Posted June 29, 2021
Sharing the gospel has always been a priority for our ministry. From the beginning of the food distribution program, a time of biblical teaching has been a part of the process of delivering the food. Steve Hull, the ministry’s founder, always emphasized to the staff that the people receiving the food should know that it came from Jesus.
In recent years, we have been working to develop a more effective approach to evangelism in the communities served by our program. We learned from working in the communities that many residents are not believers, and residents of some communities are involved in pagan religions. As important as our weekly bible teaching is, we believed there was more that could be done for a greater impact.
We knew that the best way to reach the residents of these bateys was through the local Christian churches that already exist. Prayer, planning, and generous financial backing from several supporters led to the hiring of Wilton Gomez, who is charged with helping to develop and carry out plans to work with local churches to evangelize more effectively in these communities.
Since taking his new position, Wilton has spent time with many of the local Pastors in the bateys. In meeting with them on a regular basis, Wilton has learned of challenges the Pastors face in their churches. One difficulty is that many of these Pastors have not had formal training in the bible or church leadership. This prompted our leadership team in the Dominican Republic (DR) to devise a plan for providing some training to the Pastors.
Wilton and Ricardo, our DR Ministry Manager, worked with Pastor Samuel Alexander to develop a training program. Samuel serves at the church on the mountain, near the mission house, and is a member of our DR Board of Directors.
The program kicked off in February with a workshop held in Batey 2. Eight Pastors and church leaders from Bateys 2 and Isabela attended the first workshop, during which Samuel discussed tools for writing sermons and preaching more effectively. The second workshop was held in May, with 19 Pastors and Worship Leaders from Bateys 1, 2, and Isabela in attendance. The topic of this workshop was the importance of conducting an orderly worship service. Samuel taught using concepts presented in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church.
Feedback from the participants has been positive. Following the second workshop, one Pastor said, “Being part of these studies has been a great blessing for our lives as well as for the churches we lead.”
Future workshops will be presented, covering additional subject matter. Gradually, the program will be offered to interested Pastors and church leaders across all the bateys served by the ministry. Please pray for Wilton and Samuel as they prepare for and conduct the workshops, and for the church leaders who are participating.
We are able to do this work in the Dominican Republic through the generous gifts of people like you! Please consider sending a tax-deductible donation today to help us provide nourishing food to families living in poverty, while encouraging and developing local Christian leaders to spread the good news of Jesus Christ within their communities.