Praises and Prayer Requests

Dominican Republic

August 2011

We are thankful for God’s blessings! In July, our partners from Southminster Presbyterian Church in Des Moines, Washington, built five latrines for families of our children in Altagracia. Pray that more Venture teams would be moved to do the same.

Praise the Lord that meals from the May 1 Million Meal Marathon in California have arrived to feed our children! The meals came in a shipping container with shoes donated by Native Shoes and Seattle nonprofit Luis Sneaks. And the taxes on the container were waived!

Medical equipment vendor Medtronic has donated a high-tech X-ray machine to our clinic in Barahona, via our partner, Dr. Johannes Bernbeck of Baldwin Park, California. Praise God for this gift!

July 2011

We have so much to praise God for in the Dominican Republic this summer! Several of our generous partners have visited recently to organize our medical clinic, treat patients, build bathrooms at our school in Don Bosco, and complete other projects that will benefit our children. Other teams will visit throughout the summer to install latrines, begin work on water purification

systems, and minister in other ways. Pray that God will give our Dominican staff strength and endurance throughout this busy summer.

We also praise God that a shipping container full of supplies for our Casa Bethesda renovations arrived safely last month from Orlando, Florida.

Our Global Interns are on the ground in the DR, serving our children. Pray for God’s blessing on them, and that the team would continue to gel.

June 2011

Please pray for the family of Pastor Emmanuel Sannon, our principal at Altagracia, who passed away May 18 from a heart attack. Pastor Emmanuel was a blessing to our children and staff in the Dominican Republic, and will be greatly missed.

Praise God that COTN–Dominican Republic translator Juanchy Ramirez is doing well after having gallstone surgery. Pray that he will remain in good health.

We thank God that Trail Christian Fellowship in Oregon has agreed to sponsor our summer camp for children in the Dominican Republic.

We give God praise that a shipment of 1,200 shoes from Native Shoes, donated by the nonprofit Luis Sneaks, has arrived at our warehouse in California. Pray that the shoes will be delivered safely to our children in the Dominican Republic.

May 2011

Our COTN–DR board of directors has four new members! Join us in welcoming Fernando Ruiz Fleming, Zobeida Lopez de Medina, Claudio Brito, and Julio Cesar Castillo. Please pray that God’s hand will be on each of them.

Praise God for rest! Easter is a big deal in the Dominican Republic, so our children and staff had a much-deserved break before and after the holiday.

Please pray that God will provide the necessary funds for a new clean water station in Altagracia so our children can have healthy drinking water.

April 2011

A medical team successfully provided surgeries to our children and families from the bateyes in March. Many Dominicans who suffered from cataracts can now see more clearly.

Pray for our COTN–Dominican Republic staff as they continue to host teams throughout the spring.

Welcome Luciano Suero, the new director of our I Love Baseball® program! Luciano comes to us with experience in both baseball and ministry.

March 2011

Praise God for the purchase of a new van! Money for the van was donated by the Silverdale, WA, Rotary Club with help from the Sequim, WA, Rotary. Silverdale Rotary also donated Spanish-English dictionaries to students. A group of Rotary Club members joined COTN’s Dominican Republic Liaison Debbie Moutier on a trip to deliver the van and dictionaries last month. Praise God that everyone had a great trip and returned safely!

Pray for safety and wise planning as medical teams from the US begin to work in the Dominican Republic this spring, bringing healing to those who need it.

Finally, the COTN family has a new member! Pastor Emanuel, the principal at our school in Altagracia, and his wife had their third child, a baby girl, on Feb. 16!

February 2011

Praise God for the funds raised to purchase a motorcycle for our microfinance program loan officer. He now has the means to travel to his weekly meetings with loan groups. Our partners donated several hundred dollars more than we needed, and have money set aside for gas and repairs!

Please pray for the teacher strike to be resolved in Don Bosco. Our COTN–hired teachers are the majority of the teachers there, but our prayers are needed for the government–hired teachers, so they may return to their classrooms.

