What an amazing team of child sponsors we have! Some of you came to Jimaní with your church or school, made connections with our children and knew that you wanted to maintain the relationship and support the ministry in an ongoing, tangible way. Others are friends of missionaries who have served with us (the Arnold Family and Jenna Scherdell), and because of their love for the children here and your love for them, you have made a monthly commitment even though you do not personally know us or the child/children you sponsor. We have one couple who sponsor 3 of our children, due to a friendship with the Arnolds. To celebrate their one-year anniversary, they came to the Dominican Republic. They could have spent a week on a tropical beach, but instead, they came to rocky, dry, remote little ‘ole Jimaní! The kids still talk about their visit, often asking when they’ll be able to come back.
Because you are such a special group of people and integral part of our ministry, we wanted you to be some of the first to know of upcoming changes.
Five years ago, while still serving in our first missionary assignment on the north coast of the island, through a set of circumstances that only God could have orchestrated, we found out about the opportunity to start a children’s home on Chadashas’s property here on the southwestern border with Haiti. Although there were so many unknowns, we knew that it was what God had been preparing us for all along, so we packed up and moved down.
During our time here we have had the responsibility and privilege to open our home to boys and girls of all ages and a variety of backgrounds. Some of our children are orphans, but the majority have been abandoned or abused. The emotional and spiritual needs are endless, but our Father is a good Daddy and his love and comfort are very real. He has also been faithful to provide for the physical and financial needs both through the Chadasha Foundation and you, our faithful sponsors.
Once again, we are looking back on a series of events that we know God orchestrated. We see pain and difficulty woven together with joy and strength. We see it leading us to yet another leap of faith. As is often the case when following after God, there are lots of questions, but we are at peace in a decision to separate ourselves with the children’s home from Chadasha. We have attempted to resolve some fundamental philosophical differences with the board of directors, which proved unsuccessful and so a decision to separate was reached. So, in June, we will be moving into a large rental home in town. Through the generosity of our personal supporters, we’ve already received the funds needed to pay the first 6 months’ rent in advance (a requirement here). Although the house will meet the needs for our family of 20, it will be a huge transition for us and will not allow for much growth. Until we are in the home and can figure out the new routine (and the physical space available) we are not sure what it’s going to look like for our Day Program kids. For those of you who sponsor a Day Program child, we will be in touch with you as it all unfolds.
Up until now the vast majority of our funding has come directly from Chadasha, but as of September we will no longer be receiving these funds. So, we are reaching out in an effort to find new sponsors, because we feel that Child Sponsorship is a wonderful way for people to connect and commit to the children and our ongoing care for them. Hopefully you agree!
As you can imagine, we cannot clothe, feed, educate, and meet the daily needs of the children for $30 a month, and that is why we take a multiple-sponsor approach and create a community of support around each child. Would you consider sharing the child sponsorship opportunity with those you know and helping us find additional sponsors for each child? Who can you share with among your co-workers or classmates, your Sunday School class, or parents whose children are involved in activities with your children? Anyone on your Christmas card list? For the next gift-giving occasion, would you be willing to ask for people to sponsor a child in lieu of purchasing a gift? Because you know first-hand what an impact you are having on a child’s life and future through your monthly donation, we hope that you will be excited to share this opportunity with others. Word-of-mouth promotion really works wonders! We have put together a brochure that briefly explains who we are and what the focus of our ministry is. In each brochure there is a picture and a bit of information on one of our children as well as general information about Child Sponsorship. If you would like to receive a package of brochures and a display stand to further help you promote this…(John will add to this)
The other night at bedtime, 8 year old Jefri said, “When we move to our new house it will be OUR house for forever.” I told him that it would only be our house for a time. I explained that we would be asking people to help us so we could buy land and build our very own “forever home.” I’m not sure of the timing, but at some point in the near future we will be rolling out a pretty big fundraising campaign as well as this search for monthly commitments. Again, we wanted you to be amongst the first to know!
We appreciate your dedication to the children that God has brought to us. We love having you as part of our extended family. We welcome your questions, concerns, and words of encouragement.