Letter from Cody: Dominican Republic – Jan. 2015
Apparently there were questions in the New Testament era as to what true religion really was. From Pharisaism to Gnosticism, there were plenty of confusing counterfeits, but are there not still today, as well? James clearly states what true religion really is, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27. God has called us to a ministry of caring for those less fortunate than we are. Jesus equated this ministry to those in need as ministry to Him. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40. According to Isaiah 58, it is when we take up this neglected work that the Lord will poor out His Spirit upon us in a marked manner. “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.” Isaiah 58:8. God calls us, not only to share the love of Jesus and proclaim the three angels’ messages with a loud voice, but also to demonstrate these precious truths that we preach. “In placing among them the helpless and the poor, to be dependent upon their care, Christ tests His professed followers. By our love and service for His needy children we prove the genuineness of our love for Him. To neglect them is to declare ourselves false disciples, strangers to Christ and His love.” Ministry of Healing, 205.
Mission Projects International is committed, not only to taking the everlasting gospel to the world but also in showing the love of Jesus by our little acts of mercy. In Dominican Republic, Sister Nelly Severino is focused on helping those whom the world has passed by, but that Jesus sees of tremendous value. Through a healthful bakery, which is run by a group of young people, they are able to bring an awareness to the community of healthful living; then through the proceeds they are able to minister to the needs of those who lack life’s necessities. Sometimes they are able to express Jesus’ love through giving simple remedies to the sick or providing them with nutritious food to help their recovery. Other times, they have been able to put tin sheets on the roof and cement on the floor of a needy family’s shack. As they have ministered to the needs of the community, they have been asked to give educational lectures to a local women’s group or schools. At one of the schools, they were requested to share workshops on nutrition and on how to meet needs of special needs children. Through these opportunities to share, parents and teachers have come requesting even more knowledge. Another special project that Nelly and her coworkers have been assisting with is the opening of a branch Sabbath school in a Haitian workers camp. Although the Dominican Republic is not a flourishing first-world country, there are more opportunities in Dominican Republic than in the poorer remaining half of the island of Hispaniola—the country of Haiti. Thus many Haitians come to Dominican Republic looking for work, and they frequently gather together in camps where they can share a common culture and language. In these camps, they frequently have substandard living conditions—another opening for the love of Jesus to enter! When the Lord provided contacts, He also opened up the door for an evangelistic series to be held right at the Haitian camp. The Lord blessed as the truths were presented, and now a small branch Sabbath school has been opened for this forgotten group. Please pray for Nelly and her team as they work to share and demonstrate the gospel of Jesus’ love. If you would like to help their work to “the least of these my brethren,” you can mark your donation, “Dominican Republic.”
Yours in serving the “least of these our brethren,”