Please pray for COTN–USA staff member Erik Neild from Seattle as he is preparing for a trip in March to the Dominican Republic. He is working on a construction project there involving several people and they hope to set some standards for construction in all of our countries.

January 2011

We thank God for clearing the delivery of the container sent from Orange County, CA, including all of the children’s Christmas gifts. The COTN–Dominican Republic staff are pleased with the wonderful Christmas celebration our children had as a result of our partners’ contributions!

Please pray for our young men in the I Love Baseball® Program as the program undergoes staff changes; that they can continue to focus on God and their futures. We have seen God’s abundant blessing in this program, and pray that its success continues.

December 2010

Praise God for COTN–Dominican Republic staff members Pablo and Lucretia! We were blessed to have them at our COTN–International Christmas celebration in Washington State. They visited to train with COTN–International staff, and had a wonderful time during their visit. They also had the chance to enjoy the sights of Seattle while they were here.

The COTN-Dominican Republic staff are making preparations for our Christmas celebration with the children in our care. Please pray for a wonderful celebration to focus on the gift of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! The children will each receive a gift and there will be a special Christmas meal and program at each school to help celebrate this beautiful time of Christ's birth.

November 2010

Players from COTN’s I Love Baseball® (ILB) team have one more reason to be thankful this month—official team uniforms have arrived! For the first time, the team proudly wears blue and white.

ILB now boasts a player at university. Salomon Trinidad studies medicine through a baseball scholarship at Universidad Autonoma Santo Domingo. Praise God for this success. Salomon has worked his way through local education and the ILB baseball program.

Please pray for funds for a motorcycle for our Microfinance Loan Officer in the Dominican Republic, Adrian Pineda Gadris Mesa.

October 2010

Children of the Nations (COTN) is pleased to announce that two of our students, Jilisso Gomez Diaz from Los Robles and Manuel Emilio Batista from Altagracia, have begun study at a biblical seminary run by the Church of God in Barahona. Please pray for their continued spiritual development and the impact they can have on children in their communities.

COTN is blessed in the Dominican Republic by the number of children we are able to reach. Please pray that we find sponsors for all of these children so that we can continue to provide health care, meals, education, and more. Also pray that our grown children waiting to attend university find sponsors so that they may continue down the path they have forged through COTN.

September 2010

Dr. Vicky Sakata has returned to the Dominican Republic eight months after her emergency visit last January to aid with earthquake relief. We at COTN are committed to the continued welfare of the thirteen children we cared for in our medical clinic in Barahona.

During Dr. Sakata’s visit she will check that each child is healing well from their injuries, while COTN–Dominican Republic staff determine other ways to help our families rebuild their lives. We are thankful for the faithful help of Daniel Vallon, a Haitian national who has been instrumental in furthering COTN’s relationship with Haiti as we move prayerfully forward toward expansion into Haiti. Please pray for Daniel and our COTN-Dominican Republic staff who serve God so passionately.

For an update on each of our Haitian children, visit Hands on Haiti.

August 2010

This summer, a series of Children of the Nations (COTN) Venture teams have made it their mission to improve the lives of children living in Dominican bateyes. While some groups are building homes for families, others are focusing on improving the health of families and children. A medical team from Seattle, Washington spent their time performing health screenings and physicals for the children. Finding medical problems was common, such as parasites and hernias, but the conditions have all been diagnosed and are being treated. Meanwhile, a group of teens from Manchester-By-The-Sea, Massachusetts, led a health seminar for new mothers, teaching the importance of nutrition and regular check-ups, and handing out basic supplies.

Thank you to all our partners who have donated funds and medical supplies to make the care of Dominican children possible. Please pray for the health of the children receiving treatment.

July 2010

From preschool to college, June was graduation month in the Dominican Republic (DR). Big smiles brightened the faces of 92 preschoolers in the COTN Village Partnership Programs at Don Bosco, Pueblo Nuevo, Algodón, Altagracia, and Los Robles as they celebrated their graduation in June. The children were very proud of their diploma and graduation cap.

