Here at Respond to Christ, our focus is on implementing and strengthening discipleship practices. To put that into action we run both Spanish and English focused outreaches. While our Spanish focused ministries (Piedras Vivas, Familia Para Cristo, Paso Adelante) mostly work alongside the local church and communities in the implementation of discipleship practices, our English focused ministry is completely different. Living Stones Discipleship (visit www.livingstonesdiscipleship.org) is our missions-based discipleship outreach (or it could be more accurately defined as a training ground) that involves English-speaking young adults (ages 18 and older) coming down to the Dominican Republic for an extended discipleship session (usually three months).
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.
Only a Few Days Now and We’ll be a Family of Six What a pregnancy this has been. I’m writing this from the perspective of a husband and father as my wife isn’t quite up to sitting down at a computer to type out her feelings. What a crazy nine months. Our pregnancy with our fifth child (we lost one during a pregnancy in 2007) has been quite the experience, as our new daughter has been an added blessing and challenge in our transition to our new roles as missionaries, especially for my wife. I thought I’d share some of the various ways Jenni’s pregnancy has been a bit different this time around. The News First off, we can’t forget Lyla’s (that’s her name) grand entrance into our lives. We found out that we were pregnant only a week and half before we left for the Dominican Republic. I remember […]
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” 1 John 5:4-5 Oh the sins, the longing covetousness of the things of this world. It’s what the enemy uses to trap us and hold us captive. We fixate ourselves on our own worldly idols – television, food, success in our jobs, money, clothes, cars, homes, and even our human relationships. They are gold to us. What great temptation they are to put our trust in them to give us our worth. But in the end, these items by themselves hold us prisoner. Yet wait! There is hope! There is something…err…someONE that can break us out of our prison of worldly idolfullness. His name is JESUS! But, just knowing Jesus isn’t enough. […]
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 […]
Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 24:27, “Prepare your work outside, get everything ready for you in the field; and after that build your house.” This is the theme for us for the next few months. In fact, through the work of the Spirit, we’re already in the middle of “getting everything ready for us in the field” through our time serving with Makarios. The main question we get now that we’re venturing on our own is “What is your ministry focus?” It’s a very honest and obvious question to ask…and we’d ask the same thing if we were on the other side. And while we have all kinds of ideas in our brains about potential ministry opportunities, the truth is we need to wait before we commit to or announce any ministry focus. If we did, it wouldn’t be fair […]
I knew coming into our role as missionaries here that because I’m a)white, b)a man and c)American I’d automatically be considered someone that local people (mainly Haitians) would try to befriend in order to try to get more for themselves and their family. I had read enough books, blogs and stories about how Americans are often considered the “great white hope” of the disadvantaged and poor throughout the world (and most of that is our own fault due to our past “hand-out ministries”). And with my initial role as the principal of the Makarios School, I automatically arrived in a supervisory capacity, which just escalated that mentality. Even though I had some great Dominican and Haitian staff work alongside me at the school as the principal, I have still grown to abhor one word here – “jefe” – the Spanish word for boss. It was fun at first to have […]