29 de Mayo, 2020
Though we are in different countries, immersed in different languages, climates, cultures, governments and economies, I suspect we have something in common right now: these past few months have not gone as we imagined they would.
First COVID-19, the unexpected roadblocks that were placed on your path, loved ones falling ill, isolation, and the challenge of sorting through all the interpretations of why COVID-19 happened and how we should respond.
Now, we hear about the murder of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis and all the hurt, fear, outrage, distrust. We see and carry a determination to find a meaningful way to respond so this might be the very last tragedy of this kind to ever occur.
It is all so hard. COVID-19 affected your daily routines, your work, your family, your relationships, your emotions, and so much more. Now, your heart hurts. Your head is spinning. You see chaos and destruction. You see your neighbor in pain. You want to do something, but you’re not quite sure what you could say or do that would really make a difference.
Our Ramas Vivas team in the Dominican Republic is writing now to reach out and let you, a dear and faithful member of our team, know that we care about you; we’re thankful for you; and we’re praying for you as you wade through all of this.
Ramas Vivas continues to stick with our four main objectives through COVID-19:
- Grow in unity as a team.
- Care for our team members.
- Disciple our team members.
- Add value to our community through the crisis.
Today, we add number 5: Pray daily for YOU, our ministry partners.
You matter to us. Your family matters to us. Your thoughts and emotions matter to us, and your work in the United States – the way you respond to all of this is important. We pray for grace, courage, wisdom, strength, understanding and love as you take your next step on what might be a totally new road for you. You can do this!
Here in the Dominican Republic, we are ok. We’ve been doing a lot of electronic communication to check in with team members, do small group Bible studies, “gather” as a team, strategize with leadership, pray and worship together.
Since many of the teacher’s of our children’s classes are still in school themselves and come from families where parents live day-to-day financially, for the past few months we’ve given extra financial support to many of them.
We’ve also been able to gift many of the children’s families with a big bag of groceries. We know by the tears of relief and heartfelt expressions of gratitude from their parents that things are tough right now for many in the Dominican Republic. Some estimate that by the time this pandemic is over, we could lose at least 10 years’ progress in the fight against poverty.
The construction of the water project was stalled for a few months and is just now starting up again. I’ve included a list of the remaining pieces of equipment we need to purchase to reach our economic goal.
Just a few days ago, government officials informed us that we are phasing into a new season they are calling “Living safely with COVID-19.” More businesses were allowed to open this week. Churches will be allowed to have one meeting a week starting on June 3rd. There are other phases to the plan that takes us into July and August. We continue to step into the unknown in faith, holding tightly to the One who goes before us.
May your grief, the tension you feel and the burdens you carry for your family, your neighbors, your state, your nation and our world lead you closer to Jesus who will give you the courage and faith you need to step forward on a new path.
With love and appreciation,
Kristin Wolford and the entire Ramas Vivas team
A note about giving right now:
Each of us is experiencing change due to current world events a bit differently financially.
- For those of you who continue to give amid financial hardships: we want to say thank you very much.
- For those of you who have been able to make your financial commitment regularly: we want to say thank you very much
- For those of you who have had to stop giving due to this sudden change: we want to say thank you, and we hope that you can get back to work soon.
- For those of you who have not given before: If you find yourself in a place where you are able to give, would you consider starting at this time?
- If you are one of the few who have actually found yourself in a better financial position: Would you invest towards one of our remaining equipment needs for the water project or maybe it’s time to become a monthly investor in the work God is doing in this region of the World. (Use the ACH form included to set up automatic monthly transfers from your checking account.)
Thank you so much for all that you do to advance the Kingdom of God!