On July 2, Charinson Feliz was the first COTN sponsored child to graduate with a university degree and become a medical doctor. He was raised in the batey of Algodon and joined the COTN family in 1999 at 15 years old.

COTN–DR staff and Venture Teams continue to provide aid to Haitian nationals and assess long-term goals for Haiti relief. We still provide food, supplies and encouragement to the Haitian families who were treated at COTN’s medical clinic and to other Haitians in need of our assistance. Pray with COTN leadership as they determine COTN’s continued role in Haiti and for the continued support of our Haitian relief efforts.

June 2010

The I Love Baseball™ (ILB) program is in full swing in the Dominican Republic as June begins. ILB is a COTN program where young men can pursue their dream of playing professional baseball while getting an education.

Three baseball teams, one from Concordia University and two high school teams from Edmonds, Washington, will travel to the Dominican Republic to work, play, and share their faith with our ILB players. Pray for the safe travels of these ILB Venture Teams.

As for the Haitian children who received extended care in our Barahona clinic, twelve of the thirteen remaining children have been reunited with their families in Haiti. Two of the children are receiving prosthetics through the Helping Hands of Haiti organization. We pray that God will continue to protect these special children as they rebuild their lives in Haiti.

Also pray for the Board of Directors of both COTN–USA and COTN–Dominican Republic as they seek direction for COTN’s future in Haiti.

May 2010

Praise God, He has brought us a Country Director! Francisco Heredia is an answer to our prayers. Please join us in continuing to pray for God’s wisdom for Francisco as he gets used to his new responsibilities.

The two remaining 40-ft. containers of supplies have at last been cleared by the Customs Department. These containers were filled in late January with more supplies for Haiti, as well as supplies to replace those already sent to Haiti from our Dominican ministries. Thank you for all of your prayers regarding these shipments. Please continue to pray for strength and endurance for our staff and partners as they venture into Haiti to distribute supplies.

Pray also for Janet, our Dominican head nurse, who has been visiting her sick

mother in New Jersey. For the first week of May, she flew to COTN’s Washington State headquarters to work with our staff, and she is now headed home to resume her ministry with our children.

April 2010

Five of the Haitian children who were receiving care in our Barahona clinic returned to Haiti with their parents on March 13. We praise God that these children were sufficiently recovered to go home, and we pray for them, knowing that the transition will not be easy. Please keep all of these families in your prayers as they seek to rebuild their lives.

While returning the children and their families to Haiti, our staff also distributed many supplies, including food, clothing, kitchen utensils, medicine, tarps, and SmilePacks™. Since we have sent so many of our Dominican supplies into Haiti, we are especially thankful that the first of three supply containers has arrived. The food, medicine, and other resources from this container will enable us to better provide for the needs of the Haitians while supporting our ministry in the Dominican Republic.

Please join us in prayer as those five Haitian children return home, as five more remain in our care, as we await the arrival of the other two containers from the Dominican Customs Department, and as the search for a Country Director continues.

March 2010

Rejoice with us and the angels that the Lord has added new children to His family through the Algodon praise services and the Don Bosco devotionals! Please pray with us that God continues to be glorified as we seek to serve Him.

The people of Haiti still weigh heavily on the hearts of all of us at Children of the Nations, particularly the hearts of our children and staff in the Dominican Republic. Ten Haitian children and their families remain in our care in Barahona. We have committed to helping reestablish these families in Haiti.

Our Dominican staff thanks God and asks for protection and blessing for everyone who has sacrificed to help in this time of crisis, especially the medical professionals. For the most current information about our involvement in Haiti, please visit www.cotni.org/handsonhaiti.

