We Have Lift-Off

After months of prayer, and four vision trips with staff and select pastors and leaders, Schulenberg Baptist Church became the first official STCH Ministries team to serve in El Salvador!

They traveled to El Riel and met pastor Anselmo. STCH Ministries had previously assisted them to put a roof, and later windows on their multi-purpose church building. The Schulenberg team used that resource to impact the surrounding community. As the pastor shared, “The church building has given us a higher level of credibility and influence in this poverty-bound community.”

The children waited expectantly for the group to arrive, waving from the upper level of the rugged terrain, and the welcome continued in the newly windowed church building with banners, balloons and songs. The atmosphere of joy and celebration continued through the week as the mission team participated in a uniquely STCH MINISTRIES-SALVADORAN ministry event with children, family and leaders.

The group built tables, held VBS classes and taught ESL during school hours. In the afternoons, families came down from the surrounding hills and formed fellowship circles with the group. “We bonded instantly. We weren’t ready for them to return home as we loaded them up with a generous bag of groceries!” One group trudged up hills and down, over and around creeks, to visit a child on the waiting list for sponsorship. It was a unique God appointment for sponsorship. Three additional children were also chosen for sponsorship.

The following day they celebrated a PUPUSA FELLOWSHIP. Some of the moms taught the team how to make the Salvadoran national dish—a thick flatbread made of corn masa, and stuffed with various fillings. What fun they enjoyed as they mashed the sticky dough, patted and slapped it into the right shape, then grilled them and ate together.

In the evenings Pastor Dave brought the message in two different churches. “The Spirit of God moved freely,” one participant reported. “We had great translators, but even in situations where there wasn’t a translator, we realized that language is never a barrier for God.”

STCH Ministries is grateful for this first joyful mission week in partnership with the Peniel network of churches. Our goal for 2024 is to host small teams of 10-15 participants, especially in the fall and spring of the year. Please pray with us about this opportunity, and let us know if your church would like to join in this mission opportunity.

Mission Trip Guarantee

On every mission trip, there will be bumps on the road—100% GUARANTEED! Canceled, or rescheduled flights, miscommunication, a power outage and no A/C, noisy music, a mattress that is too hard, a child with a queasy stomach or fudge at the boy’s home that won’t firm up because of the heat. Teachers scheduled to teach canceled at the last minute because of illness. Gospel presentations were drowned out by trucks with loudspeakers blaring their wares. But GUARANTEED—on every mission trip God shows up in unique ways. We are challenged to yield our desires and plans to the sovereign God we serve. Families are blessed, pastors and leaders are strengthened, life-long connections are formed, children find their “forever-sponsor-family” and others are born into “God’s-forever-family” through faith in Christ. 

Pastors, leaders and wives from the eastern part of the Dominican Republic met for a day-long conference. Wives, who did not know each other, enjoyed fellowship and encouragement from God’s Word. They lingered afterward to set up a WhatsApp group and make plans for a future fellowship event. Pastors connected with other leaders, perhaps known in the past, but disconnected by the pressures of ministry. Through their interactions, the Holy Spirit provided healing sandpaper to smooth the calluses of distance and misunderstanding, and bind hearts in unity and common purpose.

A grandmother brought her daughter and two granddaughters on the trip. She shared what a joy it was to serve together. Not intimidated by culture and language, she saw growth in her granddaughter’s leadership skills.

A courageous mom with three young children eagerly signed up for the trip, returning from the year before. Tearfully, she shared the impact of the trip on her family. “We were surrounded and supported by love every moment.”

God showed up when a pastor invested in a STCH Ministries leader, and changed his perspective on leadership. He showed up in the dedication of an endodontist who courageously treated difficult issues with excellence, while also training Jose Regalado, our Dominican third-year dental student.

One of the most impactful experiences happened on the banquet night. A young Dominican translator, Elias, shared his testimony. He told of the benefits of sponsorship—his education in grade school and now in college, food deliveries from the Texas Baptist Hunger Offerings during times of duress when his dad didn’t have a job, and the time he received his own bed at 10 years of age. Elias’ testimony gave meaning to all of the investment and work that teams do! Some of the team members who delivered the bed to this young man over eight years ago were present. 

Yes, there are obstacles, as there are with any worthy endeavor. Ultimately, the efforts invested by mission teams are worthy, because HE IS WORTHY!


