Our 2015 Vision Trip made a memorable stop in the small town of Villa Altagracia. Pastor Rodney and Nilsia’s school was referred to us by Pastor Rudy (from Iglesia Bautista Quisqueyana), who officiated at their marriage years before. The school was in a crowded apartment, desks jammed tightly together and some classes held in an outdoor lean-to. A banner proclaiming their vision hung over the doorway, EDUCANDO PARA LA ETERNIDAD (Educating for Eternity). In spite of the circumstances, the children enthusiastically smiled and sang and quoted Scripture to us.
Rodney and Nilsia proudly showed us a rocky hill, overgrown with tropical foliage, which they had purchased by faith for a future school building. We left that day with a burden for this ministry, and a vision for the future. First Baptist Church of Corpus Christi raised a significant portion of the construction cost. Later in the summer of 2015, the FBC-CC mission team accepted the challenge of building a new facility, in spite of American Airlines’ best efforts to cancel their trip! Other individuals and churches contributed, in addition to the dedication and hard work of Luis Pichardo and Russell Jerez. When God is in it, faith and hard work truly can move a mountain—or in this case, a big hill!
In 2017, construction began on the second story of this school due to the demand for more rooms to house the students. Multiple mission team groups invested donations and their own sweat equity to build the final project. In addition to investing in the facilities, STCH Ministries International has sponsored several of the children through the Samuel’s Fund program, and regularly offers opportunities for teacher training.
In 2019, our vision is to install a metal roof over the patio in the middle of the school, which will create a Sunday meeting place for a new church. The church would use the school rooms for Bible classes.
Recently, the IBQ church commissioned Rodney and Nilsia as missionaries to Villa Altagracia and committed resources for their support. Pray for the growth of this work and our continuing partnership with the Villa Altagracia school and now the new church.