Happy Easter everyone! I trust you’re all doing well, and hope you’re celebrating the Resurrection this fine day. It’s been a couple months since our last update, so we wanted to drop a line and fill you in on what’s underway in the Dominican Republic. We’ve had a busy first quarter this year, having begun a few new projects and continuing to develop previous ones….
English Classes and Discipleship
In January, we began to teach English to some of the children of Palo Alto. Amado, a local pastor and leader in the community, helped by identifying the first group of students who have a need and desire to learn. So far, the class has been learning a great deal of useful vocabulary and elementary grammar. As we continue to learn Spanish, we are better able to communicate and bridge the language gap. In addition to the class time, we are able to share brief devotionals with the students as well.
At about the same time we started the English class, my friend Nick and I also began a Mens’ Bible study group with some of the local gentlemen on Saturday afternoons. As we get to know these men, we continue to be excited to see their growth in faith and friendship. Some of them walk great distance across mountainous terrain to attend. We will soon be expanding this to include couples and young adults as well.
We were blessed with two visits since our last newsletter, and have a couple more scheduled in the coming months. We love having folks come down to learn firsthand what we’re doing, while lending a hand with a few projects and making a few new friends in the process. I’ll include a brief description of these two most recent groups below, and you can click on either image to open a photo gallery from the respective trips.
|In January, our friend Michael Stewart (pictured, left) came down to check out what we’ve been up to. He was able to spend a few days with us and participate in some back-breaking work and a couple of fun days to boot. We managed to pour a new concrete section of Amado’s steep driveway, distribute some clean water filtration systems, and get to know a few new friends in the process. We also took advantage of the beautiful Dominican winter weather to visit the beach, a mountain coffee grower, and a few other popular spots. A huge thanks to Michael for his generosity and willingness to come down and help some folks! CLICK HERE to see more pictures.|
Wheaton College Football
|Earlier in March, the Wheaton College football team came down for a short term mission trip in conjunction with Santiago Christian School. Kip helped facilitate the portion of the group’s work in Palo Alto. The team was incredibly well organized…and flexible…and completed an amazing amount of work. They finished the majority of a very large cistern for the retreat center, including slab and block walls (even for a team of football players, I was impressed by the sheer volume of blocks they moved and laid), built and stained 10 new benches, finished staining the new railings and perimeter shelter/porch, built new stairs to replace the washed out trail leading to the area, and began to assemble a quiet area of reflection on the mountain point. CLICK HERE for more pictures.|
Fundacion Red de Misericordia
|Several weeks ago, we began to help out around the Fundacion Red de Misericordia (the Network of Mercy Foundation) orphanage in Santiago. We were able to help put on a gathering for the kids for Día de Amor y Amistad (Day of Love & Friendship). Subsequently, we’ve been exploring how we can additionally support them by being available to give the orphanage workers a break on Monday afternoons, schedule some time with the kids, etc. This particular location has about 80 children under its care. I have not yet uploaded all the pictures to the website, but will try and do that soon…|
- Easter celebration at Red Misericordia
- Spanish training completion…our intensive class has only 3 more weeks!
- Trammel visit
- Summer visit to the USA!
- Fogarty visit