For almost a decade, our friendship with Alvaro Rodríguez and Rosana de Rodríguez has grown as they have welcomed us to serve alongside them at Oasis Church, Oasis Christian School, and the Santiago Theological Seminary. Our gospel partners in Santiago, Dominican Republic have continued in their mission to share Christ’s love to the nearby under-served communities, to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in their church and beyond, and to enjoy God’s goodness even in the midst of the pandemic.
During this year, they have celebrated the life of two members who have gone to be with their Lord and Savior due to COVID-19. Jeremías Collado, one of the pastors, shared that to offer comfort and care to these families has been challenging since physical proximity is limited. Yet, they continue to trust and proclaim God’s faithfulness and goodness.
For Christmas, Oasis Church prepared and served meals for children and adults of the Otra Banda, a community we visit in the summers to support Oasis in sharing Christ’s love and the gospel! They have also started doing Children’s Ministry through Zoom because government guidelines require children to be accompanied by their parents during the Sunday service. They rejoice that they have the Zoom option, and that the church has been able to meet in-person and online via YouTube and Facebook.
Like us, some of the community groups are finding alternative ways to gather!
Here’s a picture of a community group meeting at the church parking lot. Their weather is great year-round so they can continue to meet outside. Most, however, are meeting virtually.
The Seminario Teológico de Santiago (Santiago Theological Seminary) has also gone virtual. Because this is a developing project (started about 3 years ago), going virtual has affected recruitment. Please pray for the Lord to give creative avenues and wisdom to the leaders of this seminary for more pastors, church leaders, and layman to be equipped with the Word of God to reach Santiago and beyond. Please pray for strategic partnerships and financial stability for this seminary as well.
Oasis Christian School continues in their mission to partner with parents in the upbringing of their children – though virtually this past year. This virtual connection, however, has opened doors for us to partner with the school in new ways! Edwin López, one of our elders, had the blessing of preaching at Chapel for the students last semester. Stephanie Haddock de Jesús, our International Ministries Director, had the opportunity to teach a Bible class for the 4th graders, and she and Edwin collaborated to teach a small group session with about 35 high schoolers for a retreat the school organized. We look forward to more opportunities like these.
We miss our friends from Oasis Church! We miss going together to their communities to co-labor in the plentiful harvest. We miss receiving the High School Seniors, touring D.C., and welcoming them into our homes and our lives. We are grateful, though, that we continue to partner with our brothers and sisters in the D.R., that we can pray for them, and that we can encourage them by reaching out! Feel free to send Alvaro Rodríguez (pastor), Jeremías Collado (pastor), and/or Rosana de Rodríguez (Alvaro’s wife and School Director) a quick email letting them know we are praying for them and that we are grateful for this partnership in the gospel! They all speak English.