Willow I.T. in the D.R. – Day 5

I am writing this final D.R. post from home now. My friends and I flew back yesterday morning around 7:30 a.m. We are so thankful for the opportunity to serve. All of us on the team felt extremely blessed to have such an amazing opportunity to serve.

Together with our friends from I.C.C. and Esperanza we were able to accomplish the following tasks.


  1. Installed a Digium, Astrisk phone system complete with voice mail capability, auto attendant, etc.
  2. Placed and configured 11 Linksys desk phones and 1 receptionist phone.
  3. Installed and terminated 1300 feet of network cables to 13 locations at I.C.C.
  4. Reconfigured I.C.C. computers to connect to a shared internet connection
  5. Installed 1 netgear power over ethernet switch
  6. Installed 2 patch panels
  7. Installed one UPS to stabilize power to the phone switch.

Willow Creek D.R. Office

  1. Installed Sony Video Conferencing to facilitate communications between Willow S. Barrington and Willow D.R.
  2. Reconfigured and consolidated  phone and data network.
  3. Installed additional phone so each of the 4 work spaces can have their own phone and Carman, Mark, and  Stephanie and have their own voice mail. Willow D.R. staff and Willow South Barrington Staff can call each other using 4 digit extensions as if they were in the same building.
  4. Stabilized power to sensitive electronics by installing UPS "battery backup power supplies" in key areas of the office.
  5. Installed a Linksys Power over Ethernet Switch to centrally power phones in the office over the network.
  6. Consolodated internet and a secure VPN connection into a Sonicwall TZ 170 to allow internet access and to extend secure office phone service to Willow staff in the D.R.
  7. Reconfigured and Re-Patched 8 network connections to consolodate the Willow D.R. office network.

It seems like small journeys like this just fly by. We plan hard, we work hard and then we just go about our lives when it’s over. Don’t get me wrong. Efforts like this change our lives forever. Even so, I think that in our busy lives we can just forget our others touched our lives in the process of partnering together. With that in mind, I want to take a moment to record a few thoughts about everyone who partnered with us to make the journey happen.