February 2010

The prayers of our Dominican staff are focused on the situation in Haiti. They have been praying specifically that God will give peace to those children who have had amputations and help to ease their frustrations. They are also praying for God to strengthen those in leadership roles during this time of crisis and to comfort those who have lost loved ones. They have asked God to bless all those who have come to serve the people of Haiti.

At the same time that our hearts go out to Haiti, we cannot lose sight of our mission in the Dominican Republic. Large amounts of medical supplies and food meant for our Dominican ministries have gone to support the people—especially the children—of Haiti, but all of those supplies need to be replaced in order to continue to care for the children already in our program.

Pray for strength and endurance for our Dominican staff as they balance pre-existing responsibilities with new needs. Please lift them up, asking for hope and encouragement, as the search for a Country Director continues.

December 2009

Praise God for the work he is doing in the Dominican Republic. For some time, the youth discipleship class in Algodon has been struggling due to a drop in attendance. However, the leaders have persevered, and most of the students seem to be returning.

We also thank God for the good health of all of our children and the wise action of the Dominican government. The Health Department has been spraying for mosquitoes in the residential areas of Barahona to prevent outbreaks of dengue fever. As a result, we have seen very few cases of it this year.

Please join us in asking the Lord for wisdom as the Board of Directors searches for those the Lord has chosen to fill the positions of Country Director and Clinic Director. These roles are crucial to the advancement of our ministry.

November 2009

We rejoice with the angels that four players in the I Love Baseball™ program have accepted Christ as their personal Savior! Pray for them, that they may be strengthened and encouraged as they share the love of Christ, extending our ministry to their families, friends, and communities.

As our ministry has grown around the world, so has the need for organization. This need brings us to a time of transition in our Dominican staff. At the end of this year, each staff member will sign a new contract with COTN, accepting a new job description with new roles and responsibilities. We praise God for the peace that all have felt regarding this decision and pray that it continues throughout this transition period. Please join us in praying for wisdom for the Board as they seek for partners to fill new positions.

We thank God for the awesome work he performed through the medical team led by Dr. Mike Jungkeit, which returned from the Dominican Republic last week. But we ask you to please continue to lift up the fragile health of COTN--DR Sponsorship Coordinator Guadalupe Espinosa, as her blood pressure remains high.

October 2009

Praise God for another miracle! Katherine, daughter of Julio and Maritza Cuevas, who both serve as staff for COTN–DR, safely delivered her baby girl, Ashery. She is named for Asher, one of Israel’s sons, who received special blessings from Israel and Moses. Though Ashery, born after only 29 weeks, weighed only two and a half pounds, there were no other complications. She continues to eat more than the doctors expected, and both she and Katherine are in good health.

The Microfinance project continues to gain momentum. Our Dominican staff has recently partnered with Esperanza, a Santo Domingo–based Christian organization specializing in microfinance and loans. The Esperanza group has committed to work with us for a year to get the project going and train our staff in necessary skills like loan processing and fraud avoidance. God has worked in amazing ways to bring us into contact with this experienced group, and we are very thankful.

As might be expected, the most imposing challenge in the Dominican Republic comes in our primary area of ministry—raising children. Though God performs daily miracles in the lives of our Dominican children, many of them remain unsponsored. In this season especially, when so many children have found “a place to belong,” we ask for your fervent prayers that God would work “some kind of miracle” to provide the blessing of sponsors for these precious ones.

September 2009

Mark Marty, a volunteer from Saddleback Church in California, has been working with our US and DR staff in an effort to start a micro-finance and micro-enterprise project in the Dominican Republic. The project aims to teach our Vocational and Skills Center students how to start and operate their own businesses. Please pray for the success of this project and that the ability to start their own businesses will inspire pride in the participants and hope for a better future.

Katherine Cuevas, a medical student in San Pedro, who is the daughter of Julio, our COTN–DR Construction Director, and Maritza, the COTN–DR Education Director, is due to have her baby October 10th. She went into early labor and is currently bedridden. Please pray for the health of mother and child.

