Jeff recently led an exploratory trip to in the Dominican and took the leaders he was working with to visit Pastor William Decena, a local leader G.O. has worked in partnership with for years. William was born a sugar cane cutter in the Southwestern part of the Dominican Republic and grew up practicing Vodou, his culture’s typical religious expression. A visiting pastor convinced William of his need of the Gospel. Becoming a Christian led William’s immediate family to disown him. William became a leader in the church and later planted a church in Batey 9. As the church has grown he has raised up and sent out two Timothys, each having planted new churches in two more Bateys.
A Batey (sugar cane community) is an arm pit. It’s very existence is the bitter fruit of racism, nationalism and classism working in tandem to oppress a people and impoverish them on purpose. 15 years ago most children that you saw were naked and malnourished and the houses they lived in were made of sticks and mud. Today malnutrition persists but less so thanks to William’s nutrition center where he feeds 80 to 100 children daily. The kids mostly have clothes. Most of the homes are block. There is a school (pre-k to 4th grade) a public park, a basketball court, a baseball field (doubles as a soccer field), a latrine to every two to four houses, curbs and sidewalks, access to well water throughout the community, a water tower to serve as a water back-up, a library with a computer lab (brand new) and a water purification system that has recently been installed. All of this has been accomplished through William’s advocacy on behalf of his community in Jesus’ name. It is a powerful picture of renewal and what a combined Christian effort can do to bring about redemption, renewal and restoration.
Check out Jeff’s brief video tour of the library in Batey 9.
Your prayer support and financial partnership with us aids us in empowering and advocating on behalf of local leaders like William. Thank you!