Value

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 and is filed under Uncategorized

In the heart of Sosua in the small church of “Iglesia de Dios”, some powerful changes are taking place. Three weeks ago, a group of fifteen people including Dominican women and men from the church, a Canadian missionary, a pastor and the GoMAD team set out on a mission to do something out of the ordinary for a church in the Dominican Republic.

The church is located on a busy street, full of American and European tourists, restaurants, bars and lounges all centered around one industry – sex tourism. If you are a tourist in this area, it is more than likely you are there for one reason, las chicas.

In Dominican culture, prostitution is widely looked down upon yet strangely accepted at the same time. It’s as if the community has just given up due to the lack of opportunity for dignified work for their women and therefore, prostitution is pretty out in the open. The men who come to exploit these women are treated as kings and welcomed by every restaurant/bar in the area, while the women are treated as second class citizens and many times, are not even welcomed into the church. That is what is so unique about Iglesia de Dios. Men and women from the church are reaching out, without judgment, to these beautiful, forgotten women of Sosua.

I have had the blessing of spending every Wednesday evening at this church in fellowship with these women. Well, I suppose I should be saying girls instead of women as most of them are between the ages of15-20 and already have one to two children. We have been serving a light dinner and refreshments, praying for those that would like to be prayed for, but most of all, simply showing these women that someone cares about them.

Last week, the message we were really trying to communicate to the girls was “value”. That they have value. That they are worth something. And that God created them for a purpose. It was heartbreaking to see tears streaming down some of their faces when they heard this message, as if they couldn’t remember the last time someone saw them for their worth and not as a commodity – an object to be sold to men seeking a lustful night while on vacation.

It can be overwhelming to walk the streets in Sosua. Dulce Bella and I will often walk through the red light district on Wednesday afternoons to talk with the girls and tell them about the Go MAD program at Iglesia de Dios. Looking into some of their eyes, all you can see is pain and suspicion, as if they could never believe we were actually there trying to help them. The shear number of girls we come across can sometimes leave me feeling as if we will never even make a dent in the world of sex tourism and trafficking. But I know better. It is in God’s hands and there is a greater power at work than anything I could ever accomplish on my own. Last week, Clara, a sweet 20-something Haitian girl with a charming little gap between her two front teeth returned for the third week in a row and has started attending church services on a weekly basis. A teenager last week accepted Christ as her Savior. The fist night, we had 25 girls come to the church with most returning the next week with friends or even boyfriends to be prayed for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please keep this program on your hearts and in your prayers. There is so much need in this area and so much desperation. I can’t wait to share more stories with y’all about the powerful work God is doing in this small little church in Sosua.

– Candace Honey

Go MAD!

How is My Money Getting Spent?

Thursday, October 25th, 2012 and is filed under Uncategorized

Go MAD Ministries’ finances for 2011 were finalized from our accountant last week.  We want you to know that we take very seriously our job to be good stewards of the money our contributors entrust to us.  As part of this effort, we would like our supporters to know how their money was spent.  We are proud to report that 85% of ALL REVENUES and 100% of DIRECT CONTRIBUTIONS were spent on PROGRAMS for those we serve.

To give you a point of reference, the American Institute of Philanthropy rates charities in the United States primarily on budgetary issues.  It states that its top-rated charities spend at least 75% of their budgets on programs.  As you can see, we far exceeded this standard for 2011 and it is our goal to continue to exceed it going forward.

Thank you to all that have chosen to partner with Go MAD in the Fight against Human Exploitation.  You can be sure that when you give to Go MAD, your gift goes to Making A Difference.

–       Chantz

Go MAD!

Wanna Make A Difference?

Sunday, October 14th, 2012 and is filed under Uncategorized

Southwest airlines has had a very effective commercial series that shows people in either very embarrassing, stressful or frustrating situations and then ask the question, “wanna get away?”   We can all relate to being in situations where we just wanted to get far away and relax.

These moments happen in everyone’s life, but they are just that, moments.  What about our lives as a whole?  When we get to the end of our lives here on earth and we are reflecting back, will we be thinking about those moments that we wanted to “get away”, or will we maybe be thinking about something else?  Will we maybe be thinking things like: “Did I make a difference?”  “Did my life count?”

With this in mind I want you to visualize a scene for my commercial.  In this scene we see either a man, woman or teenager sitting on the couch entering into, by the looks of the scene, their 6th or 7th hour of watching TV.  Now, a scene of the oppressed and exploited in the majority world contrasts that scene as they go without food, medical care, clean water, education, etc.  Now the question that is asked is, “wanna make a difference?”