Our staff also asks for prayer for several families in the area. The father of a family of nine children in Algodon, four of whom are in our program, was recently killed in a machete fight. Please pray for God’s comfort and love to surround the family in the wake of this tragedy.

Also pray for Ana Gabriella Gomez, a beautiful girl in Don Bosco, who has been diagnosed with dorsolumbar scoliosis, a disease involving a curve of the spine, which keeps her bedridden. Pray that the Lord would heal her and restore her joy.

Although there are many concerns on our hearts, we also rejoice in the goodness and power of God. Pedro Antonio Jimenez, a medical student in San Pedro, and Charison Yan Feliz, a doctor interning in Santo Domingo, both grew up in Algodon and attended university thanks to Children of the Nations’ University Student Program. We praise God for their example to younger students that it is possible to achieve your dreams.

August 2009

“Overcoming Giants” was the theme chosen for summer camp this year in the DR. Speakers focused on the Book of Joshua to encourage campers to walk through the obstacles in their lives with God by their side. The group also participated in activities such as a talent show and many workshops focused on improving life skills. At the end of the week, children shared their testimonies with the leaders, encouraging them to not give up on the work they are doing in the DR. Praise God for his faithfulness in the lives of those living and working in the Dominican Republic!

Not only is Washington’s Silverdale Rotary Club working with COTN to raise money for a new staff van in the DR, but it is also partnering internationally with the DR’s local Barahona Rotary Club to develop micro-finance and micro-business loans for the young adults who have come up through the COTN program. Join with us as we praise Jesus for his continued blessings.

Continue to pray for God’s blessing on Evangelista De’Oleo and his family as he serves God as the president of the COTN–DR board as well as the pastor of the local church, Iglasia de Dios, in Baharona. Evangelista has been part of the COTN family since 2005 and never ceases to bless the people of the DR.

June 2009

High schoolers are invading the DR! Three Venture teams of high schoolers from Orlando, Florida will work on construction and youth ministry. God has blessed the DR with nine other teams that will provide medical assistance, education, evangelism and baseball and basketball clinics. Please pray with us that each team’s logistics will run smoothly and that God will work in and through them.

Kathy McGaughy of Celebration, Florida will serve as a team host during the summer and Chris Sullivan will be serving as an I Love Baseball (ILB) consultant for five months. Join us in praying for the relationships they’ll build with Venture teams, baseball players and staff. The nine global interns have a large spectrum of gifts and interests they’re incorporating into the summer. Together, they’ll work on tutoring, English classes in the bateyes and sponsorship. Individually, their focus will range from I Love Baseball, photography, videography and medical—updating medical records for the COTN children. “I’m really interested in Third-World medicine. And I just love the kids,” says Lauren Wotherspoon, a public health and pre-nursing student who has visited the DR twice before with University Presbyterian Church in Seattle. Join us in prayer for their good health and that God will use each of their gifts for His glory.

May 2009

Two weeks ago, COTN supporters Mick and Judy Vanden Bosch of Sioux Falls, South Dakota generously donated an ophthalmology machine to our medical clinic in Barahona. However, due to some confusion in customs, the machine is now stuck in Santo Domingo. Praise God for a local organization who has loaned our clinic a machine while this gets straightened out, and pray with us that the misunderstanding gets cleared up so we can receive the machine that the Vanden Bosches have blessed us with.

Sixteen-year-old Maria Gilenny Crusita has received a brand-new wheelchair from Olympic Pharmacy in Gig Harbor, Washington! This was made possible by the efforts of Ginny Porterfield, a long-time supporter of COTN who has visited the Dominican Republic eight times now with our teams. On April 18–19, Ginny held a fundraiser for Challenge Children, our educational program specifically designed to help children who have special needs. As a result of her efforts, Maria gained three new sponsors, as well as having the funds covered which provide her with medication, schooling and transportation. Glory to God for having these needs met!

