Planting by Faith

A new church is born in the Dominican Republic!

When I began my ministry as a pastor, I was assigned to a very populated area in the province of San José de Ocoa, Dominican Republic. I didn’t want to merely provide guidance for the churches already there. Instead, the Lord gave me a burden to raise up a new church in an area without one. So, we started praying and looking for a place.

We found a small house that, with the eyes of faith, had the potential to become a place of worship, and we made a proposal to the owner. “I’m not building it for the purpose of a church,” he told us, “but I could rent it to you if I can get the resources to finish it.” 

Around this time, Mission Projects International sent means for us to purchase Bibles in Spanish and Creole, and for us to start a church. To obtain the Creole Bibles, we had to send someone to Haiti, because Creole Bibles weren’t for sale in the Dominican. God blessed us in such a way that we not only purchased a good quantity of Bibles at an affordable price, but had money left over to rent the house!

Now that we had somewhere to meet, three dedicated lay workers started going door to door to find truth seekers! Within a few days, however, a Pentecostal pastor and some of his members tried to stop our work. They actually went to the mayor of the sector and asked him to ban us from the area. Providentially, the community members and the mayor himself advocated in our defense, arguing that our beliefs had never been preached in that place and that our gospel is based on “thus says the Lord.” So, although we still faced some resistance from the Pentecostals, most of the community appreciated our work. The three lay workers, who were later joined by a Bible worker, won six people in that community who today are active members of the new congregation. In addition, more than 10 families attend the services every Sabbath. Of those families, six are receiving studies to be baptized.

As a new church, we meet often. