Sunday, March 31, 2013

Rose of Sharon Educational Center Beginnings

It was a year and a half ago when with a two thousand dollar donation we were able to help in the start of a Haitian school in La Vega.  You can see the impact of this program on the smiling faces of the forty children that regularly attend the program.  These are children who without the school would be

 either closed up in their homes while their parents worked or else out on the streets with no supervision.  Often they speak no Spanish, have no legal papers to attend public school, and cannot afford the uniforms to attend the public school. Their future would be bleak.  But they have hope now.

Just a few weeks ago we were starting to let friends and supporters know that we were looking for some land where we could move the current Haitian school, and start a Dominican church. The building is on a very small plot of land.  Pastor Juan Ortiz, the director of the school, found a great property to move to in Barrio Inco.  That very Monday we made a commitment to buy the property within the week with only half the funds on hand, and if need be, to finance the rest with the owner.  But by that Friday all the funds we needed had come in and we closed on the 
property at 6:00 PM that evening.  It was amazing how the exact amount of money we needed was provided at the last minute.   Now we have purchased the land and we are praying for teams and finances to put up the new building.  As you can see in the photo below, 
the current wooden building needs some help.   It will continue to serve the 40 + children, until the new building is built. Missionary Ryan Pauly (his name is the link) on his blog did a great job of sharing some of the history of this project. I invite you to visit his site.  He has become an integral part in the process of the development of this school. 

. One of our La Vega Christian School (LVCS) graduates is studying architecture at the university and has made some concept drawings for us of the new school.  He was a sponsored child at LVCS, and of course we are quite proud of him. Below is one of his renderings of the future school. The new building will have an industrial kitchen, a large dining area where church services can be held, and four classrooms with the potential of caring for 100 students, with a nice playground area outside.

Aside from the facility serving for the formation of a Dominican Church in the area, we are looking at the possibility of developing an after-school remedial learning program to help Dominican children keep up with their studies.  There is an almost 40% drop out rate after 6th grade in the public school system.  Already $5000.00 has been pledged towards the building.  Estimates are that the 50’ by 80’ building will only cost $48,000.00 to complete the first phase. We are counting on construction teams from the U.S. to help us with this project. We are amazed with how quickly the Lord has been supplying funds for this project. We believe that with God's help it will be built very soon.  
We carefully move forward, trying to be sensitive to what God is doing, and what He wants to do in this community.  It is in a very needy low income area of the city of La Vega. Christianity is about helping people spiritually and also in tangible physical ways.  Good works help to qualify the message of hope in Christ that we bring.

If you feel led to help with this project call us at 1-863-248-1119 (US Vonage phone), and we will be glad to help answer your questions.  Or email me at . 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Unidos Por El / United For Him Event a Success!

It seems that the event is getting better and better.  Our largest crowds ever,  from the first day when Isabelle Valdez sang, to our last night with Edgar Winter leading the youth to a commitment on their knees. [Please visit the link above to Facebook to see a video of the closing call] As I looked out from the stage at this crowd, I was touched by the seriousness of their faces.  400 young people kneeling on the grass for over an hour, praying to God.  Many with tears running
down their cheeks.  90 young people signed a list to each lead 10 people to a commitment to Christ throughout the remainder of this year.  That last Sunday we saw over 2000 people attending at one time.  For the first time we had three buses drop in, one from Ranchito, and two from Santiago.  The word is beginning to spread.  Our goal is to see Christian youth inviting their un-churched friends to the concerts instead of visiting the carnaval celebrations.

Debbie's favorite nights were Saturdays, as after the worship team and the guest musicians ministered, we had a different speaker share the Gospel message to the young people.  The messages were outstanding.  Ricky Gell, Gemuel Delgado, Otoniel Bonilla, and Zoila Garcia challenged the young people to live for God.

The good news is that we have paid off all debts for the event. The Lord came through again this year.   These concerts were offered free and depended completely on donations.  We are thankful to people like Ted Krupski,  Felicidad and Alec Pyron, Living Waters Worship Center (Green Cove Springs, FL), Calvary Academy (Lakewood, New Jersey), Ryan Pauly from Transition Ministry, and Calvin Fortner (Greenville, SC), for their contributions.  There were also some local area businesses that helped to