By: July Quiterio Cuello
At the end of 2021 and the first half of 2022, the Quisqueya Church of the Nazarene in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, began a historic process that came to redefine and challenge the congregation. This happened, thanks to the fact that we decided to participate together with 4 churches in the Central District, in a project designed to renew our ministries and impact our city. This new program called: “Healthy and Missional Church” was created and is led by the Mesoamerica Genesis Ministry. Basically, it’s a self-assessment tool for churches which helps to measure their health and vitality. The aim is to identify strengths and weaknesses within a church’s ministries and – with the help of a facilitator – lead them towards health and a successful future.
After immersing ourselves in this process for several months, with the support and coordination of Sugey Barrón and other leaders, we designed an action plan for our congregation that would help us minister effectively to our community. One of the great fruits of this plan was the creation of what we now call “Healthy School Ministry.” In this new initiative, we seek to walk alongside a school and primarily contribute to the holistic development of the student body, without neglecting the students’ families and community.
Before starting the process to be a Healthy and Missional Church, we had taken the first steps in the adoption of an elementary school in our community, taking the gospel to the students, and organizing workshops, talks with behavior specialists, and devotionals. During the pandemic, we discontinued our outreach to that school, but the Lord continued to broaden our vision to also reach the children and adolescents of the “One Million” school, which has 756 students.
By establishing the Healthy School Ministry, and with the support of the YWAM Ministry and other Churches of the Nazarene, God has allowed us to have a great impact. On March 30 we held the meeting “Promoting Values,” where we presented the plan of salvation through the arts, music, and testimonies. In these educational spaces, God has manifested himself through the outpouring of his Holy Spirit, and we’ve seen conversions, reconciliations between people, healings, and the promotion of Christian values. These approaches have allowed us to establish ever stronger bonds of love, service, and trust with the students and the community.
Our church, pastored by Salustiano Mojica Rijo, now desires to share with other Churches of the Nazarene (and beyond) that they can be a part of the Healthy and Missional Church project and start ministries like ours so that each church accompanies a school. That will allow us to reach the children and adolescents of the Dominican Republic and the world. We want to be the Church that is light and salt in each educational center, contributing to the rescue and transformation of lives and, in turn, to the building up of a society that walks in the fear of the Lord.
*July Quiterio Cuello is the Coordinator of the Healthy School Ministry in Ensanche Quisqueya, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
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