Children Need Firm Foundation

Friday, June 8th, 2012 and is filed under Uncategorized

With the help of a small group visiting from Pompey Community Church in New York, we held our first student registration for Go MAD’s Firm Foundation Children’s Center in Villa Islabon.  The response from the village reminded us, once again, of how much these type of small schools are needed.  Islabon is not a particularly large area and in the span of 2 hours, we had 34 students registered with about half of those having no documentation.

In the Dominican Republic, when a child does not have documentation, they are not allowed to go to school.  There are a few exceptions to this in the lower grades, but none are allowed to go to high school.  With little to no education, this puts these children at great risk of being exploited.  With Firm Foundation we want to provide these children with the opportunity for options.

Firm Foundation will give these children more options by allowing them to come to school and receive a quality Christian education.  During their time at Firm Foundation Children’s Center, they not only receive the basics of reading, writing and mathematics but also English, logic and life skills classes all taught with a Christian worldview.

img_0551We have partnered with a Christian lawyer in the area to provide birth certificates where ever possible.  This gives more opportunities by allowing children to move into the public school system where they can attend high school and even university.  This also allows these children to get a Cedula, which is an I.D. card that all Dominicans must have, to do many things including get jobs and vote.  Without this Cedula, they are regulated to low paying jobs and have no voice in their own country.

In a very short amount of time in Villa Islabon, we were reminded of how many children are in danger because of this issue of a lack of a birth certificate.  When I look at them, all I can think of is that God created them for a purpose and they deserve the opportunity to live it.  We want to give them that opportunity through Firm Foundation.

If you would like to be a part of giving a child this opportunity, you can do so through our child sponsorship program launching later this month.  Not only can you help to provide this opportunity through your financial support, but also by being involved in the child’s life through correspondence and even coming to visit them in the Dominican Republic.  Stay tuned for more information to follow soon.

– Chantz


Oasis Graduation

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 and is filed under Uncategorized

May 31st was a day to be celebrated!  It was the first official graduation of the women of the Oasis program.  The ladies had the day off to relax as well as go to the beauty salon to have their hair done.  Go MAD had a team in for the week from Pompey Community Church in New York.  We worked together with the team to make Hope House look especially festive and fixed all kinds of yummy treats for the party that would follow the graduation ceremony.

img_0579-1600x1200The ladies soon began to arrive and they all had large smiles on their faces.  Proudly, they put on their caps and gowns and we had a great time of taking photos with each other and then each lady with her escort.  Pastor Felix welcomed the crowd and shared a word from the Lord; it was a great opportunity to share about the love of Jesus.  Then each lady was escorted in by a male family member or friend.  They looked lovely and they carried themselves with a confidence and grace that wasn’t there before.

Lisselotte, our Oasis director, announced each lady and talked about the ministry.  Then it was time for the women to share their testimonies.  Tears were flowing and it was amazing to hear of God’s movement in their lives and the effects it has had on their families.  Each of the women was presented with a new Bible and before long, it was time to celebrate!

As the guests enjoyed the wonderful food, I had the opportunity to visit with the families of the women in the program.  Danisa’s grandfather actually stood up and cheered at one point during the ceremony.  The sisters, Yesenia and Leonela, invited their mother.  She was the one who started them on the streets at a young age, but she told me that she had seen such a change in them that she wanted a different life also.  She said that the girls had shared Jesus with her and she wanted the peace that they had.  It looks as if she might be in our program next term.  God is so amazing!

What a privilege it has been to work with these women these past months.  I am so excited to see where God leads them.  It is so evident that they now understand that they are precious to our Lord and they are ready to follow Him into a new future filled with hope.  Thank you Jesus for these sweet women and the privilege it has been to share Your love.

– Renee