DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 2020
What a blessing it was that the Lord brought us to the Dominican Republic this year! We started the week attending Sunday Morning service at the main church in Guaymate and fellowshipping with the church body. Five national churches were in attendance, all of which have been planted by Pastor Jair and the Timothy Project Ministry (a weekly kids program that seeks to reach young people for salvation, daily growth, and eventual placement in church ministry).
We then moved our focus to construction of the new church building and apartment for Pastor Raul in La Higuera, as well as evangelizing in the surrounding areas.
Our construction team was full steam ahead at the start of the week on the church building and apartment for Pastor Raul and his family. In the first two days, we built the walls for the first floor, installed rafters and structure for the sanctuary roof, sided a majority of the first floor exterior, began interior framing, and set metal support beams for support of the second floor by hand (no cranes here!) where the apartment will sit. We were met with some delays middle of the week due to weather, but the Lord provided great weather Friday, and in one day the team finished roofing the sanctuary; framed in, floored, set rafters, and prepped for roofing on the second story; and completed siding/trim on the first level! Truly, this project was a miracle and we were blown away by all God allowed us to do in four work days.
While construction was underway, our evangelism team traveled to sugar cane villages (poor and undeveloped areas where workers of the sugar cane fields live), several elementary and Jr/Sr schools, and door to door in neighborhoods of nearby towns. We met people on the streets, shared the gospel, and invited kids to outdoor meetings where we played baseball, shared God’s word, and passed out fun prizes and school supplies. In just four days, our team reached over 800 people - men, women, students, and teachers - through evangelism, each of us stepping out by faith and sharing our testimonies of God’s simple gift of salvation in our lives.
God was the focus of this week. In every nail we drove, in every smile we shared with strangers, we saw God’s control and glory. We trust God in who will be added to His church from this week and how this church family will be a lighthouse to the community.
·Completed structure of new church sanctuary
·Began Pastor Raul's apartment above church
·Evangelized in schools, villages, and neighborhoods
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 2018
Bethel Baptist and Faith Baptist Church
·Built house for Pastor Elias
·Continued work at Faith Baptist Church
·Continued work at Pastor Raul's home
·Evangelized in schools, villages, and neighborhoods
We had the wonderful privilege to return to the Dominican Republic this year! Five churches were represented on this trip, one of them being our faithful partners in Christ, Adirondack Baptist Church led by Pastor Nate. During this trip, we helped to construct and complete a house for Pastor Elias, continued work at Faith Baptist Church and Pastor Raul's home, and evangelized in surrounding schools, sugar cane villages, and neighborhoods.
The construction crew worked hard and made great progress on all of our projects! Our focus was to build a house from the ground up for Pastor Elias (pictured first, with his wife Elizabeth and their children Jaily, Jamely, and Kimberely). He pastors the believers at Bethel Baptist Church in Matacaliche. In just two weeks, the foundation, walls, rafters, siding, wiring, doors, windows, roof, and front porch were completed, making this the best home in the neighborhood as a testimony for the church. Pastor Elias and his family will use the porch area for a small store on the front of their home to provide additional income and reach the community. We also continued work at Pastor Benito's church in Guaymate, Faith Baptist Church, where we installed windows in the church and in the Timothy Project Ministry. Finally, we helped with wiring and the roof on Pastor Raul's home in Guaymate. He and his wife Altagracia (pictured second) were very excited to move in!
The evangelism crew stayed busy as they spread the Gospel in private schools, public schools, the sugar cane villages where several of the pastors are sharing the Gospel, and surrounding neighborhoods. The team passed out thousands of tracts, shared the Gospel using crafts and rope tricks, and passed out food and tracts to the entire village of Matacaliche with Pastor Elias and his wife Elizabeth. We saw some people come to know the Lord as we went to door-to-door in the villages. On our last day, we were able to teach at and attend the Timothy Project Ministry on Saturday where over 180+ children came to learn about the Bible and hopefully one day serve alongside these great men and women of God.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 2017
Faith Baptist Church
·Expanded Pastor Benito's apartment
·Updated and expanded the kitchen
·Relocated and expanded bathrooms
·Additional work at Pastor Raul and Pastor Nelson's home
Last year, the Lord allowed us to travel with Pastor Nate Petersen of Adirondack Baptist Church to the Dominican Republic for a survey trip. On the trip, we were introduced to Pastor Jair Muñoz, a missionary to the DR, and learned of the Timothy Project Ministry at Faith Baptist Church, run by Pastor Jair and his 7 right hand men - 6 national pastors and the ministry's administrator - all of whom Pastor Jair has personally mentored. The Lord laid on our hearts to get involved in this ministry through an Eternal Investment of your generous giving, and now Pastor Nate and two teams are working diligently on this Nehemiah Project!
