It has been several months since my last work report.Many groups have visited us since then, and next I will give an account of the great work that these groups have made in the Dominican Republic.You can be part of these groups in 2004.Give enthusiasm to your church, and begin to coordinate a group for 2004.There are many pending projects to make, there is work to be done, and there are many opportunities for mission work!Thanks to God, our United States and Puerto Rico Baptist Churches still believe in the missions, and part of their budgets are dedicated to the world-wide offering of missions, and some missionary trip abroad.Plan for this New Year 2004 to bring a group to the Dominican Republic, Haiti or Cuba.All of them need people like you who can visit them and give them a hand in the community and church work that they are doing.As the hymn says: "I am sent from God, my hand is ready for building with Him a brotherly world; the angels are not sent to change a world of pain into a world of peace.It is my duty to make it a reality.Help me, Lord, to do Your will."
May 2003 - Montgomery Community Baptist Church, Cincinnati, OH
(Batey (Sugar Refinery Camp) Las Javillas) This group remained one week in the municipality of Yaguate, community of the province San Cristobal (the first city of the South region), giving the finishing touch to a multi-purpose hall, in which they offer classes to the children, worship services, and other classes of social activity, for the benefit of the Haitian inhabitants who live there and work in the cutting of the sugar cane.A "batey" is a place where the Haitian community lives, working for the sugar refineries, and they are dedicated to the cutting of the cane to produce sugar.They live in houses called "barrancones" (shacks) and their living conditions are not the best ones.
This multi-purpose hall was inaugurated by the voluntary brothers of Cincinnati and dedicated to the first missionary of them who visited the zone, Mr. Roland Sedziol.The inhabitants of the community were present supporting the volunteer brothers, including the Mayor José Oviedo, teachers, painters, journalists, among other people related to the development plans of this municipality, surrounded by sugar cane plantations.The sugar refineries of this place are managed by Vicini Company that was represented by Carmen Ogando, Coordinator of the Social Welfare Department, as well as the engineer Jesús Rijo, who behaved both like excellent host and hostess.It has also built a cistern, an area of common washing, and toilets.The Iglesia Bautista El Redil of San Cristobal also assumed a roll of support, and continues giving a follow-up to the work in the spiritual order.The brothers expressed their joy to see a dream turned reality.The leader in charge of the group, Tim Senff, showed the interest to continue endorsing this type of project; for that reason they will return in March of 2004.
June 2003- First Baptist Church Rainelle, West Virginia - Pastor Dana Gatewood. Peniel Baptist Church, San Cristobal - Pastor Franklin (Faustino) Romero.
This group visited the church in order to continue with the work of construction of the facilities of the temple. They also made a contribution of medicines, which was distributed between the doctor's office of Cambelén, (of "Eternal Life" –Vida Eterna-) and The Good Samaritan Hospital, of La Romana.
July 2003- Iglesia Basutisa Carolina, Puerto Rico -Rev. Héctor Vázquez Iglesia Bautista El Buen Pastor, Guananito -Pastor Lilian Medina
A group of this church visited us, conformed by 25 people.Part of this group of Carolina did Vacation Bible School (VBS) in the community of Pedro Brand, an inhospitable place, where people live stacked up and have great necessity.Over there they had the experience to know the work that makes, with very limited resources, Pastor Damaris Gomez, who is in charge of Iglesia Bautista Judá.
The other members of the group worked on medical operatives and helped in the construction of Iglesia Bautista El Buen Pastor, that is pastored by Lilian Medina.The brothers of Carolina were sensible to this reality, and it is the desire of them to return to visit both communities.Pastor Vázquez and all the team gave the best of them.We give thanks to God for the missionary spirit of this church.
July 2003 – Iglesia Bautista Celada, Puerto Rico - Group Genesis San Luis Baptist Church, Batey (Sugar Refinery Camp) Mata Lindo, Batey Yabacao.
This group, very special, spiritual, willing and dynamic, made a really beautiful work during one week in the sugar refinery camps of San Luis.The group of brave sisters:Toñita, Doris, Yemilza, Gisela, Moraima, Chiqui, and Cani day to day was interacting with the children of the sugar refinery camps, showing a genuine love.They were visiting the sugar refinery camps in the mornings, offering dynamics of Biblical schools, with the excellent participation of the little clown Chiqui.They distributed clothes, toys, toothbrushes, candies, balloons, snacks in each workshop.Rev. Jimmy Vargas, Associate Minister of Stewardship and Missions of IBPR, who was visiting the country, saw the work of Group Genesis.At 9 o'clock in the morning, the group went to a sugar refinery camp in a minibus, and in the afternoon it returned to participate at the worship services in San Luis Baptist Church, ministering in the direction and preaching.The girls managed to touch lives, and they testify that the experience was extraordinary.It was an arduous, but victorious task.
July 2003 - Rex and Rebeca Cooper, Volunteers in Guananito, Villa Altagracia
During 3 weeks, Brother Rex Cooper and Sister Rebeca Cooper worked as volunteers in Iglesia Bautista El Buen Pastor of Guananito in Villa Altagracia.Over there they had the opportunity to teach music, hymns and dance to children of the community. Pastor Ballista helped them with the music. Also they participated with the community as resources in the summer camp that offers to this community the organization World Vision.For them it was a experience of much learning and satisfaction.This couple really represented a heart of missions.
