And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are called according to His purpose.
As the two of us continue our service in the Dominican Republic, we have asked ourselves: what is God’s call of service for us in this place and for this time? We believe the 1.5 years we spent in the USA “in the desert” during my breast cancer surgery and subsequent treatments were to prepare Vital and me for the present. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18). We experienced so many uncertainties when we went to Boston, yet God provided people with open hearts and arms to welcome us and to provide for us. This outpouring of God’s love to us strengthened us to be God’s hands and feet once again here in La Romana. Also, I feel my ordination prepared me to be an example and an encouragement to other women in the D. R. who are called to pastoral ministry.
Pictured are a group of women pastors and pastors’ wives united together.
We find the spirit of Immanuel “God with us” helps us to accompany those who are sick and brokenhearted. One of our friends in La Romana named Orene is suffering from cancer, and God is giving me the opportunity to walk alongside her to provide spiritual, emotional, and physical support. I feel like I learned so much from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and that part of my ministry to those suffering from cancer is education – what to eat, how to rest, what questions to ask the doctor. Also, a young man we know named Joel was just diagnosed with stomach cancer, AND his father also just received a cancer diagnosis. God has prepared me to accompany them as they walk through this time of trial. Praise God that the family is strong in their faith, but the path ahead is not an easy one.
Orene, Ketly, and Gigi (friend & cancer survivor) — Walking together with Orene on her cancer journey.
Immanuel “God with us” is also present in the start-up of the chaplaincy program at Good Samaritan Hospital in La Romana. In January, twenty-one volunteers from the area churches will work alternatively for several hours throughout the week as “angels of mercy” in the various wings of the hospital. This is a much-needed addition to the ministry of healing at Good Samaritan.
Talita Cumi Girls Club in Batey El Salado The Talita Cumi Girls Clubs have experienced Emmanuel “God with us” as many girls are finding Christ’s light, joy, and friendship through the weekly meetings in the various bateyes and La Romana. One mother related that her daughter’s attitude has changed from one of criticism and negativity to one of laughter and positivity.
One of our concerns this year is the increase of persecution of Haitian immigrants in La Romana. There is a sense of unease and fear among many of the Haitian community, and the Community Center is a place of rest and an oasis of peace in the midst of this chaos. Vital is accompanying many Haitian construction workers who need brotherly, physical, emotional, and spiritual support so they can live with dignity in the D.R.. The goal is to have an organization to unify these men so they can be a mutual support to each other. Vital is also hoping that the Community Center will soon be able to create a “Job Board” so Haitian women looking for work can be connected with potential employers. We keep in mind this scripture: “You shall not oppress a stranger nor torment him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 23:9). Yes, Immanuel “God with us” is essential for these immigrants. Pictured is The Community Center Visión Integral –preparing for the next phase of ministry
Through your prayers and your financial support you have been accompanying us as we minister. We are grateful and look forward to this continuing investment in our lives. You help us to know Emmanuel “God with us” – THANK YOU!!
Please pray with us:
We wish you a Merry Christmas, and may God bless each of you richly in 2023!