Introducing the Bright Future Campaign In November of last year, after witnessing the incredible need for organized and structured activities to get the local kids off the streets around where we live, we decided to launch a youth outreach program, which are calling Piedras Vivas (Living Stones, taken from 1 Peter 2:4-5). Since then, we have been running a program two days a week in our garage port (one for the older and another for the younger kids). In early February, we increased the number of times of our club to now four days a week.
In combination with our new Piedras Vivas Youth Club, this summer we are also going to run a summer day-camp for the kids in the club and a few others who live in the area. It’s another effort to help keep the kids occupied this summer under safe and supervised care. The summer camp is going to run for six weeks, four days each week. The activities involved will be included in four general “centers” or categories, including; Sports and recreation Bible Arts and crafts English as a second language Our goal is to involve around forty children for each session. Counselors Needed We have a few opportunities available as summer day-camp counselors to help us coordinate and run the program. These positions will require each counselor to commit for a complete 8-week term (May 29 – July 26) and to raise their own support (around $2,200 not including flights). In […]
SPOTLIGHT ON: Jesus David, or ChuCho Chucho (a nickname which actually means “mutt” – nicknames, by the way, are VERY common here) is an 11-year old Dominican boy who lives in Las Zayas with his grandmother and sister. We live in a neighborhood called Urabanizacion Maria O that is walking distance from and is located in between Las Zayas, which is mainly a Dominican neighborhood, and a predominantly Haitian village called Batey de La Union. We are one of two “gringo” families that live in the area. We met Chucho through some other local kids and right away we fell in love with his exuberant and fun personality.
We went out to take a walk together as a family in our neighborhood and this friendly guy was hanging outside our gate. This is a daily occurrence as the guys who run the little “farm” down the road open up the gates and let them roam around the area. It’s fun to see about 30 cows all chillin’ out in the streets…but no fun having to dodge their feces bombs. “No Asher, don’t pick up that dirt.” Also, if it’s trash day, you can’t just leave the trash cans out as the cows are smart enough to open them and feast…and leave a mess in the wake. And we’re finally getting used to their moo calls waking us up in the morning (along with the roosters and barking dogs). Another aspect of life in the D.R.
I saw this on John Piper’s Twitter feed the other day and retweeted it, but I thought it would be good to also reference it here. If you haven’t heard of John Piper, he is touted as one of the greatest Biblical pastors of our time. He is one of the favorite speakers at Louie Giglio’s Passion Conferences and others across the country. Desiring God, his full time ministry, outside of the church he pastors in Minnesota, offers daily strategies in helping others fight for the joy of the Lord. This little bit of goodness in the video below – which he refers to as A.P.T.A.T. – is a tool he’s personally used (and preached about) for the last 25 years to put God’s Word into action when confronted with various challenges in life. If you’re one who like to journal, this is something I’d write out in your journal […]
There is a lot you can learn from on a brief drive here in the D.R. Take a peak at what I (Pat) saw each day for the past three months as I drove to and from Montellano from and to our house in Cangrejo (about a ten minute drive…when there are no cows in the road or when the local military base isn’t doing any marching drills down the highway). The photos below show my way from Montellano back to our house in Cangrejo (captions for each photo are above the photo). Below is the “highway” (or autovista) that goes along the edge of the north coast and connects all the cities and towns. You’ll notice that it is only a two lane road. Also notice that there are no street lights. This is one of the main turnoffs (calle de bomba) for Montellano. “Bomba” is the word used […]
So apparently today (November 30) is a tradition here in the D.R. where youth (younger and older) take to the streets armed with water balloons, eggs, and flour for some lighthearted (mostly) fun. They will throw these at each other usually, but it’s also a tradition to throw these at passing cars, unless the driver tosses out a RD $5 peso coin. So far, I haven’t been attacked and I haven’t had to throw out any money, but I stopped by the colmado (small street store) and got some change just in case. The tradition, it is told, is to honor an old baker back in Spain who in protest to one of the old kings took some water and flour (and possibly eggs) and threw them at the king to illustrate his opposition to the king’s ruling ways. It’s yet another excuse, I think, to use to skip school. […]
I love these lines in Phil Wickham’s Safe song: Did you know that the voice that brings the dead to life Is the very same voice that calls you to rise So hear Him now He’s calling you home You will never be alone The thought that God’s voice, which was so powerful that it brought forth life, is the same voice He shares in love with His children…you and me…is just incredible. That’s why we shouldn’t take our conversations (our worship, prayers, devotions) so lightly. And that’s also why we should take our response seriously. For Him to place a special mission on our hearts for His sake is an important thing, something I choose not to ignore. And the best part is that despite any anxiety or fear, just as Wickham explains, we will be safe in His arms. And that makes the step of obedience easier to […]
As I’m writing this post, I’m listening to and watching the live broadcast of the Festival of Hope in Haiti. Franklin Graham, along with Michael W. Smith, Lecrae and others, are speaking and performing in the Port au Prince soccer stadium. Interspersed between the acts, they are showing Samaritan’s Purses efforts in Haiti. In one of their video updates on their work in Haiti, one of their graphics said “Responding in the name of Jesus Christ.” That’s exactly the heart of our message as well, thus the name of our ministry. As this week marks the one year anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake, my prayer is that the promises that the Lord shows in Isaiah 61 are upon the people of Haiti. “1. The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal […]
January 12th will mark the anniversary of the devastating earthquake that literally tore apart Haiti, resulting in over 250,000 deaths and almost 1 million people homeless. Haiti was already the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, and the earthquake there made the situation much worse. Thousands of children are now orphans. A cholera epidemic followed and infected more than 100,000 people and took the lives of over 2,000 more people. And then to top it off, the recent presidential elections have resulted in causing violent riots and escalating division among the people. It’s a hard time for the people of Haiti. On Wednesday, January 12, 2011, we are encouraging you to join us in a day of fasting and praying for Haiti. The power of prayer is truly remarkable. God calls us to intercede and pray for others (Psalm 55:17, Luke 22:32, James 5:13). And He hears us and answers us […]