About Joanna Berry

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So far Joanna Berry has created 16 blog entries.

Higuey Boys Home – A Better World

Did you know that the average person who works 40 years will spend 2,000 hours in church, and 90,000 hours at work? To be good stewards of the life God has given us, we must continually listen for God’s guidance. We must look for opportunities to bless others during the normal activities of each day. And when God speaks to us, we must step forward in faith to follow His leading. Cesar exemplifies someone who allowed God’s Spirit to speak through him during the ordinary activities of his work-life. Cesar was a taxi driver in the small town of Higuey [...]

By |2018-09-11T12:26:04+00:00September 11th, 2018|

Better than Light and Safer than a Known Way

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”  And He replied:  “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” - From "The Gate of the Year" by Minnie Louise Haskins How many times have you and I stood at the “gate” of the unknown?  “Lord, give me light and wisdom for the future.”  Not so long ago we “stood” at the gate [...]

By |2018-08-21T17:21:16+00:00August 21st, 2018|

Germinating Seeds of Love

For the last 10 years, every mission team has included at least one day of orphanage ministry in their busy schedules--providing training and needed resources, building needed projects, and sharing enrichment activities like an outing to the aquarium or the underground caves. Through every activity, our desire was to share Christ’s love and encourage the staff. Over the last year, however, we sensed God drawing our attention to the ineffectiveness of our “hit-and-run” ministry to those children. Because our IBQ headquarters are between 1.5 and 3 hours distance from the orphanages, a “day” with the children actually consisted of 4-5 [...]

By |2018-07-12T10:22:28+00:00July 12th, 2018|

Journal Wonderings

“The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.”—Martin Luther We may know a lot about the Bible.  We believe God’s promises.  We memorize verses and repeat sayings like: “Prayer changes things,” “With God all things are possible,” and “I can do all things through Christ.”  Perhaps the greatest benefit for mission trip participants happens when those words jump off the pages of our Bibles and are actualized through our experiences and our heightened dependence on God. FBC Newark, FBC Canyon Lake, and FBC Corpus Christi joined Dr. Shane [...]

By |2018-06-28T06:35:31+00:00June 28th, 2018|

Reaping with Joy

Several young people and staff from STCH Ministries Homes for Children formed their own unique mission team last week—ministering to children and young people in the Dominican Republic. At the end of the trip they shared, “We loved the entire week.” It was humbling, eye-opening, and “mucho caliente” (very hot) as they rebuilt a home for a Samuel’s Fund family. They also conducted VBS and spent some time at the Monte Plata orphanage where they gave manicures, baked, played with children, and shared their testimonies. When Ramon Prensa, founder of the home, shared his story, the STCH Ministries team marveled [...]

By |2018-06-15T10:45:58+00:00June 15th, 2018|

Ablaze with the Glory of God’s Work

Jesus said that the greatest commandments were to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. When we dedicate our time and talents to God, when we serve others with excellence, we are both loving our neighbors and loving God. The Christian Medical and Dental Association of San Antonio joined STCH Ministries International to love Dominican children and families through medical and dental clinics hosted the last week of May 2018. More than 700 children and individuals were blessed. It would be difficult to estimate the cumulative cost in [...]

By |2018-06-04T11:25:00+00:00June 4th, 2018|

Open The Eyes Of My Heart

Why go on a mission trip? Why sacrifice money and time needed for a hundred other things? What about the food and sleeping arrangements? I can’t speak the language, so how will I be effective? Would it be better if I just sent the money? Perhaps unintentionally, we bring a sense of anxiety as part of the baggage that accompanies our mission journey. “Keep the eyes of your heart open to God,” the devotional urged on the first morning of the Lipscomb University mission trip. For the last four years, Lipscomb has sent groups of graduate pharmacy students, accompanied by [...]

By |2018-06-01T09:27:25+00:00June 1st, 2018|

Way Beyond Me

Last week as we traveled to Peru, my mind echoed with the words of a song, “God gave us the stars, but put them out of our reach, and calls us to waters, just a little too deep.” (Toby Mac, "Way Beyond Me") For 12 years STCH Ministries International has served in the Dominican Republic. We have learned how to adapt the mission of helping hurting children and families to another culture. We have successfully created collaborative partnerships that help local ministries more effectively carry out the calling God had given them. We discovered how to integrate families into our [...]

By |2018-09-10T09:58:59+00:00May 9th, 2018|

Never the Same Again

I will never be the same again…nunca seremos los mismos! Words we love to hear in any language. Changing lives for God’s glory…changing lives to enable them to fulfill their potential…empowering others to become Light-bearers for their families, communities, and the world. For over 10 years we have ministered to children and their families in the Dominican Republic—in orphanages, schools, churches and through our Samuel’s Fund sponsorship program. Most of these children have suffered trauma during critical stages of their development due to abandonment, hunger, and abuse in many forms. With limited knowledge and virtually no available training, the staff [...]

By |2018-04-17T09:50:24+00:00April 10th, 2018|

The Impact of a Mission Trip

How has this trip changed your heart?  In what ways has it strengthened your faith?  Has your experience caused you to redefine the meaning of poor? Rich? How has your being here brought glory to God? Soul-searching questions to ponder as the FBC Allen family group and the West University Baptist Church (WUBC) college group from Rice University celebrated the end of their time in the Dominican Republic with a banquet, packed their suitcases, and loaded onto the buses traveling to the airports.  One group left for the Las Americas airport in Santo Domingo, and the other traveled to the [...]

By |2018-03-26T16:46:51+00:00March 26th, 2018|
Healing Hearts and Sharing Hope