Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41v10
WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO
It is a busy day at the Ministry Centre. In one area, three team members are evaluating an eight year old for a custom built wheelchair. In another area, a lady is being talked to about her needs for a new wheelchair and off to the side, two team members and translator are sharing about God to a family member. As they share the salvation message, this man decides to pray and ask God into his heart. This is why all of us do what we do. Everything else is just a way to connect with people so that we can share the love and Word of God.
When we first planted the church and the leadership was chosen, it was decided that the people that we all felt we should be reaching out is not the people who already attend a church but the people who do not. Through home visits, we quickly learn that many who do not attend church do not come because they believe that they do not have the right clothing or they work on Sundays or they think that they need to be better people before they can go to church.
Pastor Tomas walks around our village once or twice a week, visiting with people in their homes, working at dispelling these lies. We never talk about the clothing that people wear and make a point to let all know that we care more about their hearts and souls than the clothes on the exterior. Three people have asked Jesus into their hearts through the church. This is why all of us do what we do. Everything else is just a way to connect with people so that we can share the love and Word of God.
Nena and I have coined a word to describe 2023. Intense We do not mean this in a negative way. Since January, we feel like we have been go, go and going. It feels like we wake up with a few things on the calendar and by noon, there is so much on the day’s calendar that it is more than can be done in one day.
The ministry has been exploding throughout the year.
- Planted a church in February.
- Gave away 260 Christmas Shoeboxes.
- We have hosted eight (8) mission teams.
- Traveled over 45,000 km.
- Built three houses, a bedroom and a temporary office/Sunday School room.
- Hosted a marriage conference with over 100 people in attendance.
- Gave away 25 wheelchairs.
- Evaluated 55 people for wheelchairs.
- 45 new students sponsored for a total of 186 students currently being sponsored.
- Four High School Graduates and 3 University Graduates.
- Hired a new office assistant as the work load has increased that we needed a new staff.
- Personally, we became empty nesters all at once with both kids in Canada. Samantha at college and Noah is working full time.
- Did more evangelism this year than other years with a number of people asking Christ into their hearts and lives! Glory to God!
- Good friends from Alaska came for a visit.
It has been a busy year and we thank God for all the ministry that we were able to do and for His faithfulness through the hard times. It is only through God that we can do any ministry.
A GLIMPSE INTO 2024
We are making plans and pray for God’s will and His guidance. May His will be done, not ours.
- 12 Mission teams booked for 2024
- All Kings Day Shoebox party and distribution of boxes.
- At least one teaching conference with guest speakers/teachers.
- Building new ministry centre.
- Raising funds and praying to get a mission team house built.
- Twelve teams booked for 2024.
- Six teams booked for 2025.
- End of the school year party in July.
- School supplies sale to equip students for school in August.
- Growing the church.
- More students sponsored for school.
- Travel to Canada at the end of April to move Samantha out of the college for the summer.
- More evangelism as it is needed more than ever.
Our church Sunday School Christmas Play
PRAYER ANSWERS & REQUEST
- Praise God for all those who have given their lives to Jesus this past year.
- Praise God for our ministry staff: Anthony, Wendy, Mechy, Mercedes, Eilyanna, Nena and Fausto and their families.
- Praise God for the mission teams who came to serve.
- Praise God for new local connections that has opened doors to help and share about God to more people in our area and other areas of the country.
- Praise God for the many shoeboxes that have been donated for us to give to kids who otherwise would not receive gifts this year.
- Praise God for God’s incredible protection over each one of us through this year.
- Praise God for the mission teams already booked for 2024, for donations to build a new Ministry Centre and for all of God’s provisions throughout the year.
- Praise God for you!!! For your love, prayers and support.
- Pray for God’s clear direction and will for the ministry and for us personally in 2024.
- Pray for protection for us physically, mentally and spiritually.
- Pray for the ministry to be able to buy land and build a Mission Team House.
- Pray for the Church, Body of Christ, to have open eyes and hearts to God’s truth and not the lies of the enemy.
- Pray for our family as we adjust to not living together, the too many miles that separate us and for Noah and Samantha to make Godly choices and grow their own faith in our Lord and Saviour.
- Pray for an increase in financial support for Branson Family.
As 2023 comes to an end, we want to thank you for all your priceless prayers and support of us and our ministry over the past year. With your prayers and partnership, we continue to serve in the mountains of the Dominican Republic.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Love and blessings from
Paul, Sharyn, Noah and Samantha