Recently I had the privilege of leading a group of pastors and board members of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference to tour Buckner work in the Dominican Republic. Everyone on the trip, including me, travelled to the DR for the first time ever.
Pastors Jesse Rincónes (Sr. Pastor, Alliance Baptist in Lubbock & Executive Director, Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas), Mauricio Elizondo (Sr. Pastor, Casa de Mi Gloria in Garland), Eve Nuñez (Executive Director, Helps for Kidz in Phoenix, AZ), Carlos Duran and Mrs. Duran (Executive Director, Hombres de Palabra in Maryland), and Dr. Daniel Flores (Sr. Pastor, El Buen Samaritano United Methodist Church in Albuquerque, NM), along with Gilbert Móntez and Dexton Shores shared this journey to the Island of Hispaniola where Columbus first landed in 1492.
We had a fantastic time visiting the Family Hope Centers in Santo Domingo. We had an opportunity to observe the work of a missions team from 2nd Baptist Houston at work at the Family Hope Centers. We also saw the work that members of Wilshire Baptist Church have done over the last few years. I was very impressed with the work Wilshire has done and the impact they have made in the DR.
We met with local pastors and with government officials such as the Provincial Deputy José Nelson Guillén Jr. of the Dominican National Congress. Hearing his story and passion for the DR as well as his support for Buckner work there was very encouraging.
We had the opportunity to put new shoes on children during our visit. It was an awesome time. We meet with community leaders and volunteers heard about the AMO program we are using for spiritual development.
Our work in the DR is led by Maria Alida de Brugal. She leads an outstanding team accompanied by an excellent board of directors. My hope is that the Lord will lead those with me on the team to make commitments to serve the children and families of this beautiful island in the coming months and years. I have high hopes for what might happen in this beautiful place.
I hope you will consider a trip to the DR to serve children and families with Buckner. Maybe you would consider a shoe drive or a shoe trip there. It is easy to travel there but hard to forget the impact the children will have on you. It is a life changing experience.