The Senior Youth Group from Peakland United Methodist Church out of Lynchburg, VA, worked on all aspects of the Dominican Republic Mission Trip Project for nine months or so before leaving. Six out of the 18 were returns from the Mission Trip in 2012, including my daughter, Tracey Norvelle, and my grandson, Will. The funds for their flights, on-site mission food, and supplies, were furnished by fundraising, donations, and individuals, plus the church paid a portion of the cost for individuals who were part of it.
The group was scheduled to fly United Airlines from Raleigh, NC, to Newark, NJ, on June 14, then on to Santiago, Dominican Republic. United Airlines cancelled the first flight segment. Frantic calls went out to all the participants the evening of June 13 to immediately meet at the church, with suitcases packed and ready to go. In four quickly rented vehicles, they left church and drove throughout the night to Newark, NJ. They landed in Santiago around noon on Saturday and were driven in vans to the Mission’s camp near Luperon, the Dominican Republic.