Greetings from the Dominican Republic
Our Executive Director, Jose, has returned from his recent trip to the Dominican Republic to visit our partners and registered children at “Nest of Love” and “Asher” schools. We praise God for our partnerships with Keiry, Ruben, and Evely, and we want to share what God is doing there with you! CCI has been working with our partners in the Dominican Republic for over 2 years and we are currently sponsoring over 130 children.
Meet our partners, Keiry, Ruben and Evely!
Ruben, tell us a bit about yourself!
I was born in a Christian home and since I was very young, I learned about living according to God’s principles and this was the focus of the church I attended. After finishing high school, I moved to Santo Domingo to study Business Administration. Once I graduated university, I started serving at Nest of Love School with the accounting department. Besides doing accounting, I was also involved in teaching the Bible to the children at school. With my background, I integrated administration and teaching, and created a new, dynamic curriculum for the children. I have been involved with this ministry since 2012.
Keiry, how did Nest of Love begin?
My mother, Evely, was a full-time teacher in the public school. She started teaching the Bible to six children from our neighbourhood in her garage. Soon she realized the children were also in need of education as they did not have the resources to go to school, so she starting teaching other subjects too. The number of children grew, and from the garage they moved to use the whole house. It started without a specific plan to create a school; it just came from the desire to teach children about Jesus. Slowly, more kids came and they rented another house, until the school district told us we were not allowed to run a school from a private house. At that point, God provided the resources to build a school. We started with 6 children and we now have 420 students attending Nest of Love!
Evely, what are some of the challenges in this community?
Prostitution and sexual tourism is very prevalent here. Families are also impacted by drugs and vandalism. Many children come from dysfunctional or broken families and are living with other relatives apart from their parents. This is because many children face abandonment by one or both parents, or are orphaned because their parents were involved in crime and have been killed. Other children lack food and do not receive the support necessary for their growth because their parents are not employed. There are also children whose parents suffer from illnesses.
How is CCI sponsorship effecting the community through the school?
We are giving children the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty that they carry from their parents. Through education, there is an opportunity for them to do something different. As children are surrounded in the community by individuals involved in prostitution, drugs and violence, education opens a door for them to take a different path.
We are also giving spiritual teaching and guidance. Teaching about Jesus impacts not only the children but also their families. We are teaching the children that Jesus loves, cares for, and changes them. Sponsored children are learning God’s plan for their lives.
Children in the school and their family members have given their lives to Jesus. A 5 year old, Emanuel, prayed at home in front of his parents the way we pray at school, and his parents were really touched by the prayer and became believers too!
I want to share the story of Edward, who is one of the first six children that would meet in Evely’s garage. During his time in the school his parents divorced and he could have behaved badly, but thanks to the teachings and support at the school he was able to have a good attitude. Being part of the first graduating class of the school, he is now going to university to study to be a math teacher. And he has the dream to become the school’s principal at some point! It was very encouraging for us, hearing Edward tell us about his decision to become a teacher, and even his dream to become the principal at this school. Listening to the way he communicates and how far along he has come is very encouraging. He overcame all the obstacles, coming from a poor and dysfunctional family. He beat all the odds.
Ruben, if you had the opportunity, what would you say to our sponsors?
If I had the opportunity, I would say “thank you!” Your labour in the Lord, as the Bible says, is not in vain. Your trust in CCI and the school is not in vain. When a child has the opportunity to hear about Jesus and to receive quality education, his life is impacted positively. We are giving the opportunity to make a decision to break the cycle of poverty- that even when children grow up in poor and dysfunctional families, they can decide to make wise choices. We appreciate the sponsors very much and we do not take them for granted. Thank you, because with your help, we can keep the school open and help the children. Without the financial support of sponsors, we would not be able to have these children in school. Most of the families are very poor and do not have the money to pay the school fees.
What can we pray for you?
Please pray for us as we encounter the children every day. Pray for strength and perseverance, for wisdom and direction for us as we lead as examples of Jesus followers for the kids. Please pray for the children and their families. And please also pray for patience, wisdom and direction for the teachers.