Watching God Work

One mission trip, 3 teams from 3 churches—FBC Kenedy, Trinity Baptist Church in Kerrville, Parkway Church in Victoria.

A video set on fast-forward blurs with any attempt to view all they accomplished! A simple list is inadequate, even the imagination falls short of any attempt to convey multiple co-occurring ministries, with individuals of varied ages and wide-ranging skills. One common thread ran through every activity—relationships. The goal was not to have the perfect medical clinic, the most skillful drama of the Bible story at VBS, the artistic quality of a mural on an orphanage wall, devotionals and singing that inspired and motivated or even an impactful pastor’s conference. The goal was the people, and the relationships created and expanded through the ministries. Getting to know the Dominican pastors—their frustrations and obstacles—and sharing empathy through conversations around the table, as well as encouragement from God’s Word. More than hearing, participants truly listened, past the physical ailments, and connected with the fear and pain that patients shared. They offered love along with medications and advice.

Relationships were made while delighting in moments that matter, whether it was laughing over a game, hugging a child at the orphanage or sharing a meal with a Dominican family. While purchasing and delivering groceries, sharing new clothes and school supplies, sanding and sawing and hammering together with young and old, relationships were deepened. While decorating for ladies’ tea, or a banquet celebration, praying, clapping and singing, relationships were nurtured. In the background of all these activities, almost unnoticed, the REAL work of a mission trip goes on. Sharing love, time for meaningful conversations, encouragement and reconnecting with God’s purpose for our lives. Building relationships.


Faith & Finances at Work

Our Faith & Finances classes are changing lives! Our facilitators across the state have worked alongside pastors and churches to bring people into the classes. The program teaches you to equip yourself through God’s plan for your money. Biblical principles are applied as students learn to make a spending plan, set savings goals and overcome past mistakes. 

Faith & Finances started building a relationship with Alliance Baptist Church in Lubbock in 2021. Shortly after, STCH Ministries was asked to teach a virtual Faith & Finances class and through that, a church member, Joel, decided to become a facilitator for Faith & Finances. Since then, he has facilitated two classes, one in Spanish and one in English for members of the church and the community.
One woman from his most recent graduating class shared, “I was able to meet some wonderful people with Christ in the center. It is an honorable, true, just and commendable program! I’m 60 years old but I learned I could be open, vulnerable and share my good and my bad. These are the people that love me. If you have someone like that in your life, that’s because of Jesus. Remember, there is a lot more to finances than just money.”  
We are excited to partner with pastors, church leaders and other organizations to offer a ten-week Faith & Finances class. Please continue to pray over this program as we follow where the Lord takes us!

Why God?

Why, God? It is a common question surrounding the misfortunes of life—illness, accidents, disappointments, betrayals and any difficulties and obstacles confronted during the course of our journey. Especially, when we are attempting to do good things, it feels that “God should have my back,” as we commonly express between friends.

“Why, God?” was the first thought that arose when the medical and dental team from CMDA arrived in the Dominican Republic. The preparations had begun months before—the team signed up with passports and QR codes for entry visas, licensed doctors and dentists recruited to accompany students from the San Antonio medical center, 11 bright red trunks of supplies carefully packed and inventoried, sites of clinics identified and reserved, transportation, translators, rooming assignments and the ALL-IMPORTANT Dominican health department permission signed and in-hand. Finally, the last item was checked off of the seemingly endless list of details, and the team boarded their flights.

“My ways are higher than your ways,” God reminds us and reminds us again and again, throughout our lives. The team arrived safely in the DR, but as they passed through customs, all 11 trunks of medical and dental supplies were confiscated! In spite of the official legal document giving permission for these clinics, they were informed that now there were NEW regulations, and the trunks would be held until they left the country again. Why, God?

Frustrated, disappointed and anxious, the team tried to adjust, and reconsider,  “What can we accomplish without  our supplies?” Prayer was the first and the only recourse. For many, although faith was an untested resource, they earnestly asked God to intervene. Disheartened, they began their first clinics on Monday morning, determined to do what they could.

For STCH Ministries for over 70 years, God has answered countless prayers in the mission of “healing hearts and sharing hope with children and families.” He is sovereign. God is not taken by surprise by life’s events. He is always faithful. Although His ways are not our ways, He will always make A WAY. 

