I have been back in the Dominican Republic for a week, and have seen first-hand some of the damage caused by continual heavy rains and constant flooding here that started before the holiday season. We are serving and ministering daily despite the flash floods and red alert that is still posted at the nearby river, which threatens to overflow into the villages for a third time. We are having intermittent sunshine, but it does not last. When the rains return they come in a torrent, and travel on the roads and bridges becomes dangerous. This the worst rainy season even the elderly have seen in their life time.
I do want to share some of the urgent needs here this December. In addition to repairing and replacing what was lost and damaged so far in the floods, we also have Christmas fast approaching. Despite the weather and continual challenges, we do not want to skip Christmas. Gifts for the children have been generously donated and are en-route to the Dominican Republic (please pray for these to arrive safely and on-time). During the Christmas season, we minister to over 500 children throughout this community, we host 3 birthday parties for Jesus (kids’ Christmas party) as well as a youth New Year event (teens’ holiday party). In the past, we have also sent Christmas benevolence to help and bless the pastors and volunteers who serve with love year round at the community center and our other sites. Here is the current list of needs related to flood relief and Christmas:
$600 Repair roof at the La Viña community center (this was damaged in rains and now we have a “stream” flowing through the center)
$600 Replacement washing machines (destroyed by flood water) for residential homes where we have children in our programs
We estimate needing an additional $500 to replace children’s mattresses and bedding after the floods (a partial donation was already received), but we do not want to distribute replacements until we are past the danger of re-flooding, so this will be done in the new year
$600 Christmas Benevolence
$200 Children’s Christmas Programs (a partial donation was already received)
$275 Balance of cost for shipping (for children’s donated Christmas gifts)
Of course, we continue each weekday to serve meals at our Lunch Plate program sites, and we continue to care for at-risk children daily in our Orphan care programs. Please join me in thanking God for His provision, and in praying for miracles this Christmas season!