Which question do you think would most change what you see when you look back on your life?  There is nothing wrong with getting away sometimes and relaxing.  In fact, it is very necessary.  This is more a question of focus.  You see one question focuses on us and our desire to relax.  The other is really a focus on others and our desire to serve and change lives.

Go MAD ministries is built on this desire to serve others.  The scripture that this ministry began with and we continue to operate on today is, “…I will show you my faith by what I do.” – James 2:18  That is what our name, Go Make A Difference,  means to us.  It is not simply a name but a way that we want to live.  Something that we want to strive to do every day and we are looking for people that feel the same to join us in this work.

We need people willing to volunteer to serve God and others both in the U.S. and in the Dominican Republic.   God has blessed and expanded this work and lives are being changed through it.  We need people willing to commit to making a difference.  People willing to say, “I’m all in, let’s Go Make A Difference and do something great for the kingdom!”  There are lots of different areas of need, but most of all we need people that are passionate and committed to serving others.  This is different than being passionate about what they want to do to serve others.  This is about being passionate about doing what needs to be done to serve others.   Of course people have giftings and talents in different areas and these should be utilized, but it’s about a mindset that says, “I am about doing what needs to be done more than I am about doing what I want to do.”  In a nutshell it is about self-sacrifice.

Some examples of needs are:

  • Program Manager for Child Sponsorship – this would be U.S. based and be someone willing to not only manage the program on the U.S. side but also drive this program forward by looking for opportunities to get children sponsored.
  • Health Center Administrator – this would be in the DR and would be responsible for putting into place proper procedures and managing the day-to-day operation.  Person doesn’t need to have a background in administration as much as knowledge of how these things should work like a doctor, nurse practitioner, nurse, etc.
  • Teacher – this would be in the DR and would not only help with teaching but also training of teachers.
  • Maintenance – this would be in the DR and would be responsible for all of the buildings that Go MAD currently operates and future building projects.
  • Director of Operations – this would be in the DR and would be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the different ministries.
  • Advocates – people in the U.S. that simply help us in different ways to build awareness of Go MAD’s work in the DR.  This does not necessarily mean public speaking.
  • Financial Supporters – people willing to commit to monthly giving that allows us to budget for the ministry.

There are other areas as well, but this gives you an idea of some of the gaps we have right now.  I want to assure you that skill set is not nearly as important as a real commitment to serving.  If you are able to bring that, we can use you.  Contact us at http://www.gomadtoday.org/contact-go-mad if you would like more details on getting involved.

We are passionate about this work and want others that are passionate about it to join us.  We also know that your passions to serve may lie elsewhere and that is okay.  Whatever God has given you a passion for commit to it 100% and serve with everything you have.  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” – Col. 3:23

–       Chantz

Go MAD!

Reaching Through the Darkness with Love

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 and is filed under Uncategorized

sosua-nightlifeThere is a street in Sosua that is hard to describe.  The name is Pedro Clisante, but we call it “ The Track”.  During the day, this street is filled with bars and restaurants like many streets in tourist towns around the world.  At night, it turns into a very dark and dangerous place becoming a hunting ground for men with evil desires.  Hundreds of hopeless girls wander in and out of bars working the track.  Some are forced to work here by the wicked men that own them.  Men travel here, many in groups, to purchase these women.  When you walk this street at night the darkness is overwhelming and the look in the eyes of the ladies is heartbreaking.

This month, Go MAD, through the Oasis ministry, will be launching a new outreach program.  We will partner together with a local church, Iglesia De Dios, to reach out in love to these enslaved women and provide them with a meal.  This will happen at the church, which is on the track across the street from the largest brothel in the area. The ministry is simple: build relationships, provide nourishment, and offer prayer.  We want these women to know that they are truly loved by someone but most of all that they are loved by God and that He created them for a purpose.  If they want out, there is a way.  We are so excited about being a light in the darkness, and a hope for the hopeless!

Please join us in the fight to help these women become free and find their identity in Jesus.  Take the time to educate yourself on the subject of human trafficking and sex tourism.  It is very real, not just something you see in an action movie.  Allow God to place the burden inside of you and then take action!  This outreach will add a large financial burden to the ministry and we can use your help to fund it.  Please consider a monetary donation to the Oasis ministry via Go MAD.  You can make a payment online at our website or send a check .  This will allow us to continue reaching these women in need and help them escape the bondage in which they are held.

“Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” – Psalm 82:4

– Renee

Go MAD!