Nina and Johnny John took their three lower-school-aged kids — Anita, Priyanka and Joshua to the Dominican Republic to work with Edify this summer for a vacation with a purpose. “We decided on the trip because the theme ‘vacation with a purpose’ struck a chord,” Johnny said, “The thought of being able to have fun, but also combine it with something meaningful, was great.”  Nina said, “Plus it involved the whole family, so being able to serve together was great!”

Edify is an organization that supports already-existing Christian schools in third world countries by providing loans. They address the issue of poor-quality public school education and the rising trend of private sector educational solutions in the developing world. Their mission: to improve and to expand sustainable, affordable Christ-centered education in the developing world.

Edify, together with SFC, provides an entire family the unique opportunity to experience how spiritual transformation is happening through the education of kids in the Dominican Republic. Working alongside a school of 72 children, ages 3-12, allows each family member to serve together in an age-appropriate way.

The John family enjoyed making new friends. Each child came back with a new perspective about people in other countries. Anita (11) discovered joy even in poverty, “We saw poor people, but they are still happy.  One of the children in DR wrote me a note, and that made me feel welcome.” While Priyanka (10) found a way to communicate even with a language barrier,  “One boy was friendly and would give me high-fives. I could not understand what the kids were saying (they spoke Spanish) but I still had fun!” And Joshua (8) found the balance of both work and play, “I really liked the DR trip because in the morning, we had to work, but in the afternoon it was all fun.  I already asked Mom whether we can go on this trip again.”

“Accommodations were superb, we were put up in these really lovely bungalows, with food all taken care of,” Nina recalls. “Meals were delicious, and every evening, there would be a group family prayer time that we really enjoyed.”

The John family not only  loved the trip with Edify, but Nina and Johnny called it “a highlight trip since our children were born!”

Read more about Edify in the August 1 cover story of The Economist, titled “Learning Unleashed: Private education in poor countries takes off.” Read the full articles by clicking here: The $1-a-week school and Learning Unleashed The Economist, Aug 1st, 2015.

Want to go on the trip next year? There is an informational parent meeting Friday, October 16 @ 8:15 am in the SFC Chapel.

Find out more about SFC’s missions programs here.