During the past three months, various districts in the Dominican Republic organized events that ended up impacting the churches and communities where they were held.
Having observed how many local congregations have recently atrophied in their work of disciple-making, sponsored missionary Sugey Barrón, together with her leadership team, organized a Maximum Mission entitled “NO LIMITS” in Bella Vista, Santiago September 6-7. The objective was to mobilize the churches of the city and share the message of salvation in creative ways.
38 participants from the entire country joined the work of the local “New Life” church, a congregation with a deep desire to be on fire and reflect Jesus. The workers took on the challenge together of impacting a neighborhood called Papatín Hill, known in the city for its poverty and crime.
According to the theme, participants were not limited by normal setbacks. They planned with faith and ended up ministering to the community through artistic events, evangelism in homes and small businesses, sports, workshops, street clean-up, children’s activities, and sharing food. They sowed seeds of the Word of God in over 200 people, they visited 50 houses, and after all was said and done, through the various activities 70 people had come to know the Lord.
Sugey shared that God surpassed all of her team’s expectations and that each participant left Santiago believing and declaring the event’s motto: NO LIMITS!
Three weeks later, 500 Nazarenes from the East District of Dominican Republic celebrated a combined service that was entitled “Committed to the Mission.” Pastor Ramón Joseph explains that this event has been held every year since 2010, with the purpose of motivating the Church to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and the Church of the Nazarene: “Making Christlike disciples in the nations.” On September 29, the entire district joined together to reaffirm their commitment to play an integral part of that mission.
During the service a mass baptism was held, dozens of new members were received, and the Lord’s Supper was administered. Those present also had the privilege of praying for and sending out for the first time their own missionary, Elba Isabel Duson, who currently is serving with GENESIS in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Everyone rejoiced at the end of the day when the activity closed with a concert led by the Revelation Maranatha orchestra.
A little over a month afterwards, November 1-4, the South District held their first ever Maximum Mission, entitled “REBUILD.” The primary goal of this mission’s trip was to reopen a church and church building that had been closed for a long time in the 2C sector of the city of Azua. 27 participants traveled from all five districts of the D.R., and they were hosted and assisted by the District Superintendent, Luis Daniel Pérez, the District Presidents of NYI, NMI, and SDMI, as well as the District Treasurer.
Wendy Carolina Rivera, National Coordinator of Global Missions, noted that 75 families were reached through house-to-house evangelism. 44 additional families received food baskets, and 31 received basic hygiene kits. During the four days, workshops were also offered to young women and single mothers teaching physical and emotional care, and the missions team offered them facials, manicures, and much more.
The men and boys of the community received free haircuts, snacks, and participated in sports tournaments organized by the Nazarene youth.
Another group of tireless workers invested their time in the children of the neighborhood through Vacation Bible Schools, washing hair, cutting fingernails, playing, and crafts.
During the four days, the team managed to paint two entire houses in the community as well!
By the end of the weekend, approximately 25 people had received Christ as their personal Savior, and 14 people had begun discipleship classes. Rivera beamed as she shared that the community was very receptive to the gospel, and upon hearing that the church was reopening they were overjoyed, and many said they would like to come to services!
It is astonishing to see how God is mobilizing his Church in the Dominican Republic. Please continue praying that more and more people would decide to involve themselves in the Lord’s mission in this nation!