There has been much success in the search for board members! The national board for COTN–DR currently consists of five members total, including board president Evangelista De Oleo Peña. We are still searching for a Country Director for the Dominican Republic. Praise God for His provisions, and pray for unity and direction for our leaders in the Dominican Republic.

April 2009

Last week, COTN founders Chris and Debbie Clark were in the Dominican Republic to attend the annual COTN–DR board meeting. During this time, the Clarks and the DR board of directors were also able to conduct interviews with prospective candidates for the position of COTN–DR Country Director. Pray the Lord will raise up the individual He has chosen for this critical role. In the meantime, pray for unity and wisdom for our Dominican staff and board as they seek to fill this executive position.

Seventeen-year-old Simone Alcina is enrolled in our Algodon Village Partnership program. Born with Down Syndrome, Simone has been given opportunities through COTN that children in the Dominican Republic rarely get. She has been making great achievements in her education ever since we began our Challenge Children (special education) program at her school. She loves music and art. Please pray with us for Simone's continued growth in Christ, that others may experience His love and joy through the happiness she shares with them.

Praise God for Maritza Peña Cuevas, COTN–DR Education Director, for her great successes in our education program despite the world financial crisis. She has been traveling all over Barahona finding ways to feed our kids, as well as working with the local government to give our teachers higher pay. Right now she is motivating the youth to write their life plans and encouraging growth in the Challenge Children program by administering training and seminars for the teachers. Join us in celebrating her achievements and praying for further success in her endeavors!

March 2009

Join us in praying for Julio Cuevas, who is the head of our construction department in the Dominican Republic. Twenty teams will be traveling to the DR over the course of spring and summer to work on various construction projects. Pray God gives Julio wisdom and encouragement as he works to get all the materials in, coordinates logistics and facilitates projects.

A local chapter of the International Rotary Club, in Sequim, Washington, is moving forward on a project to equip the Bakery Program at our Vocational Skills Center in Barahona! They will be teaching our children about the culinary arts with the goal of starting their own businesses or joining existing establishments professionally. Please pray that the certification process is a success, and God bless Mike Van Proyen, the pastor who initiated this project, and his heart for the children!

Michel Santana Gonzales, five years old and in preschool in Pueblo Nuevo, wishes to someday become a nurse. A blessing to her family, she helps with things such as running to the corner market for last minute items. Michel loves attending church and right now she is learning of the Lord’s great love for her every day in Bible lessons. Pray with us for Michel, that she may grow strong in Christ and know peace through His love for her.

February 2009

Our COTN–USA staff were recently blessed to meet and visit with Guadalupe Espinoza, COTN–DR Sponsorship Coordinator, when she visited the United States this month! Guadalupe serves within our organization as a bridge between Dominican children and their sponsors, taking photos and helping them read and write letters. We thank God for Guadalupe and pray that she will be encouraged as she returns to the Dominican Republic to work with our children.

Maqueson Beltran is a twelve-year-old boy who attends our school in Los Robles. As a child, he suffered brain damage from a head injury when he was kicked by a horse. The same year, his family lost everything when a fire destroyed their home. COTN worked with the community to rebuild his home. Since then, he has progressed greatly in school and actively participates in church activities. Praise God for his provision in Maqueson’s life!

Our meeting with an association of local pastors in Barahona was a success! All of the local pastors from the area were invited to come in on one day to hear about the ministry of COTN. Praise God for the new relationships built!

Our children in the Dominican Republic were blessed in many ways by the Christmas celebrations held in our five bateyes. In addition to receiving their new bright orange T-shirts, the children received an additional gift—clothing, shoes, or a toy. The highlight for many was a Christmas feast of fried chicken, spaghetti, salad, bread, apples, Christmas cookies, and soft drinks!

“This year, for the first time the parents of the children participated in bringing food for the meal,” Maria Guadalupe Espinosa, Sponsorship Coordinator, said. “There was not a single child in our schools without plenty of food! The parents provided the food with love and joy—making for a feeling of community.”