August 2003 -Stepney Baptist Church, Monroe, Connecticut
Peniel Baptist Church, San Cristobal - Pastor Franklin (Faustino) Romero
This group visited the church to do Vacation Bible School (VBS), and to help in the construction of the building.A group of very loving brothers lead by Karen Woodford and Pastor Britt were very well received by Pastor Franklin and his wife Fátima.We saw the interest of these brothers in extending their work with the children of the sector through VBS.
Santiago, Cuba 2003
In August of 2003, I was in Cuba, specifically in Santiago and Jiguaní.Over there we were sharing our visit with Pastor Eliécer Prieto, his wife Dulce, and Reina.We were making contacts to facilitate some scholarships that a church of Puerto Rico wanted to offer to several students of the Seminary, Pastors, and Lay Leaders.
Also we had the opportunity to meet Pastor Wilder and his family, who is the new pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Jiguaní.We had the opportunity to preach and at a retreat center in Palmaron we preached to a group of young people, some of who reaffirmed their desire to serve God, and asked us questions about our missionary work.We got to know the work of Dos Ríos, the place where Jose Martí died.Over there we detected some necessities, as it is the completion of the building of Dos Ríos, like materials for teaching the leaders, Bibles, among others.Cuba needs our prayers and all our support.Over there people seek God with their heart, and they travel long distances to worship Him.They need clothes, toothbrushes, toothpastes, soap, foods, woman's underwear, among other things.They have people very committed with the Gospel.Pray so that this next year 2004 we can bring two groups of the Discovery Teams to Cuba without any inconvenience.
September 2003 - NY State Group - Bill Carlsen, Hector González, Leon Oaks-Lee Vida Eterna (Eternal Live) Baptist School, San Cristobal.Dedication of the building.
A representation of brothers from some of the churches of New York visited us, with their Executive, Rev. Bill Carlsen, with the purpose of dedicating the building of Vida Eterna (Eternal Life) Baptist School, San Cristobal.This was a project that they had initiated about 5 years ago, and they were very pleased to see the work finished.Besides the dedication of this building, they took advantage of the opportunity to paint some classrooms of the school.They also had the opportunity to visit other communities like Cambelén camp/hospital that also belongs to Vida Eterna (Eternal Life) Association.They also visited the community of Los Toros in San Juan de la Maguana, where in previous years some of them had also taken part in missionary work.Over there in San Juan, we also visited Pastor Radamés Valera of The Tabernacle Baptist Church, and it was a great experience to listen to the testimonies of these brothers of San Juan and how God has strengthened them in their work right there in the middle of that community.We also visited the Haitian Missionary Church of La Romana and its hospital, The Good Samaritan Hospital.Over there we visited Pastor Marc and Sister Elsa, widow of Phanord.We visited with Sister Elsa the church that she has raised in a community of La Romana.Sunday morning, they shared the worship service with Iglesia Bautista El Redil that Jacqueline Ballista pastors.They were astonished with the work that this small church is doing in that place, and they committed themselves to help in a future.Pastor Leon, his wife Rossy, and the rest of the group were very glad and with all the enthusiasm to return and to accomplish other works in the future, right here in the Dominican Republic.Brother Héctor González, of the Christian Community Credit Union, also showed great enthusiasm and support for the missionary work in the Dominican Republic.
October 2003 - Pastor Steve Cummins, Bobby Unger
San Juan de la Maguana - Pastor Radhamés Valera
What an experience!This group of 15 representative people of the Baptist Churches of Columbia, Linwood, and Wyoming of Cincinnati, Ohio, visited The Tabernacle Baptist Church of San Juan de la Maguana.Over there during one week they worked in the construction of which will be the pastoral house.These churches previously had worked in the construction of what is today the building of The Tabernacle Baptist Church.This one already concluded it was a great surprise for the group because they were part of that great project.A dynamic group and with a lot of enthusiasm, directed by Brother Bobby Unger and Pastor Steve Cummins.It was a great adventure to receive them in the airport with 28 duffle bags full of clothes, first necessity items, shoes, and educative materials, among others.All these articles were donated to the families of The Tabernacle Baptist Church of San Juan and to Peravia Baptist School in Baní.Right there in Baní we had the opportunity to share our visit with Pastor Richard González, his wife Mary and children, and that great congregation of Baní, which with a lot of love and enthusiasm received us.These brothers from Cincinnati gave as a gift a bilingual Bible to Pastor González and Pastor Valera, respectively.They shared the worship services of both churches, their experiences and testimonies.As a part of this trip, the group had dedicated an offering for the purchase of a bus for The Tabernacle Baptist Church, and we went to the Capital in Santo Domingo to look for it.God had everything prepared, even the price!!!After several dealings… we left with the bus for the church and Pastor Valera driving it!!!They were going happily and joyfully to San Juan with a bus for the brothers of the church. Many of them must walk many kilometers to go to church, now they have a vehicle that can take them home safely.Thanks to all you for this great effort.
All this that you have finished seeing and reading are only some examples of groups that have visited us in the Dominican Republic, and their lives have never been the same.If you want to be part of this experience, talk to your pastor about your interest in visiting us in a missionary trip, and thus you can begin a great adventure of missionary work in the Caribbean.
I invite you to include in your prayers these 3 countries:Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.Three small islands that need the mercy of God, and the prayers of people of faith like you.Each island has its particular necessities; pray for the governments, the lack of food, the lack of hygiene, potable water, electrical energy, health, pagan religions like the voodoo, saints worship, witchcraft; in general, pray for the mercy of God upon these 3 islands.Thanks also for praying for me as missionary; the work is a little exhausting and requires much mental and physical organization.I am happy with my work here in the Dominican Republic, and I hope to continue doing the work that God sent me to do right here, in Haiti, and Cuba.