STCH Ministries is grateful for the friends God has provided through the last 16 years of ministry in the Dominican Republic. As texts, emails and phone calls flew over the ocean, representatives from our staff returned to the customs agents to try and plead our case. At first there was no change, but as the individuals with the necessary authority were contacted, the staff suddenly received a message, “Come and get your supplies!” By the end of the week, over 652 patients were seen and received medical and dental attention.

“Why, God?” is never fully understood from this earth-bound perspective. But through these circumstances, we can be sure of some of His purposes; the power of prayer, the reality that God knows us, and hears us was affirmed; important connections were formed through our Dominican friends; faith-building occurred in many hearts. Above all else, God received the glory and affirmed to all of us that He is sovereign and He is in control.

Homes for Families is Impacting Lives

Jasmyne was wanting to change her life when she learned about STCH Ministries Home for Families and the opportunity it could provide for her and her children. Her goal was to completely change her life and follow Christ wherever He may lead her! She started at Homes for Families almost two months ago. Before coming here, she would fall into a deep depression at times and despair would take over. Jasmyne was constantly worried about the next big problem and carried the weight of the world on her own shoulders. When temptation came knocking at her door, she was game for whatever was being presented to her. Jasmyne didn’t understand the importance of going to church and doing what the Lord required of her from His word! After being at Homes for Families, she says she finally has peace. She’s studying God’s word which gives her hope for her future. Jasmyne is working hard to make the right decisions for herself and her precious baby boy. 

Jasmyne recently went on her first home pass since arriving at Homes for Families and the opportunity presented itself to lash out and argue with family members who are where she used to be; something she has struggled with. Instead of lashing out in anger, Jasmyne was able to turn the other cheek when being provoked and baited into arguments! She loves the change she is seeing in her relationship with her baby and how he is responding to her changes. She adores her baby boy and is enjoying being around for his “firsts”. Jasmyne wants this momentum to keep going. We thank God for His continued work and the changes He’s making in people’s lives! Most often Jasmyne can be found with a joyful countenance and a testimony that she and her boy are doing well as they continue to follow the Lord’s path. 

Sharing Knowledge in the Dominican Republic

On the recent Baylor student Spring Break mission trip, Eron Green, STCH Ministries President/CEO, and John Weber, STCH Ministries Board Chair, joined efforts to empower families and leaders of partnering ministries. One of the most significant partnerships for STCH Ministries is with the Iglesia Bautista Quisqueyana (IBQ). On Sunday morning, Pastor Rudy devoted the entire service to a presentation on Strengthening Families by STCH Ministries Joanna Berry and Eron Green. They were assisted by a family panel of varying ages who shared their real-life examples of family life and relationships.  

Some of the principles shared were the importance of unconditional love between parents and their children. As the principle of sowing and reaping was related to behavior and consequences, Eron Green reminded them that the best discipline was allowing logical consequences to apply. The panel suggested different ways to teach the Word of God at home – reading the Bible together, talking over the day’s events while eating together, motivating children to memorize scripture verses and above all, “Walk the Talk.” 
Afterward, the families of the church brought their lunch and the STCH Ministries staff joined the families to share the meal together.

The following day, the directors of our partnering ministries were invited to a presentation on the importance of a functioning board by Eron Green and John Weber. This concept is not fully understood and practiced in the Dominican Republic. However, for succession planning and sustainability, it is a priority focus of encouragement as STCH Ministries collaborates with the efforts of our faith partners. Interest was very high, and questions came almost faster than they could be translated. The presentation whetted their appetites for more information and more guidance. STCH Ministries will be looking to respond to these requests soon.

Spring Break on Boothe Campus

Spring break on our Boothe campus was an exciting and eventful time for the kids. Our Student Ministry Coordinator planned several theme days throughout the week including water day, arts and crafts, glow-in-the-dark dodgeball and devotions each morning. Everyone also enjoyed the Star Wars movie marathon they had playing each evening. Although it’s hard when some of the kids are not able to go home for spring break, we keep them busy with fun activities!  

The best thing has been God working in the children’s hearts on campus. In the last month, we have seen four students give their lives to Christ through our chapel time on Wednesday evenings. On March 26th, we will have two students baptized with another six waiting to get baptized. Please continue to pray for the children on campus as the Lord moves and wins their hearts! 

