Friday, August 4, 2017

Christo Salvador's Ministries -- Dominican Republic Mission Trip 2017 Day 5

This is the fifth of nine daily blog posts from our Diocesan Mission trip to Santiago, Dominican Republic from July 21-29.  I'm posting one a day now that we have returned to the states.  A daily bog from others of our team can be found on our Diocesan blog:

July 25

Father Hipólito and the mission of Christo Salvador are doing great work in their community.
  Based on what Father Hipólito and others have said, when he arrived in Santiago, there were about four Episcopalians here.  He started the mission of Christo Salvador in a poorer neighborhood and went door to door.  Without their own building, they would meet for prayer and Bible study in whatever homes were available.  Eventually, they obtained the church building, which today has a sanctuary and sacristy downstairs and a large activity room and three smaller classrooms upstairs. 

Later, with the help of their diocese, they were able to purchase the building across the street that includes a kitchen and dining room downstairs, a fenced in, open-air back patio easily holding about 30-40 people, and three classrooms upstairs.  Every Saturday, Christo Salvador offers a meal to the children in the community in this new building.  The church also has a preschool, which is an essential ministry in providing a way to an education and a better life for the neighborhood children.  Part of the goal of our Bible school is to provide an outreach to a larger number of young people in the hopes that more families would enroll their children in the preschool.

Out of that initial mission begun a few decades ago, three additional churches have been planted in Santiago.  Our group's translator, Randy, recently moved to the city when his father, an Episcopal priest, took a call at St. Mark’s, another church that Father Hipólito founded out of his work. 

Like urban churches in many communities, Father Hipólito and his church are dedicated to helping the people around them in ways that will make a difference.  The neighborhood faces problems with drug and alcohol abuse, and the church tries to find ways to minister to the children and provide what they need.  Father Hipólito clearly knows his people, and their affection for him is evident.  Working with him to make a difference in his community is the primary purpose of our mission trip, and it is a great privilege to serve God alongside of him.

No comments:

Post a Comment