Lake Center Students Put Faith into Action in the DR

hirty-four Lake Center Christian School student-missionaries are putting the biblical worldview they embrace into practice, tending to the physical needs of others in the Dominican Republic (DR) while sharing the hope of Christ.

By: Emily Chesnic, Campus Communications & Volunteer Coordinator

Thirty-four Lake Center Christian School student-missionaries are putting the biblical worldview they embrace into practice, tending to the physical needs of others in the Dominican Republic (DR) while sharing the hope of Christ. 

The DR Mission Team of juniors and seniors and ten adult chaperones, including Campus Pastor Mr. Jeff Knori and some LCCS faculty members and alumni, will aid impoverished Haitian villages in the vast sugarcane fields of the DR from March 16-23. Their service will include construction work, food distribution, Vacation Bible School with children, evangelism, and prayer. 

Continuing Service to Christ in the DR

The mission trip helps deepen relationships with Christ while giving an understanding of the struggles people face in other parts of the world. 

A group of seniors serving in the DR for the first time last spring are returning to the country. 

“It was my favorite week of my entire life, because I got to do what I love doing, which is serving Christ,” senior Matt Warder said of the 2023 DR Mission Trip. “I am very blessed to have the opportunity to go back and continue God’s work.” 

Senior Marisa Varner will reconnect with individuals she helped last year while meeting new people through door-to-door evangelism. While evangelizing in 2023, a 17-year-old mother of a 1-year-old little boy was led to Christ by Varner.

“It hit me hard because we are the same age and had different lives. We connected immediately,” she said. “There isn’t a day that I haven’t prayed for the two of them since.”

Warder said his eyes were opened last year to how little the people of the DR know about God.

“This may be the only time they hear the Gospel, so I am preparing to share this great news with everyone I meet,” he said.

Since 2010, Lake Center has been taking teams to the DR annually through Meeting God in Missions, a non-denominational, short-term mission trip ministry. 

Mr. Knori is proud of the students’ impact in the DR, saying they are wonderful at showing God’s love.

LCCS Juniors Request Prayer for First Mission Trip 

Lake Center provides a Christian education, encouraging students to spread the Gospel, think globally, display gratitude, and participate in missions. 

For most juniors, this will be their first mission trip. They are thankful for the opportunity to live out their faith and request prayer for safety, effective ministry, and personal spiritual growth. 

“I look forward to seeing how God can work through me and our group,” said junior Luke Sommers, who is excited to care for and play with children in the DR. 

Junior Victoria Wilson grew up seeing Lake Center students depart to the DR for missions, igniting a desire to serve one day.

It is such a blessing God has trusted me with this opportunity to further His kingdom,” said Wilson, who looks forward to spending time in the churches and experiencing the culture. 

Warder said the believers in the DR are joyful, “worshiped the Lord with big hearts even though they have so little.” This challenged him to live a more generous and thankful life.

Mr. Knori appreciates taking juniors and seniors to the DR because they return “fired up for Jesus” and transform school culture. 

Sommers said, “My brother went on this trip in 2019. It was one of the best experiences of his life. I want to experience this change.”

Partnering with the Mission Team

While the team members prepare to serve, they are being encouraged by Lake Center’s younger students, faculty, and staff. Classes “adopted” a student-missionary to pray for and bless through cards and letters going with them to the DR.

“This adoption has been an incredible blessing to our team in the past, and it is a blessing to the classes as well,” said Mr. Knori. 

Currently, the DR team is engaging financial support partners to help fund the trip. They have raised 86 percent of the monetary amount needed as of Feb. 27. Donate through MGM at


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