About Joanna Berry

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So far Joanna Berry has created 31 blog entries.

A Grain of Sand

We just finished our annual Vision Trip to the Dominican Republic.  Some participants were first-timers, others returned to update past ministry accomplishments. We toured two-story concrete school buildings which replaced both a former chicken shack, and also a crowded apartment in another village.  A spacious concrete home now houses the Betesda boys and a beautiful apartment building accommodates graduated young adults in Monte Plata as they transition to full independence. There were many comments as people reminisced about what God had done over the last few years. They noted the changes and growth in people. The teachers busied about with [...]

By |2019-05-03T09:39:25-06:00January 29th, 2019|

Pushing Back The Dark

Mission Trips 2019 began in January with the First Baptist mission team from Allen, Texas.  Their main focus was evangelism. Villa Altagracia is a village where STCHM mission teams have built a two-story school building. Rodney and Nilsia lead the school, but recently the IBQ church under the leadership of Pastor Rudy have commissioned this couple to begin a church in the school facilities.  They have also pledged some monthly support to help them plant this church. The Allen group partnered with the ministry in Villa Altagracia for a significant part of their activities.  They traveled to Villa Altagracia for [...]

By |2019-05-03T09:41:24-06:00January 14th, 2019|

Where God Sees Beauty

A single mom in the Dominican Republic once said to our staff, “I can tell you love us. Not because of the things you give us, but because you aren’t afraid to touch us, even though we are poor.” At our Homes for Families ministry, there was nothing associated with beauty to attract attention—a preschooler with matted hair, soiled clothing, apprehension reflected in her eyes. Loving hands touched and embraced her, drew her close, bathed and washed her hair, clothed her with a donated dress, and put a bow in her hair.  She gazed at her reflection and exclaimed wonderingly, “Look!  [...]

By |2019-05-03T09:46:15-06:00October 23rd, 2018|

Rosa Elena Pointing Heavenward

For the many people who knew her, the memory of Rosa Elena lives on.  Dark-skinned, turbaned elegantly, and dressed in flowing white, she often pointed one thumb heavenward.  It was her signature gesture as she deflected all the glory to God. Rosa Elena inspired everyone with her amazing faith and her dedication to the forgotten, yet priceless to God, children of Hatillo—chained by ignorance, generational poverty, and immorality. Shortly after she opened her heart to Christ, God gave her a passion for these children living in the Hatillo area.  Their location and poverty isolated them without access to education, without [...]

By |2019-05-03T09:48:50-06:00September 26th, 2018|

God Through the Eyes of Children

The Dominican children are back in school. This year every sponsored child proudly carries a colorful STCH Ministries backpack, school supplies, and their uniform, provided by our Samuel's Fund sponsors! During regular visits, our Dominican staff ask them about their school progress and families. The children’s answers reveal their interests and pleasures, and their concerns. Many times their responses provide a small “window” into their spiritual development as well: No matter what, God is always God. No one can laugh at Him. God never leaves or abandons His children. I just need to have faith. God is in every place. [...]

By |2018-09-23T12:00:28-06:00September 23rd, 2018|

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 |2018-09-11T12:26:04-06:00September 11th, 2018|

Higüey 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 |2019-05-03T09:50:48-06:00September 11th, 2018|

The Gift of Eternity

Go into all the world and share the Good News. Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. These mandates “blow our minds.” It seems unachievable and beyond our imagination. That perspective, however, discounts what God can do—the God of all power and wisdom, who loves the world and knows when a sparrow falls. There were many examples during the mission trips in the Dominican Republic this summer of God’s power to use Samuel’s Fund to share the Gospel and to love children in His name. One of the many blessings of a sponsorship is the opportunity to connect personally [...]

By |2018-09-03T09:59:59-06:00August 30th, 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 |2018-08-21T17:21:16-06:00August 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 |2018-07-12T10:22:28-06:00July 12th, 2018|
Healing Hearts and Sharing Hope
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