flights (updated as of November 17, 2016)

We are adopting a new flight plan for 2017. We are not flying from Orlando. Most of us will fly on Delta from Valdosta (VLD) to Atlanta (ATL) and then on to Santo Domingo (SDQ). Some of us who live closer to Atlanta will meet the Valdosta group at the departure gate for the Santo Domingo flight. The Valdosta group will be on a group ticket arranged through Debi Saeger at South Georgia Travel (229-244-2324 OR 800-248-2324) in Valdosta. Debi will also arrange for individual tickets for the three Atlanta missioners. Debi is a longtime member of Christ Church, has much experience in the travel industry, and is a “home team” supporter of our DR mission work. South Georgia Travel offers travel insurance with Travel Insurance International. Costs of the travel insurance are based on age and medical condition. If you are interested, contact Debi (229-244-2324) after December 6.

The overall flight schedule (times revised as of 04/12/2017):

June 12, 2017 Delta 5501 VLD 5:40 a.m. –> ATL 6:46 a.m.
June 12, 2017 Delta 686 ATL 9:57 a.m. –> SDQ 1:19 p.m.

June 19, 2017 Delta 324 SDQ 2:29 p.m. –> ATL 6:03 p.m.
June 19, 2017 Delta 5611 ATL 8:55 p.m. –> VLD 10:00 p.m.

Date of our annual DR Mission Trip auction and dinner to raise funds for our trip expenses and scholarships for the Episcopal school in El Pedregal: February 23, 2017. Location: Cotton Corner event space in downtown Valdosta (101 North Ashley Street, 229-242-3157).

Other useful information documents (Note – these will be updated for the 2017 trip, but most of the information will be the same as for the 2016 trip):

VBS booklet for younger children 2017 content.

VBS booklet for older children 2017 content.

VBS information in English for mission teams 2017 content.

Missioner Faces and Names 2017 content.

Things to know for June 18-19

Tentative schedule, day by day

Prayer Booklet (English and Spanish) 2017 trip content.

Daily Readings (English) 2017 trip content.

Daily Readings (Spanish). 2017 trip content.

Suggested packing list 2017 trip content.

Lessons Learned Updated for our 2017 trip.

Team Roster and Prayer Partners Updated for our 2017 trip.

Communication plan while in the Dominican Republic. 2017 trip content.

Information about smartphones and laptops on the mission trip 2017 trip content.

Location of online photos during the trip. 2017 trip content.

Mission team members contact information (note: not online publicly. If you need a copy, contact Julia Ariail.

Things to know for Monday, June 12, 2017

Summary of 2017 projects

Medical Information for Travelers to the Dominican Republic
For medical advice for travelers to the Dominican Republic, consult your personal physician or go to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s site here:

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Links to more information about our mission work in the Dominican Republic:

The summary report from our 2016 mission team with links to online photos.

Overview of Christ Church’s mission work in the Dominican Republic

Overview of the Diocese of Georgia’s mission work in the Dominican Republic