Summer Update

Recent Peru trip—Flying directly from Houston to Lima, Peru then another short flight, we arrived in Pucallpa, an area of about 750,000 people. For 2 years we explored the possibilities for STCH Ministries in Peru. So much to consider—political stability, family-friendly logistics, ministry opportunities to children and families, and partnerships led by committed local staff.  We believe we have found that in the TEC center—focused on children and families in a holistic manner—sharing the Gospel while reinforcing education, and basic hygiene and nutrition. There are multiple opportunities to serve an orphanage, several schools, including a school in English that ministers to the children of missionaries. Wonderful Peruvian staff—hearts dedicated 24-7 to children and families. More news coming with details about future trips.

High-Five to medical and dental teams for repeated mission trips to the DR.  Lipscomb University for their 5th mission trip to the DR, in addition to sending 3 pharmacy interns to the Dominican Republic for 4 weeks.  Through their skills they shared Christ’s love and met physical needs.

CMDA—a record number of 43 professionals and students in the medical and dental field joined together to share their abilities in ministering to the health needs of Dominican children and adults, as they also intentionally shared the Gospel.

Higuey orphanage—the boys faced expulsion from their rental home. God provided funds through generous donors, plans were drawn, and then delay, delay, and more delay.  But GOD…never count Him out!  Our wonderful friend and Christian contractor, Luis Pichardo, voluntarily paused the construction of other projects.  “God’s work comes first,” he stated, and he literally moved his entire crew to live temporarily in Higuey.  Working around the clock they worked on this home, and even started on the administration building.

In early June four churches combined—not an easy task. The 2019 theme song, “Only Jesus” drew our hearts together in one great prayer, “I’ve only got one life to live…I’ll make every second count for Him.” Morning devotionals challenged each one to use their gifts, … follow Jeremiah’s example, “the prophet that didn’t quit.” Whenever and wherever God calls, He will sustain us. This mission team set the bar for unity and common purpose through VBS, and as they built benches for children’s Bible classes, ministered to orphanages, and celebrated with Samuel’s Fund sponsored children.

After a nightmare of missed flights, and midnight arrivals in distant cities, teams from Portland and Maryland  threw their best efforts into the tasks of ministry–construction and VBS at Villa Altagracia and Hatillo schools, plus the Higuey and Monte Plata orphanages.

Together with our Dominican staff, each team rose to the
challenge—old-hands and “new-bies,” translators, interns, helpers, cooks, led by our Super-Hero staff.  Sometimes they had to bob and weave, as planned events changed or grew beyond projected numbers. “In as much as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it for me,” Jesus said.  Focused on serving the King of Kings, each group overcame obstacles to minister to the “least of these.”

A child recently asked, “Why are you here?”  Good question.  Why so much effort?  Why the sacrifice of time and resources?  Participants report, “In giving, I received so much more—joy, faith, personal renewal.”

One person summarized, “I think it is what James calls pure religion.  It is compassion for the neediest.  Not just social, but spiritual.  We address their physical needs, but also their need for the Gospel.”