Mission Focus for March 2022: Dominican Republic

Our Mission Subcommittee’s monthly focus for March 2022 is on the Dominican Republic. The DR flag will be displayed in our chancel throughout the month. Here’s more information about our mission partners in the DR.

In 1996, Rev. Bill McCoy, then pastor of NWPC, and Jill Jack, a member of Session, travelled with Rev. Doug Pride, pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Clearfield, PA along with several members from that church on a fact-finding mission to Sabaneta de Yasica in the Dominican Republic. Their goal was to establish a partnership with the Evangelical Church in that village, under the leadership of

Pastor Manual Angel Cancu. The idea was for the church folks to work with the Dominican congregation as they shared the news of Jesus Christ with the people in the Dominican village.

The first cooperative effort was holding Bible School for the children. This has continued each year as part of the ministry.

The second co-operative effort was construction. The construction group has built a church, a three-story school building, several chapels throughout the area, and more recently, has been focusing putting cement floors in homes with dirt floors, and raising the church building above the floodplain.

The third effort was begun by Dr. John Mansell when asked by Rev. McCoy to provide medical attention to the villagers. Travelling down 12 or 13 times with several medical personnel, Dr. Mansell saw the government confiscate the medicines he had taken with him, and the government became aware of the need for medical personnel in the village. These are now provided by the government with two doctors available 24/7 so we no longer need to provide these. We still provide medicines which the village doctors dole out to the villagers with the help of the pastors who know the needs of the people.

The fourth effort was education. Under the direction of Joel Postema, Westminster College has helped provide interpreters who in turn, enabled our group to provide teacher training, until ultimately, we were providing scholarships for teachers to the local college. With the Christian school we built, we provide scholarships for church families to send their children for a Christian education. These opportunities continue to be an important part of our ministry.

We work annually with our Dominican friends and they look forward to the arrival of “the missionaries” who come for a week each spring, and leave behind doctors (at least two from the church there have become medical doctors), many teachers for both the Christian and government schools, and a vital church whose ministry in the community is a light in the world for Jesus Christ. This is a new wave of mission: a congregation in one location working with a congregation from another part of the world to, together, spread the love of Jesus Christ.

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