-- 224 Students Taught
-- 37 Teams Sent Out
-- 457 Evangelisms Done
-- 37,021 Heard the Gospel
-- 13,472 Prayed to Receive Christ
-- 173 New Believers Classes Started
Peggy and I had been to Dominican Republic a few times a few years back. I knew that if we were to do a Conference there it would be great and probably in some ways a little easy. I had met the Overseer Elvis Medina at the General Assembly for Church of God in Indianapolis, Indiana. When prayig for the location for the summer of 2007, I felt good about pursuing this country.
Upon arriving on the preparations trip, everything went very well and I could see that it would work out great. After doing the planning through the National Director of Children, Hilda Beatriz de la Cruz, I attended a National Pastor’s Conference. I presented our ministry and talked to the 500 Pastors about what cooperation I would need with them. Upon finishing, I thought that was it. To my surprise the Overseer got up and began telling of the specific criminal problems they were having with youth and children around their churches. He asked a pastor to stand and he told how the week earlier that a youth and a child in their church had been killed in violence around their church. The Overseer began praying strongly and then said repeatedly in his prayer, “Children, Children, Children, Children!” I could tell that God was really moving. He ended by giving an appeal to the pastors, stating that something has to be done and having this Training is not just a coincidence. That God was giving them a way to impact children in their country of Dominican Republic .
I was surprised with how moved I would be in the Dominican Republic by the people on the streets. As usual, I enjoyed handing out Gospel tracts. Yet, in Santo Domingo the poverty of many of the people was so evident as well as the seeming hopelessness. Because the Dominican Republic is on the same island with Haiti there are many refugees from Haiti in the Dominican. With much witchcraft and voodoo being practiced, there is much darkness and oppression.
So, as we handed out the "Ven al Padre" cards printed with the colorful depiction of children and the Gospel message, it was wonderful to hear read "Ven al Padre" or "Come to the Father" all up and down the streets. Just reading that aloud served to ring forth a message of hope to troubled people.
Each day of our School, we had to stop a small gas station at the end of the teaching day. Our team was always tired and hot by that time of day and each of us would have preferred going straight to the hotel to eat and rest. Because we stopped at the same place every day, we got to know the workers there. I am sure they thought our group of 17 Americans was a peculiar group as we all piled out of the van each day to get propane for the vehicle.
Finally, on the fourth day, I began to share Jesus with three men who worked there. All three of those men, ages 29 to 32 prayed to receive Christ! The next day we returned bringing Bibles to them. What seemed like a nuisance stop to a group of tired Americans turned into a blessing as the Kingdom of God welcomed three more souls!