Revival in Boca Chica
Last year we visited the Haitian congregation, Iglesia de Dios Cristiana por la fe, to see the final construction of this new facility. This year, we traveled to the same church to conduct a three day revival. Upon our arrival, Janet, the pastor's wife, shared with us her healing. Two years ago she had suffered a stroke and had complications. She is a mother of five children. Before we left last year, we prayed for her healing. God is faithful, He healed her! What wonderful news to hear!
The second night of revival, just before I was to preach, a pastor's wife of another congregation shared a testimony about a dream God had given her about the second coming of Jesus. The dream got her attention to be ready and looking for Jesus' coming. We were at the right place, at the right time, and with the right message! Only God can make those arrangements.
The last night of revival, Pastor Sonson shared with me that God had placed it in his heart for his congreation to start a small mission church in Haiti. This was music to my ears, as the first night of revival I preached on "Being a Blessing". Just as God has blessed them with a new building; it was time for them to pass on the blessing to others. Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).
Marriage Conference in Santo Domingo
While they were visiting the U.S., Pastors Ricardo and Marleni Gonzalez who pastor Centro Cristiano Kairos, Santo Domingo, extended an invitation to us to conduct a marriage conference at their church during our visit to the Dominican Republic.
In Thursday's session we covered the topic-The Raising of Children. In Friday's session we covered the topic-The Roles of Husbands and Wives. Also, Carla and I were asked to bless Dario and Juana Maleno who celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. May the Lord give them many years of marriage filled with blessings!
A Missions Legacy
Carla and I have a passion for missions. God has given us eight wonderful grandchildren. Our desire is that every one of them would have a passion for missions as well. This year we took our oldest grandson, Anthony (15), with us to the Dominican Republic. We trust the Lord will use this trip to spark "a love for missions" in him. One grandchild down and seven to go!
Anna Irene Ramos, our eighth grandchild was born on April 7, 2018, at 12:15 am. She is the daughter of our son, Johnnie and his wife, Ashley. Anna weighed 6 lbs, 12.5 oz. and was 19.25 inches long. She has two older brothers, Caleb (4) and Andrew (2).
New Additions to the Team!
About a year ago, Johnnie Ramos (our son) and his wife Ashley Ramos expressed to us that God had placed in their hearts to move back to Cleveland, Tennessee. They had been living in Birmingham, Alabama, for the last 6 years and seemed to be settled. They spent 6 months making repairs to their home to prepare it to sell. Their house was put on the market on a Monday, Tuesday a family came by and looked at it and expressed interest in it. On Thursday, they were sitting down signing the papers--intent to buy! Wow! On top of that, they go an excellent price for the house. When God is in the mix, miracles happen! If that wasn't enough, on the following Monday, they welcomed their second child, Andrew, into the world.
Johnnie will be handling the filming and production of media. Ashley will handle the website and publicity. Johnnie is gainfully employed in Cleveland where they purchased a home about 9 months ago. They are enjoying living in Cleveland and are enjoying their sons Caleb (2 yrs) and Andrew (1 yr).
The past 12 months have taken quite a toll on Carla's family. On July 16, 2016, Beverly Ann Keele, Carla's mother, went to be with the Lord. The last two years, she struggled with dementia. She was 89 years old. Her and Dad were married 69 years. We will miss her greatly.
As the year progressed, and 2016 turned to 2017 Carl Calvin Keele, Carla's father, started to experience a decline in health. In April, things continued to grow worse as he had mounting health conditions. On April 23, 2017, he also went to be with the Lord.
While we mourn the loss of those who have gone on before us, we can take confidence in the fact that they are now in the presence of the Lord, basking in the light of His glory and grace.
Have you ever taken a step of faith? Have you ever seen others take a step of faith? It can be exciting and scary! Sometimes it is something small, other times it is something much larger! The congregants at Cristiana Por La Fe took a big step of faith. When they had to cancel church service because of rain, they decided to take matters into their own hands and rebuild their church around the existing building. They ran out of materials and money, so we committed to sending money to help them finish the church. For the next 6 months, we believed that God would provide as we contacted churches. We are now three quarters of the way done with the church building. We are excited about what God has done! However, there is still a lot to be done. Here are the current needs:
1. Stucco for the walls inside and out
2. Shutters for the windows
3. Metal bars for the windows to provide security
4. Doors and light fixtures
5. Tile Floors
This is where your contributions can help!
A New Roof!
A New Roof for the church, Iglesia de Dios Cristiana por la Fe
The church is located in the town of Boca Chica in the area of La Caleta. It is 30 minutes from the International airport Las Americas. The old church building was just falling apart so church members started building new walls around the old church. However, they fell short of 250 blocks, iron rods and cement to complete the walls. Carla and I gave the money to finish the walls. The church faces the challenge to build a new roof which will be made out of tin and wood. Wood is very expensive in the DR. The cost for new roof is $4000.
Medical Mission Trip 2016
Plans are in the making to do a Medical Missions Trip to the Dominican Republic in the summer of 2016. We will be ministering in a "Batey" (a small village) in the outskirts of the city of Quisequeya (45 minutes east of Santo Domingo, the capital). This was one of the first areas where many Haitian workers stopped in the Dominican Republic to work in the sugarcane fields. They received a machete, a foam mattress and stayed in a three sided room (8 x 8) which they shared with five other men and worked 12-hour days. Three days of work paid for the machete and foam mattress. (See adjacent photos--hover over photo for description)
Three years ago, all government owned and operated sugarcane plantations were sold to foreign companies. These companies use modern machinery to cut and process the sugarcane, therefore, many illegal Haitians are unemployed. And yet, the Haitian community continues to exist but they live in extreme poverty with 90% unemployment. There are people who have lived in this community for 60 years and that is all they have known. Please pray with us that God would help us get a team together to provide medical assistance to this community. We need $5000 to accomplish this mission. All monies raised will be used for supplies, medications and transportation.