Throughout this past year, we have had some wonderful blessings through our ministry and our marriage, as well as some challenges and times of learning and growth! Our 2009 goals and updates are updated below along with a few pictures that show some of those blessings and learning experiences!
One area we have both felt God leading us to grow in and build upon is in teaching, and over the last six months, we have clearly seen God leading us to become more focused on our Teaching Ministry. We have a new brochure that details our ministry goals and more refined focus, and if you are on our mailing list, you will be receiving it and this letter shortly. If you would like to be on our mailing list, just let us know! We are very excited to begin following God’s leading as we work toward accomplishing these goals in 2010!
As this plan became clearer to us, it also became clear that it does not exactly fit under the umbrella of G.O. Ministries. G.O. supports nationals through short-terms mission trips, and as we have been a part of G.O., we have seen the blessings for nationals and the American team members that result from these trips! We also have been blessed to be a part of G.O. and are so grateful for Amaury’s eight years and my three and a half years with the ministry. However, as we shared our plan with the ministry leadership, they also realized that it does not necessarily fit into the structure of G.O., and this was a sad and difficult realization for us. After some time of prayer and seeking counsel from our families and close friends, we have decided to transition out from under the umbrella of G.O. We are leaving on the best of terms and will continue to be advocates for G.O. and the work they do in the DR!
As of January 1, 2010, we will be joining with Kingdom Seeker Ministries, out of Illinois, who will be mentoring us through the process of forming an independent ministry and will be handling our financial donations during this time. We will continue to live and work in Santiago in the Dominican Republic as we pursue fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. If you have supported us financially, we are so grateful for your support, and we hope that you will continue to do so via Kingdom Seeker Ministries. Please be aware that donations made to G.O. after Dec. 31, 2009, will not be forwarded to us and will be used to support the work of G.O. in the Dominican, even if they are noted to be for us. If you currently support G.O. through other forms of donations, we do encourage you to continue doing so!
Since we are beginning new with Kingdom Seekers, we will be in need of some "start-up" money to help us until our monthly donations are coming in on a regular basis. If at this time you are able to make a one-time donation to help us during this transition, that would be a wonderful blessing for our ministry!
Kingdom Seeker's address is Kingdom Seeker Ministries, P.O. Box 264, El Paso, IL 61738-0264, and their phone number is (309)310-4248. Our name can be included on the memo line of the check, or a note can be included with it to indicate it is for our support. All donations made to Kingdom Seeker Ministries in our name will be used to support us and our ministry in the Dominican Republic.
If you currently support us monthly using automatic ACH withdrawal, and you would like to continue that support, please call Cathi Christopher at the G.O. office at (502)493-9846 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org to instruct her to stop the automatic withdrawal as of the end of December 2009. Then please e-mail me at email@example.com and I will send you a Donor Authorization for Direct Debit form for you to complete and mail to Kingdom Seeker’s for ACH withdrawal to begin in January 2010.
Please pray for us as we begin this exciting new adventure in ministry! We are so grateful to those who faithfully support us on a monthly basis or through one-time gifts! Our brochure also shows where to send your much needed tax-deductible contribution. We look forward to sharing with you what God is doing in the lives of the Dominicans through your partnership with us!
Con amor en Cristo (With love in Christ),
Amaury and Catherine
2009 Ministry Goals and Updates
1) Amaury and Catherine will create a Drama Ministry team of young adults who have a desire to evangelize through Drama Ministry from at least five churches in the Santiago area. Work to refine and support a Drama program in those churches through Drama Camps hosted by teams or by our Drama Ministry team.
*The Drama Ministry Team began meeting in February and began with 10 members – two members from each of the following churches: Hoya del Caimito, Hoyo del Bartola, Hato del Yaque, Los Perez, and Los Guandules. We ended the year with six active team members who took part in every camp offered and participated in a majority of the meetings held.
*Four Drama Camps were held – one in Hato del Yaque in March with 18 participants, one in Los Guandules in June (working with the team from Northeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY) with 33 participants, one in Hoya del Caimito in August with 15 participants, and one in Hoyo de Bartola in October (working with the team from Woodland Hills Christian Church in Abingdon, VA) with 24 participants.
*Of the 33 participants in the camp in Los Guandules, 12 went forward after the service to repent and accept Christ as their savior!! The Drama Ministry team members from Los Guandules have also continued to work with the group that participated in the camp, forming their own Drama Ministry team in their church!
*No camp was offered in Los Perez due to lack of interest on the part of the two Drama Ministry Team members who decided not to continue being part of the team.
2) Amaury will teach classes in Business and in Etiquette and Protocol in area churches whose pastors have requested these classes.
*Amaury taught Etiquette and Protocol classes in churches in Los Perez and Hoya del Caimito, as well as a one day seminar in Palo Alto, and each class went very well. Several pastors have asked him to teach the class in their churches in 2010!
3) Catherine will continue offering English classes in churches supported by G.O. in Santiago and will train and support nationals who are beginning an English ministry in their churches.
*Jose Luis began his class in January with 20 students, and 2 students finished all three sessions. Catherine provided him with lesson plans and met with him before and during each session to review the plans and any questions he had over the material, and she also observed his classes regularly.
*In March, Catherine began offering a class in Hoya del Caimito for those who were interested in facilitating English classes in their own churches. Three students completed all three sessions of the class, and all three have expressed interest in facilitating a class in the future.
4) Catherine will continue advising the administration of Colegio Evangélico Isaías Emmanuel and facilitating teacher training in order to assist in creating an effective learning environment for students and supportive working environment for teachers, as well as continuing to work to help facilitate funding for the remaining 202 children who need sponsors.
*Catherine worked with the school administration in getting information and materials needed for the GO Kids program, as well as in helping to put together a new salary scale and the budget for the 09/10 school year.
*In April and August, Catherine worked with the school counselor to provide a Spiritual Retreat for the teachers to help form a more cohesive work environment.
*In June and October, Catherine facilitated teacher trainings on ADD/ADHD and using crafts in the classroom, respectively.
*In November, Amaury and Catherine worked together to provide a computer training for the teachers, showing them how to use the word processing software for lesson planning and how to use the presentation software and the internet as part of their lessons.
*Throughout the year, Catherine promoted the GO Kids program whenever possible and gave school tours to every team that went to Santiago. As of November 2009, all remaining students at the school were sponsored!