The letter below is written from Nelson, our National Director in the Dominican Republic. We hope it’s as encouraging to you as it was to us.
Every year, The Lord blesses me with a reflection from the Word that I share with the teams the last evening as they are getting ready to leave our country. This year the passage is 1 Thessalonians 2:18-20. Here we can see how the Apostle Paul expresses his desire to see those brothers and sisters he loves so much, but how sometimes that is not possible, still, he remembers the joy, the hope, the glory they represent for him and this is the core of his message. I love you, I pray for you, I hope to see you soon.
This is July 1st when I am writing this, we are just haft way of a busy summer with 1 or 2 teams almost every week since May 26th. 5 weeks, 7 teams, a lot of work for everybody. We are getting ready for July with 4 more teams starting July 5th. AND WE ARE SO EXCITED!!!
These 5 teams we had so far have been of enormous blessings for our ministry, the children we serve and the staff on each site. Because these teams came, many wonderful things that were at some point just hopes and dreams today are a reality. The transformation, equipping and total renovation of our project site at Ens. Altagracia…what a blessings, what an encouragement for all the staff and the principal Maria Antoine. What a blessings for all those children, enjoying a whole week of fun and special teaching and skills. Next day after the team left I called Maria, and when I asked her how was everything and how she feels, she couldn’t answer, she was crying like a little girl. I told her, I will call you later, when we can talk, I had to call her 3 times that day and it was later at night when she was able to tell me, her heart was so FULL of joy, she was walking in her project with her family, looking at every single detail the team did, and praising the Lord for all of that. She remembers every act of love of these people and how much the children enjoy it. Her staff was also blessed, as they realized that they were also very important. Today, I praise the Lord for that team.
When I remember the first days I met Milagros from Cotui, even it is a sad story, it is one of the most encouraging thoughts when we see the present situation. Because 2 teams back to back came to her community this summer more than 100 adults men and women were exposed to a deep Bible class for 4 days and were set free from false beliefs and can celebrate today the joy of grace and love of our Father in heaven. I need to remember that when Milagros came back to Cotui, she was one of the few believers in the area, today hundreds of people have heard the true message of salvation and many dozens are coming to church every week. This team expanded the outreach to many others that today are transformed with the truth of Jesus. The teenage girls also had a wonderful time, celebrating their freedom to dance for the Lord; the children, wow, it looks like there are more children every time! What a VBS, and all the love this team brought. Today when the community of Cotui looks at Milagros, they see a person that had been blessed in the hands of the Lord, they see the MAGNIFICENT building the teams have built for her project, in two weeks a huge metal roof was set, the view is breathtaking, everybody rejoices!! These two teams brought love, joy, hope for the future, the gospel, and the confirmation to Milagros that NOTHING is impossible for God!
I’ve been rejoicing to see senior pastors also coming with teams this year (4). In our project of Herrera two separate teams, both with their head pastors here, brought a fresh word from God to the church, connected with the community fixing houses in this poor neighborhood, playing basketball and teaching “real” basketball, teaching hygiene, painting the whole school, and just having fellowship with hundreds of people in the area. The connections developed between team members and the society is HUGE! The local pastor Osvaldo will be in the hearts of these churches and the children just unforgettable! When these teams that came to Herrera left, EVERYBODY was happy for them, and praise the Lord for their visit.
One very special team we had this past month did something unique, gave the children in many of our projects the opportunity to have a FUN day. The deaf school we went to the aquarium, children in Herrera visited the old city and a wonderful museum. For many of these children, to go out is something they do once a year or two years, so this was very special. VBS programs, ice cream, special crafts, and more, what a wonderful time the children, the staff, the team and all of us together had! PRAISE BE THE LORD! For the teams that came this month of June.
Like Paul said, I so much wish to see you again soon, I know we have to wait a year or two, but our hope, our joy is to know that you will not forget about us, we will keep you in our prayers and so you will too. In the DR we are so much looking forward to seeing you again, COME and be a blessing to our children and to our whole ministry.
THANK YOU FOR COMING!! Hope to see you soon!