Unlikely Heroes

The 2023 Spring Break mission team to the Dominican Republic included an unusual mix of older couples, Tri-Delta sorority girls from Baylor University with three staff sponsors, a couple of teenage boys, STCH Ministries administrative staff and two young women from El Salvador.
Knitting such a dissimilar group into an effective team occurred because each person came with a common purpose…to serve. There was nothing they were not willing to do.
Throughout the week, you could find them in the kitchen chopping vegetables to help the Dominican cooks, sanding, sawing, drilling to build a playground set, attending to the sick at a medical clinic, delivering food to families with empty cupboards, on the floor helping a child with a craft, blowing bubbles to coax a smile or sharing a meal with a Dominican family. Every afternoon, VBS included singing, dramas, crafts and games along with a Bible memory competition. The team began and ended each day worshipping, focusing on a lesson from God’s Word or sharing a special God moment.
They loved out loud with smiles of joy, fitting each girl with a new dress. The ministry, Dress a Girl Around the World, donated 100 dresses of varying sizes, uniquely sewn to reflect the God-created beauty within each girl. Working together, older adults connected with young boys who may never have held a drill. They hammered, sawed and drilled. They took odd sizes of lumber and fitted them together into a playscape that will remain a lasting contribution to the school-children in this impoverished barrio.
Young women, pursuing a path in the medical field through their college classes, joined an experienced medical nurse, Dominican doctors and volunteers to meet both physical and spiritual needs. Clinics were held in two different neighborhoods to serve children and families.
Perhaps the highlight of this week was the day spent with the boys in the Higuey Home. Twenty-five boys of varying ages, beautiful gifts uniquely created in the Father’s heart, live there as brothers. They were born into a dark world that did not value and care for them, yet they were rescued by the same Father’s love. Dominicans joined by STCH Ministries have provided a home, beds, food and care.
Culture, age and life experiences can create an obstacle for an American team to connect with boys. But not for this group of energetic and determined young people. Inter-mixing and grabbing a partner, the music began. Clapping and stepping together to the rhythm, the cultural divide melted as joy-filled music crammed the spaces between them. Although their lives were worlds apart, on this day their joy and joint activities portrayed the unity we all share as children, all created in God’s image.
For all of us who are immersed in a culture that values pleasure and material possessions as primary goals to pursue, it’s easy to say, “Not my child, not my community, not my problem.” Then there are those who see the needs and choose to respond. They ignore comfort, they sacrifice time and resources and bravely step into the unknown to serve others. They follow the supreme example of the One who left heaven, to show us His mercy, His love and His grace.
This varied group became “unlikely heroes” to the many children and families that they served on this 2023 Spring Break mission trip.



Joanna Berry
Joanna Berry
Vice President of Family and International Ministries
STCH Ministries

Sharing the Impact of Faith & Finances

Faith & Work and Faith & Finances ministries have grown tremendously since the pandemic. The pandemic forced our team to think outside the box and embrace new methods of service. God also opened doors for us to begin online ministry using Zoom. Once we started doing Zoom classes, we saw an immediate increase in requests for classes. Word spread quickly that STCH Ministries had classes that would not only help people cope with the life changes they were experiencing but would also bring them together to have a deeper fellowship even through Zoom. Faith & Work and Faith & Finances are blessed to have facilitators helping us with these classes and are scheduled to certify more facilitators over the next few months. God has opened new doors at all three sites and allowed us to partner with many new organizations.  

These things are all wonderful but the best part is the lives changed over the past few months. Here is one of the testimonies from Faith & Finances:   

Gelon entered class on a Wednesday night only to find she was in the wrong class. She found the facilitator and other class attendees were so friendly that she decided to stay. By the end of the first class, she wept because she was so convicted about the way she had been handling God’s money. She had been irresponsible and neglectful of her finances and she wanted a change. Over the next several weeks, she learned how to do things God’s way and began practicing expense tracking, debt reduction and saving. She figured out she needed a Spending Plan and discovered how easy it is to keep track of her money when she had a plan in place. When the class started, she had over $1,000 in bank fees to pay off and zero savings. Six months later, she is debt free and saving an entire paycheck every month! She has successfully removed many bad habits from her life and is able to give joyfully to God’s kingdom. She has become an active advocate for Faith & Finances telling everyone she meets about all that God has done in her life by using the class she was not even supposed to attend.  

This is just one of the many stories that come out of this ministry. We are so thankful to be able to see God at work throughout the ministry!