Dear brothers and friends, it is a pleasure to share with you the exciting news and experiences that God has allowed us to live as a family in the ministry. On this occasion, we will tell you about the activities and blessings we have experienced from January-June 2023.
Our year started with great joy: My son Andry got married to the young Ledy Orellana from Guatemala on January 7th. It was a special moment to see the whole family and friends glorifying God for this important step in my son’s life. Despite maintaining a long-distance relationship for four years, God was faithful and guided them to the next step. Andry has been a great help to me in the ministry, and we have been praying for God to illuminate the place where they should settle with his wife. After a while, God put it in both their hearts to come and support the ministry in the Dominican Republic, so now we are a family of six members involved in God’s work. Additionally, in January, my wife and I gratefully celebrated our 30 years of marriage, recognizing God’s faithfulness in every stage of our lives.
After the wedding, we returned to the Dominican Republic from Guatemala in late January to start the work plan for 2023 with the holiness churches. We had moved to a new place of residence called Galá Urbanization in November 2022. God allowed EFM to acquire a property for the missionary family, which has ample space where the national church holds worship services. For many years, different missionary families had to pay rent, but at the beginning of last year, God opened doors and allowed us to acquire this property at a very special price.
The church in this new area has started to grow. Many brothers and friends who neglected their relationship with God during the pandemic have begun to attend all the weekly meetings. Additionally, some families who live close to the church have visited our Sunday morning services. We are praying and working on an outreach plan for this area, trusting that God will open paths and continue touching hearts to join His flock.
In February, our activities focused on strengthening the Men’s Society (Men of Valor) and the Women’s Society (Women of Faith in Harvest). In the case of the men, two members of the leadership, who were of great help, had to leave the country because of their work. Therefore, my sons and I got involved in the work plan of the Men of Valor. On the other hand, my wife and the Women’s Society carried out several appreciation activities in the four churches. We also celebrated the fourth anniversary of the foundation of the women’s society with a beautiful worship service at Kilometer 32 (Km-32), attended by brothers from all of the holiness churches, as well as many friends from the communities.
March was a month full of victories that we celebrated with the brothers and sisters at Km-32. A sister named Rosa de Jesús, who was converted during the pandemic in 2020, had been fervently praying that she could get married, so she could serve God freely in the church. Her now husband, Mr. Williams, initially hesitated to take this step, but God touched his heart, and on March 15th, they signed their marriage documents at the Civil Registry. A good group of brothers and sisters accompanied them in this important moment. In that same month, we had the pleasant visit of EFM President, Dr Stephen Gibson. The time he spent with us was very productive, and we were able to have special family meetings.
God has been greatly helping us in these first months of the year, and the church’s growth is remarkable. At Km-32, more than seven people have accepted Christ, and many families attend each gathering. At Km-25, God has provided a right-hand helper for Sister Cecilia García, who is the leader. Her daughter Clary Percy, who was converted four years ago, is supporting in various activities. In Hato Viejo, God has supported Sisters Naty and Simona as local leaders. In the church of Villa Altagracia, we have had new converts in the conducted services, and Sister Yolanda has been a very important piece in supporting the work. We give all the glory to God for these blessings.
Also, during these months, we had the pleasant visit of Brother Esdras Monroy and his wife from Guatemala. We took the opportunity to hold special services, such as a marriage seminar attended by more than 120 people. God greatly blessed us in this gathering.
In April, God gave us the blessing of becoming grandparents for the first time. It was a true miracle since, for several months, my daughter, Kendy, and her husband, Rocael, lived in anguish, as several tests indicated that the baby would need emergency surgery at birth. However, with our faith in God, united as a family, and with the support of different brothers and sisters, we cried out and trusted in God’s healing work. Finally, on April 19th, our grandson André Benjamín Pablo Leiva was born without any problems. The doctors gave glory to God because one day before the birth, one of the final evaluations indicated the need for an operation. But for God nothing is impossible, and we glorify Him for His power.
In June, we celebrated a tremendous victory for the holiness church. For over 24 years, the church had been praying for a wedding to take place in Hato Viejo.
Legal issues at the Civil Registry had held up the documentation all that time. However, when it was finally accomplished, the sister’s husband-to-be was reluctant to take this important step. But after a few months, God changed his heart, and he said, “Yes, I will get married so that my wife can serve God freely.”
This year, we have managed to formalize the Youth Union’s board of directors. My sons are developing activities for the teenagers and young people of the church. On Sundays, they teach Shepherds Global Classroom (SGC) studies to a group of them. Gerardo supports the music in church activities and projects. My daughter Keidy, along with Ledy, my son Andry’s wife, teaches Sunday school classes with the children. God is helping my children in their ministry work.
Andry has been sharing the SGC curriculum with several Pentecostal churches in the country. So far, five of these churches are using these holiness training materials.
We give all the glory and honor to God for the great help He has provided us in the ministerial work He has entrusted to us in the Dominican Republic. Our greatest satisfaction is to see souls surrendering at the feet of Christ. We appreciate the love for missionary work in the Caribbean and express our gratitude for keeping us in your prayers and support.