Category: Villa Paraiso

Houses for the Poor

Many of you know that we are working in a village called Villa Paraiso. It was built by the Samaritan Foundation here in Sosua. The homes are given to some of the poorest in the area and for us Americans this would be beyond poor in the USA. Villa Paraiso is a village built for Dominicans while some of the previous projects were geared for Haitians in the area.

Los Algadones is a village named after the cottons, there is a large piece of machinery still rusting in its place that was once used for the cotton industry.

Los Algadones Villa

Original houses in Los Algadones


Inside of house


Inside of house 2

Basic living


Old houses in Los Algadones

Shacks not worthy of living in


As you can see the living conditions can be worse than what we would allow a lawnmower to park in. Dirt floors rusty and holey roofs. Rotting wood for structures with plenty of insects throughout.

Here is the new section of that village:

New houses in Los Algadones

These houses are still very basic compared to the standard North American living. These houses have 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom with toilet and area for showering, but no running water. It has a room for living and kitchen area and most bring in water via buckets from water taps on the sidewalk. A nice smooth cement floor and a roof to keep out the rain, these houses are a huge upgrade and because they do not pay any rent, they are able to spend that money on food or other necessities.  One way to look at the type of living is that of tent camping in the U.S., cooking over open fire or propane stoves, dirt or mud everywhere, mosquitoes, flies and roosters (well, I guess maybe not the roosters 🙂

We have had the blessing of eating with a couple of families in their humble homes and are welcomed with open arms. Very few have luxuries or even a vehicle, but I find that there are many who are at peace and are praising God for everything they have. So the next time you find yourself complaining about a scratch on your car or the size of your house, take a moment and thank God for what you do have. I know that I have been humbled by what people will live with or without here.

Find yourself at the mercies of a loving Father who has given you much or little, yet use all that He has given you for His glory!

Believing in Christmas

Church family in Villa Paraiso

Iglesia Villa Paraiso

Island Light Ministries is planning a special Christmas service in the church in December. We hope that it will bring glory to God through praise, worship, testimony and more. Part of what we would like to do is have a gift package for each family along with a Christmas dinner at the church.

We are asking our church family to remember their  brothers and sisters who have little to nothing and that even the smallest thing can mean a lot to them. Even $5 can go a long way to provide gifts for these families here. Please ask God what it is that you can do to bless your family here in the Dominican Republic.

Continue to pray for this church as the Lord moves you to. He is doing great things here with His people!


One of the residents of Villa Paraiso is a young man with his wife and 2 kids. This young man is always willing to talk (a lot in English) and makes his presence around the church and is a neighbor of a lady we visit a lot. This young man is not a believer, when asked about things he says he is “watching”.

How many of us have watchers, those who are wondering about Christians, about Jesus, about the church and who watch us? They are looking for evidence in our walk, do we really believe what we say we believe? This young man offered us some food today, he made some great spaghetti and rice. He is currently jobless and here that means no job and no unemployment benefits.

Also, I know that there is that time when I will have to challenge him on his “watching” to see if he will be walking. I don’t believe that just my walk, but also my words will bring to him the good news, the Gospel, the truth of Christ which can free him from sin.

I respect this young man in his honesty, he isn’t pretending to be a Christian. He isn’t pretending to know all. He is honestly watching us. I believe God has a plan for this young man’s life, so if this touches you, please pray for him. His name is Manuel. Pray for salvation and for a job.

When it Rains, it Pours

For the weather here that is definitely true. It seems that every time it rains we get a downpour that makes it hard to see when driving. This happens probably every other day and a few times today as some storms pass from the north.

Most of our readers can relate to this in their lives as well. From finances to health everything seems to hit at once. Today I would ask that you lift us up in prayer for a few things. I must have a bug of some sort and I am a bit drained right now. Also, we are currently out of cash and a little short in the account to pay rent and the remaining deposit amount that we were allowed to pay this coming month. We just had the back brakes repaired a little sooner than planned since we lost all the brake fluid when a wheel cylinder leaked.

Our guagua is fixed!

We are still questioning the house we are in, it took us a while to find one in a safe location that would work with us and the price was comparable to everything else we found. Now we hear the house next door is $700 month which is $550 less than this house. I am assuming that we get the higher rates as “gringos” because the person next door is currently a Dominican. We don’t want to be foolish with the money God provides, but we also don’t want to be foolish about protecting the family. Until we speak Spanish more fluently and understand more about the culture it may not be the wisest thing to live just anywhere.