January 2009

Please pray for Angel Peña as he begins a much deserved sabbatical from his position as Country Director in the Dominican Republic. Also, please lift up our staff and board members during this time of transition as they manage the ministry in his absence.

Praise God for the recent ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of our new preschool in Pueblo Nuevo! The preschool already has 55 children enrolled.

Please pray that our staff in the Dominican Republic would be unified and strengthened as they prepare to host over 300 Venture Team members during March and April! Please pray that the Lord would provide wisdom as they make provisions for transportation, ministry projects and supplies, housing, and translation.

December 2008

“For the past thirteen years that I have lived Barahona. I would like to share with you about Christmas in the Dominican Republic—it is very different from the USA that’s for sure:

“By the end of November all—I mean ALL—of the food items are more expensive because the merchants are ready to make big money for Christmas. Why? Because in Navidad (Christmas in Spanish) the poor and the rich are going to EAT. This is the only thing everybody is thinking and talking about. A Christmas tree is not a big deal—they are only in rich people’s houses and in the stores and are decorated. But when it comes to food, everybody is planning to have a BIG Christmas dinner at home.

“In the Dominican Republic, the Christians truly lift up their voices to let the world know that JESUS is the reason for the season. From the beginning of December every church has various events to reach out to the lost world. For example, some churches hold a big fogata during the three weekends before the 25th of December. These happen ALL over town where they sing and invite the people of each neighborhood to get together, to talk about the birth of Christ, to distribute tracts, and serve a very spicy hot chocolate (with a lot of ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, etc.). Or they have aguinaldos from the beginning of December, every weekend until the 25th. Participants get on big decorated trucks equipped with huge loudspeakers. They drive over ALL the streets of Barahona, singing loud Christmas and Christian songs all night long until 6:00 am. So many people wake up at the noise of the music and invite them to make a stop on front of their house and sing with them. This is a lot of fun for us Christians.

ON CHRISTMAS EVE:

Rich or poor all serve the traditional Christmas Eve dinner—spaghetti, as well as fried chicken, rice with guandules (pigeon beans), fried plantains, and sometimes potato salad and chivos (goat) meat. There is a big difference between Christian and non-Christian families: The non-Christian families celebrate by drinking and dancing with super loud music at home or in the discos after a big supper. The Christian families go visiting, bringing some of their supper food to share with their relatives and with brothers and sisters in Christ. So if you are a Christian you can have many plates of food coming to your house from at least five other families. You will also share some of your food with them. So all night long, the streets are packed with people visiting and people on their way to the malecon (a promenade place along the beaches) and to discos to dance and drink. Also in some neighborhoods, the people close the streets on Christmas Eve for parties and fogatas.

ON CHRISTMAS DAY:

The streets are filled with drunks. But the Christians continue to go and visit their relatives (they bring neither toys nor gifts like in the USA; the toys and gifts are for the Maggi Day on January the 6th ). Christmas Day is the time to go visit and catch up with them about their lives and their hometowns. Of course they continue to eat and enjoy their relatives’ visit. If the family is large (like they always are) they keep visiting every day in order to see each uncle or aunt until December 31st.

“I hope that will give you a little cross-cultural knowledge and that one year soon you all will come to spend Christmas with us and enjoy some gourmet Dominican food. My friend Julio is an expert cook in chivos meat. You’ll love it. MERRY AND BLESSED CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL.”

Malou Faublas
Your missionary friend in Barahona (Dominican Republic)

November 2008

COTN is excited to welcome a new staff member in the Dominican Republic, Dante Urbáez! Dante will be assisting in our office with administration and resources. Please pray that Dante’s ministry with COTN will be a blessing to our staff and our children.

Please pray for the I Love Baseball program, which focuses on ministering to young men in the Dominican Republic. US Program Coordinator Ben Holman reports with excitement that there are many prospects for interns and Venture teams to serve with I Love Baseball this summer!

