Dear Praying Friends and Partners:
It is our joy to be in partnership with you. As we go through the advent season, we are reminded to wait expectantly for the Lord to enter into our world and into our lives in new and beautiful ways. Just like Mary, we say yes to the plans God has laid out for us. In Isaiah 40:4-5, the prophet tells us “every valley shall be lifted up and every mountain and hill be made low… to make straight in the desert a highway for our God. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.” We see this in our return to the Dominican Republic. At the right time, God opened up a highway for His work to be accomplished, He made the way clear, and His glory is already being revealed.
During this time of re-entry into the culture and ministry of La Romana, the verb “to accompany” has defined our role. Accompany can have several meanings: to go with someone as an escort or companion, travel with, keep someone company. In music, it means to serve as background and support for more important parts. Similarly, we have been called to accompany the leaders, young people, and pastors of eight (8) churches collectively called Alianza de Iglesias Bautistas (Alliance of Baptist Churches). As we escort them, we offer our company and our support. Currently, this has taken the form of discipleship classes for two (2) groups of young adults, preaching, teaching, workshops, visitation in homes, welcomed work teams, etc.
Talking about discipleship classes, one 20 year old woman testifies that although she had heard the truth from the pulpit, through her discipleship group, she is now learning to live it and lead a life of personal devotion to the Lord. A young man of 30, who is a new deacon in the group Vital is discipling, shared that since being a part of that group, God is now the center of his life and all of his decisions are now guided by that reality.
• Radio – A local station has given us three (3) hours to broadcast a holistic program in Creole targeted for Haitians on the sugar cane plantations. While Jesus was on earth, he accompanied the people and cared for the whole person. Likewise, we are called to do the same. The program will seek to be educational, aimed at helping the people to live with dignity and raise their standard of living. It is another form of accompaniment.
• Strength – May God walk with us as we walk with others and lead them to Christ.
• Community Center – Offering prayer, passport and immigration services, and economic, psychological, emotional, and spiritual help.
• Two (2) new churches – In the coming year, Vital will accompany two young men from the discipleship group as they start 2 new churches.
• Four (4) new Discipleship Groups
We invite you! Please come! Walk with us as we grow together. We will need work teams for:
• Construction of a clinic in San Pedro de Macorís, and two new churches.
• Vacation Bible School in July on the batey/sugar cane plantations.
• Training in how to study the Bible contextually for pastors, future pastors and leaders to the Dominican Republic and Cuba.
Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year!
Vital and Ketly