news from the DR | 04.2014

Before our April 7 team meeting, we had the opportunity to Skype with Luis. We’re thankful technology provides a way to stay connected between trips.

The Vargas family is doing well! Reina is hard at work with school. She finished her university classes and is now working on her thesis, hopefully to finish in December. Yeison and Dilson are both doing well in their schoolwork, with even better grades than last year (Luis and Reina promised to reward them if they did well this year). Luis and Reina also recently attended a three-day marriage retreat (Luis joked their cat Pelusa missed them, since she had to fend for herself while they were gone).

Luis asked what was going on at REUNION and we mentioned our current message series, WEIRD: countercultural currency. We quickly learned money management has also been a topic for discussion in the Vargas family and La Mosca church. In February, a guest speaker came to La Mosca to share on the subject, and in April, the GO pastors took part in a financial management seminar. We realized a good portion of our team has gone through Financial Peace University and is personally working through the same issues. Thanks to this discovery, we hope tackling personal debt and working towards financial responsibility is an area where we can encourage each other to grow.

The church in La Mosca has seen both blessings and heartache. They held an outreach event a few weeks ago and three people came to Christ. Of the three, one passed away a few days later from a serious illness. The second has cancer, and the third is a young person whose family is Catholic and doesn’t want him to be baptized. Luis is planning to talk to his parents in the hopes they will be supportive of his decision. While it is painful to be reminded about the health issues those in La Mosca have to face every day, we are thankful that Luis is working to bring light and hope to this community, and that we have the opportunity to help address some of those basic needs through our annual medical clinic.

The nutrition clinic also continues to make a big impact in the community. They currently have 94 kids who show up regularly with very healthy appetites. The church is able to feed them all, provide vitamins to keep them strong and growing, and teach bible lessons to feed them spiritually.

It was great to catch up with Luis, and we’re even more excited for our trip in August!