Church director’s home highlights
a touch of the Dominican Republic
‘My Happy Place’ is a weekly Press series in which local notables take us on a tour of a favorite spot in their home.
UPPER TOWNSHIP — Anne Dice joined the Peace Corps to help people living in the Dominican Republic, but her time in that country changed her life.
Dice, 56, has maintained a close to 30-year relationship with the country. Dice’s love for the Dominican Republic is reflected in the “Happy Place” in her four bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home, which is her family room.
“This is my happy place, because it not only represents my family that lives in this home, but also my family in the Dominican Republic with whom I have been sharing my life for the last 30 years when I started as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1990,” Dice said.
Dice only had two photos to represent her time in the Dominican Republic, when she moved in15 years ago to the house she currently lives with her husband, Matthew, and their children, Lydia, 21, and Dice, 20.
Over the years, Dice decorated her family room with art from the Dominican Republic to accompany the brown couch, TV and books on the shelves in the book case.
When Dice travels to the Dominican Republic, her main mission is to build sturdier homes for people who live in shacks.
On a wall in Dice’s family room are planks of wood in the colors the homes were built in. One of the planks in her home commemorates the 100th house that was built.
In 2007, Dice was a member of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in Ocean City. She asked if they would be interested in starting a mission down there, and they said yes.
In 2013, Dice switched over to Fusion Church in Somers Point and Mays Landing, where she now serves as the outreach director to coordinate international and local service opportunities.
This month, she will travel to the Dominican Republic to build two homes, which will bring the total to 120, for needy families to do environmental education, conduct a children’s ministry and share the Gospel.
The family room with artwork from the Dominican Republic has been the scene of family parties, reunions, church meetings, gatherings with friends and has produced many memories, Dice said.
“Whenever we have friends and family over, we congregate there and in the kitchen where people do fellowshipping and eating. When my kids were younger, my goodness, we did plays. Our coffee table used to be a (Thomas the Tank Engine) play table,” Dice said.
“My daughter is big into crafts and painting. She does a ton of crafts and painting in there.”