We are also setting up with Agape Flights to be able to receive mail and packages from home. We are needing some of the school books we left behind because we had already filled too many bags for the flight. Health insurance is another item on our list of needs that we would like to get soon, the price is much more affordable than the U.S. but I don’t have a quote yet for the whole family.

So please pray with us as week ask God for wisdom in all these decisions and for the finances we need to live here. I believe God has us here and I don’t think it was just to come for a few months to only return home (which we don’t have anymore :~)

Passing out food in a village

Hit the ground running

We arrived September 5th and it seems like that was months ago. The process of finding a place to live, a vehicle to drive and how to even shop takes a lot of effort and lends to so much frustration. Stores are not set up in the way we are accustomed to in the U.S. and cars cost about twice as much. The cost of fuel leaves us with the option of buying a vehicle with a four cylinder diesel engine, which is actually fairly common when it comes to vans anyways.

Now beyond the practical, day to day living necessities, we have the village we are working in – Villa Paraiso. Here we have seen a number of people desiring to come to the church and not sure if they are allowed to come.  I have found that many more can read than I initially thought; however, there are still many who cannot.  Jim has stepped out of his comfort zone and has preached a couple of times in Spanish, which I am sure has helped him learn even more.

Our children have played a part in bringing families to the church, they have been a type of bridge in the community. When the children of the village see the gringitos arrive, they come running to play with our kids. An aspect of the culture that has sort of caught us off guard was the violent aspect in how the kids will play or fight. So often a teased child resorts to anger followed quickly by punching and kicking and then even rocks being picked up to be thrown (and believe me there is no shortage of rocks within reach.) As we interact with the children and something gets a little out of hand we become the peacemakers. Don’t let this come across as a negative comment, what we are seeing is what the Lord will work on as people come to know Him, the fruit will be revealed in time. Also, we get to experience little things that are blessings. As an example, one little boy who Silas has befriended went after a child who took his toy, which, by the way this toy was a moped tire that he rolls around.  The little boy Yannay (said the same as Johnny) took a rock to throw at the boy who took his toy. Silas grabbed his hand and said “no Johnny, no!” and held his hand until he dropped the rock. I think that Jesus spoke of these “peacemakers” if I am not mistaken.

There is so much to learn of this culture and of the people in the village. There are boundaries to get beyond, there are walls to be torn down and there are areas where we will have to be like Paul who became like those who he ministered to (maybe that is why God provided us the van that we drive.)

We are excited about what God is doing here and we are blessed to be working with Island Light Ministries, knowing Jim and Debra Tunnicliffe and even some of those back in Medford Oregon who play the “behind the scenes” roles. We have a vision of revival for God’s people and a great harvest that the Lord has been preparing.  The prayer God has put on my heart is for His people to come back to Him and fully love Him.  AND if you are one of those whose walk has been on the fence, come, return to the Father who is waiting for you with open arms!


Our Guagua

Feeding His People

Lately Silas is constantly hungry, always wanting something to eat. Most parents probably remember a time when their children were like this, one hour after eating complaining about being hungry. So, going up to the village we have been bringing something small like bread for him to eat if he gets to the point of complaining. We leave it in the van and take him out to it, so as not to create hunger pains in anyone who sees him eating.

Saturday I handed him a piece of bread and told him to eat it before going back towards the kids, however his little friend Johnny was right there. I told him that many of them are hungry and don’t have much food so it wouldn’t be nice for him to walk over to where they could see it. He then took a piece of the bread and handed it to his friend. This was heartwarming to see Silas understand enough that he wanted to share.

Now yesterday we had a similar event where I reminded him that many are hungrier than him and some may have not eaten anything that day. He then said to me “we should bring enough food for them” which I said “yes, we want to but we don’t have enough.” I could see his mind working on it, and he had a sad expression while pondering these thoughts.

The need is great; we have plans of having lunch served there which is their main meal. It would most likely consist of rice and beans (Dominican style) but God will have to do a miracle. You see, we don’t have the money to do this yet.

We hope to help in changing this need over time as we teach different skills to the men and women in the village so that they can earn enough to provide for their families. The trade school is scheduled to be finished in February and the plan is to have a woodshop and 3 other trade classes in the building. The Samaritan Foundation has the finances being given to them for this building praise the lord.

Please pray for the finances needed to bring food to these people. I was challenged to pray for this need after what Silas said. To him it was a simple solution of just bringing more food. Where is my faith to ask the same of our Father who is so good!

 Keep in mind that this food is our earthly food, while we feed their stomachs, we will be feeding them God’s Word.