This project at Faith Baptist Church includes the expansion of Pastor Benito's apartment (pictured first with his wife Mayra, and their children Israel, Learsi, and Mercy), the update and expansion of the church's kitchen, the relocation and expansion of the church's bathrooms, and additional work at Pastor Raul and Pastor Nelson's home (a shared duplex of the two families). Pastor Nate was accompanied the first week by a dedicated group from South Carolina, and by the faithful members of Adirondack Baptist Church the second week.
Thanks from the DR
Pastors Benito, Raul, and Nelson
"We want to say thank you for the love you have shown to our ministry and the interest in helping us. We are about to start Timothy Project classes and give thanks to our God for giving us the great blessing of having a new kitchen and two new bathrooms, both of them are already finished and very nice. We are very thankful to you for helping us. From our hearts, thank you."
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 2016
Grace Baptist Church
·Turned Pastor Aramis' apartment on back of church into a classroom
·Built a new apartment on top of the classroom
·Installed a gravity-fed water tank to plumb the new apartment
Pastor Nate Petersen and members from Adirondack Baptist Church were able to partner with Paraklete to take a construction trip to the Dominican Republic. There, Pastor Nate and his team worked with Pastor Aramis, a national pastor, to expand his church, Grace Baptist Church. Pastor Aramis (pictured first, with his wife Julissa and their son Miseal) is one of 6 pastors discipled through the Timothy Project Ministry, started by Pastor Jair Muñoz, dedicated to teach young people about the Scriptures.
Before Pastor Nate and his team arrived, Pastor Aramis and members from his church had already removed the roof of the old apartment on the main floor of the back of the church. Pastor Nate and his team then remodeled the original apartment into a children's classroom and added a second story onto the classroom to make an apartment for Pastor Aramis and his family. Pastor Nate and his team worked through blisters, sweat, and hard labor to build the new apartment, which included laying a floor, building walls, building the roof, roofing the structure, building a stairwell to the second story, wiring, plumbing, and finalizing both the apartment and the classroom.
Hard work led to great results, and by the end of the trip, Pastor Aramis and his wife had a new, private apartment, and the children had their own classroom. Pastor Nate and his team greatly impacted this body of believers, and we look forward to partnering with them again in the future to aid more churches in the Dominican Republic to reach people for the Lord. We are so thankful for Pastor Nate and his shared vision with us to support national pastors as they grow and plant other churches pastored by nationals.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 2015
·Painted the exterior of a school
·Rewired the entire school
·Built pulpits for the school classrooms
·Funded work to build two new bathrooms at one church and re-roof another church
The Lord did an amazing work by laying on the hearts of generous brothers and sisters in Christ to donate funds for all of the projects on this trip! Pastor Pedro da Cunha of Iglesia Bautista Cristiana in Santo Domingo (pictured first, with his wife Natacha), Dominican Republic worked with Paraklete to allocate the funds for work on several ministries in the area. Both Pastor Pedro and his church, IBC, graciously sacrificed time, energy, and resources to make this trip successful for our team.
Our team of 16 teens and 11 youth sponsors (many of which had never left the United States before!) accomplished much during the week at the Christian school, Colegio Bautista Cristiano. Several of the teens and sponsors set to work painting the exterior of the school, scraping away the old paint and rolling on the new. An extremely patient crew of teens and sponsors spent most of the week digging trenches in the hot sun and feeding unruly wire from the street to the electric panel to completely rewire the building. And finally, a few team members skillfully crafted podiums for the teachers to use in the classrooms. Money was also donated to build two new bathrooms at one church, Iglesia Bautista Fundamental Evangélica pastored by Pastor Julio Rosa, and to reroof another church, Iglesia Bautista Rey de Reyes pastored by Pastor Sigfrido Objío.
Truly, the Lord provided above and beyond all we could ask or think on this trip. Through financing the projects, protecting the team as they were unexpectedly split up traveling to the DR, giving the team opportunity to "play" as hard as they worked on amazing tours of the city and beaches, and connecting hearts of believers across the ocean for all eternity, God did the greatest work of this trip. We cannot wait to see what He does next. Praise God for His unfathomable ways!
Thanks from Pastor Pedro
Senior Pastor of IBC
"First of all, I would like to say that this group was a most amazing group of believers by God's amazing grace. I was so surprised to see a group of believers in another country giving their all, with no complaining, with the greatest enthusiasm. God's glory was always on their mind. I loved to see Pastor Jim’s tremendous and truly loving leadership and how the church followed. The work done at the site was accomplished with great professionalism in record time. It was very hard work but we also had many great fun times throughout the week. Because of the donation and the work done, our school was able to start 9th grade (and this year 10th). We grew around 12 percent, and this year we are growing a lot more. Next year, we need to build more classrooms! God's grace never ceases to amaze us, and never should. To God be the glory!"