By Michelle CDestinylogoolesanti

A 17 member team from Destiny Church in Ruskin will soon embark on a mission trip to Cima del Rey, a town three miles north of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The team, led by Student Ministries Pastor Elias Pena and his wife Karen, includes 11 teenagers and six adult chaperones, and will be in Cima del Rey from July 11-18.

In October 2014, Destiny Church sent a team to Cima del Rey to help in an ongoing construction project. The needs there are many, and it has adopted the town as its project. During that week in 2014, the team helped with a facility that is being converted to a multipurpose site for camps for children throughout the year, but especially in the summer. The site will also be used as a retreat center for people throughout the Caribbean. The eventual construction of a dormitory will house 350 post high school students who will train for missionary work in Latin America and throughout the world.

Destiny also continues to support ministries around the world, including new mission commitments in Romania and Peru, but Cima del Rey will continue to be an annual project.

Pastor Jerry Lubrano participated in the 2014 mission.

“The impact of these mission trips on Destiny Church is significant. Our entire church has an outward focus on our community and the world. That’s why we do both local and international projects,” he said.

The team’s purpose in going on this trip is to work with in-country missionaries to do outreaches to the children of the Dominican Republic, bringing them the Christian message through song, skits and games. The local church and mission’s staff at Cima del Rey then do the follow up work when the Destiny team leaves.

Lugano also noted, “All the team members, but especially young people, have an opportunity to look outside of themselves and offer time, effort and resources to help others. Additionally I think they gain a greater appreciation for the enormous wealth we enjoy as Americans vs. the poverty experienced by the people of the Dominican Republic.”

Destiny Church is located at 2322 11th Ave. SE in Ruskin. Visit www. or call 654-3337.

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Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.