We just recently received the Christmas letters from our Dominican c

hildren to their sponsors. Seventeen-year-old Gabriela Feliz writes to her sponsor, “I don’t have enough words to describe all you’ve done for me. When I am praying at night, you are always present. I ask God to bless you in all that you do.” Pray the letters from our children will be a blessing to our sponsors.

September 2008

A new school year has begun in the Dominican Republic! Please pray for our teachers as they strive to provide quality education to the children in our five villages. Also, please pray specifically for Education Director Maritza Cuevas as she oversees all of our schools and staff.

One way that God is empowering our young adults in the Dominican Republic is through our skills center in Pueblo Nuevo. The skills center provides opportunities to develop skills through classes such as sewing, English, computers, and arts and crafts. By learning these skills, the participants will be able to provide income to support themselves. For example, teens who learn English will likely be able to work in the tourism industry. Please pray that our skills center will continue to grow and offer new programs such as baking and beauty school.

We are thankful that Juan Carlos Cuevas, one of our boys in Los Robles, was sponsored last month! In his most recent sponsorship update, Juan shared about going to church and helping his father care for the family cow. He wrote to his sponsor, “I need you to pray for me, and I’ll pray for you.” Our children need our prayers! Please pray that Juan will continue to grow in Christ and be obedient to His will.

August 2008

Thank you for your ongoing prayer support of thirteen-year-old Claudia Feliz from Algodon, who has finished chemotherapy treatments for cancer. We are glad to report that this medical treatment has been successful in bringing healing! COTN–DR staff member Malou Faublas wrote, “We thank you all for adding your prayers to ours on behalf of this dear one for the past six months.”

Doctora Thelma Batista is the director of our medical clinic in the Dominican Republic. In addition to managing the clinic, Dr. Batista provides medical care to many patients, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. Please pray that Dr. Batista would have stamina and wisdom as she treats patients and makes decisions in her administrative role.

Praise God for the ten students in the Dominican Republic who successfully passed their twelfth grade national test! Please join us in praying for our high school students who are concerned about their future and desire

July 2008

Please pray for our national staff—that they would be unified in their love for Christ and the mission of raising children who transform nations.

Our nine interns arrived safely in the Dominican Republic. Pray for them as they adjust to the Dominican culture and that they would have servants’ hearts as they minister to children.

Many months after the devastation of Tropical Storm Noel in October 2007, homes continue to be rebuilt in the village of Los Robles, where COTN has a Village Partnership Program. Using donated funds, COTN began a rebuilding effort, and a church’s social services group in Barahona is continuing the effort of constructing new huts there.

We are thankful that the JESUS film has been reaching people with the story of Christ in the Dominican Republic. The film has been shown in all five of the villages where COTN ministers!

June 2008

Please pray for COTN–DR staff member Lucrecia Cuevas as she prepares for the many teams that will be hosted at Casa Betesda, our mission center, this summer. Thankfully, the Lord has provided two people to assist her: Kathy McGaughey and Jenna Bishop. Jenna is an intern with a degree in hotel management who works at a Disney hotel in Florida. She hopes to share her experience with some of the teens from the bateyes (impoverished rural Haitian villages) about how to work in the hotel industry.

Please pray for our Sponsorship Coordinator in the Dominican Republic, Guadelupe Espinoza, as she takes on the full responsibility for managing sponsorship profiles, photos, and information for over 800 children!

Praise for 46 new sponsors who have joined the COTN family in the month of May! Please pray for wisdom in decisions regarding our medical clinic—that it would become financially self-sustainable.

We are excited to announce that I Love Baseball, an outreach which was previously a COTN partner, will now be an official COTN ministry! I Love Baseball strives to teach and model a balanced life through a baseball academy program for boys and young men in our targeted areas who have proven baseball skills. Jairo, one of our teen boys recently said, “I am so blessed to be able to be in this academy. Thank you!”

Please pray for energy as our DR staff hosts hundreds from the USA.