Dixon couple, Ted and Angel Kovarik, will be making a 10-day mission trip to city of Ouanaminthe, Haiti, just across the Massacre River from the Dominican Republic, to bring supplies, food, and support to orphanages and senior homes.
This will be Ted's second trip in just a few months to the region, however this will be Angel's first trip out of the United States ever.
"I am so excited, I really feel like I have accepted the calling," says Angel, "I want to experience it, I have the heart, I want to feel what they are feeling, to help them with love and support."
Although supplies are limited in the Dominican Republic, so are the limitations on baggage within the airlines.
"We found that we have to balance what is worth bringing with us and paying baggage fees for and what is better to bring money for and buy there," says Ted.
By bringing donations of items that are not readily available, such as medical supplies and certain building tools, and buying clothing and food there, they are also able to support the local economy.
Ted made the trip in July of this year with his Vacaville church, Crossroads, building chicken coops at Bon Samaritan senior assisted living center, and helping at Danita's orphanage, both places that the church had made connections with.
"The trip made a huge impact on my heart," says Ted, "Holding these kids, working in homes, seeing 10-foot by 10-foot houses, occupied by grandma and 7 grand-children and more, cooking in a metal bowl with burning styrofoam as a stove, you can't help but want to give more."
"Here people are worried about the economy; there, even food to last a week is like winning the lottery," explains Ted, "They really are in survival mode, living to get through the day, not looking at future plans. I have skills I can help them with."
As the Chinese proverb reads, "Give a man a fish and he won't starve for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he won't starve for his entire life," and this is exactly what they hope to do.
With a background in mechanics, military, some medical training, and as an entrepreneur, Ted hopes to provide some training that will help the community, help themselves. He plans to check on the chicken coops built in July, and continue educating them on harvesting and breeding.
The couple have several goals during their trip. Aside from the help they are bringing, they hope to make connections that would allow them to return with their family for a potential, long term, summer trip in 2013. From there, they are considering more extended mission trips, and the possibility of even making steps to open their own orphanage.
Most of their monetary donations have come from their church community, and from their own sacrifices. The Kovarik's are owner/operators of their local business Solano Windshield Repair, and admit that financial times are not easy for them, but believe that there needs will be met and it is important for them to help others.
As business community members, they are active in the Dixon Chamber, volunteer for Dixon Family Services, the Opportunity House, and Kiwanis Club.
"You can support us with your prayers and encouragement," says Ted, "and if you choose to use my business you are allowing me to continue doing this work."
Although the Kovarik's are not asking for any donations toward their trip, there may be some who feel compelled to give. Checks can be mailed to them c/o Crossroads Church, 190 Butcher Road, Vacaville, CA 95687.
They will be sleeping at a missionary team house, and may potentially have very slow Internet service to update their family blog. In that case, the Dixon Patch will update their travel stories and photos as they go. If not, we will follow up with Ted and Angel when they are home and rested.
Solano Windshield Repair can be reached at (707)359-9579, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.