  • Elvis Hernandez – Elvis is a technologist who provides technical support for Esperanza International.
    Elvis, Thank You so much to for continued support in our D.R. office.
    Your expertise, and servant’s heart have been such a gift. I know our
    staff is in good hands when you are close by. Also…Thank you for all
    of your help during our time there. You took time out of your already
    very busy schedule to hook us up with additional computer equipment,
    local pricing on computers and so much more. I am so thankful for you
    and for our continued friendship.
  • Carlos Gomez – Carlos is an Computer Engineer for Esperanza Internation
    Carlos, It was such a pleasure meeting you. I so much respect you heart for Christ and you expertise. Thank you for helping us when we needed to borrow a computer monitor at the last minute. Your graciousness really helped us out of a challenging situation. I pray that we get to work together in the future.
  • Moises Jerez – Moises oversees technology at I.C.C.
    Moises – It has been a joy getting to know you over the past week. I so much respect your knowledge of technology and your heart for Christ. I am excited about how you will lead technology at I.C.C. into new levels and I pray that God will continue to allow us to partner together using technology for holistic ministry in the future. You are a good man and I am blessed to call you friend.
  • Carlos – Carlos is a staff member of the I.C.C. Fitness Center. This center offers access to heath and fitness programs and equipment to people living in Santa Domingo.
    Carlos, thank you so much for stepping up and volunteering to help Brett and Arman install network cable at I.C.C. I know that Brett holds you in very high regard and I don’t think we would have finished the job without you. On behalf of our team we with you and your new bride all God’s blessings.
  • Carlos Pimentel – Carlos is the Executive Director of Esperanza International.
    Carlos, I continue to have the utmost respect for you my friend. Your love for Christ, You love for people and your keen mind for putting your love into action is such and inspiration to me. I am so blessed to know you and learn from you. Thank you for taking time out of you very busy schedule to meet with us. I am so proud to call you friend.
  • Henry Pimentel – Consultant to Esperanza International.
    Henry, You are a man of action and your efforts in making technology and education accessible to people in need is an inspiration and a dream come true for me. Thank you so much for taking some time to share your success story with us. I have learned so much from you already. I pray that we can continue to partner together in the future.
  • Carmen Fanas – Carmen provides administrative support for our office in the D.R.
    Carmen, Thank you do much your wisdom, patience and hospitality during our time there. My team and I learned so much insight from you into the heart of Dominican Culture. I also know that our work interrupted your very busy schedule. With that in mind I thank you again for your grace and patience. I am very blessed to know you.
  • Pastor Robert Guerrero
    Robert is the pastor of Iglesia Comunitaria Cristiana (ICC). ICC is a community church in the heart of the colonial district of Santa Domingo.
    Robert, You are a hero of mine. I hope that if God were to bless me with the opportunity to pastor, I would have even half of your passion and vision for being "Jesus with skin on" to a world desperately needs to love and power of God. I share your dreams for holistic ministry and a I am so very bless and privileged to learn from you and to call you friend. I pray for health and blessings for you, your family and your church. Thank  you for allowing us the privilege of serving along side of your wonderful staff.
  • Pablo Garcia – Pablo is a friend of Mark and Stephanie from I.C.C. Pablo made an Argentinian Bar-B-Que for us.
    Pablo, Thank you so much for making such an amazing dinner for us. The food was absolutely wonderful. However, it will be the memory of the atmosphere of community and fellowship that you created for all of us to share that will live with me forever. Thank you for using your gifts to serve with such love. I believe it truly makes God smile.
  • Mark Haugen– Mark is on WCCC staff in the D.R. is he is husband to Stephanie
    Mark – your faithfulness, wisdom, passion and friendship is an inspiration to me. Ever since we met on a Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Waveland, Mississippi, I gained a tremendous amount of respect for your integrity, leadership and passion for helping people. Mark, you are a gift to work with, I share your vision for holistic ministry and I hope we get to work together for years to come. Thank you so much for serving us and for all you do for so many…
  • Stephanie Haugen – Stephanie is also on WCCC staff in the D.R. and is bride to Mark
    Stephanie,- Your energy, positive spirit and tenacity never ceases to amaze me. I am consistently blessed every time I get to opportunity to work with you. Thank you so much for all you have done to help coordinate our little journey. You are such an encouragement to me and my family, we are all so blessed to call You, and Mark, friends. Thanks for all you do for so many…
  • Arman Dolikian – Arman is a technology consultant who volunteers his time on the leadership team of Willow Creek’s Computer Connection.
    Arman, It has been such a blessing getting to know you over this the past week in the D.R. I’ll never forget our late night and breakfast conversations about God and about life. You stepped way out of your comfort zone to use your expertise…and you applied your gifts with the utmost skill, grace and flexibility. I have so much respect for you my friend. I pray that we get to work together like this in the future. Thanks for taking precious time to jump in and serve. I would work with you anywhere in the world.
  • Brett Rogers – Brett is a network engineer at Willow Creek Community Church,
    Brett, You are the man…I have never worked with someone out on the road as thought through and prepared for service as you were for this journey. You really went the extra mile in every way…and you did it with excellence, grace, love and joy. I know that this trip stretched you. But you rose way above every challenge. I hold you in very high regard my friend and it is alway a privilege to work with you any time, any where. Thanks for going the extra mile my friend, you really made a huge difference. I pray that you really feel God’s smile.
  • Vicki Dolikian – Vicki provides administrative services for the Information Technology ministry of Willow Creek.
    Vicki, You are just plain amazing. I know for a fact that this effort would have failed without you.
    I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t think of you and thank God that you are on this team. Thank you so much for all you did to organize and coordinate all the details. I pray that one of these days you will actually be able to go. I know how passionate you are about helping people in need. It shows in everything you do. I have the utmost respect for you and I am honored to call you friend.

I end this post by thanking God…to you be all the Glory forever…we thank you for your blessings of safety, community and productivity during our 2007 Journey to the Dominican Republic.


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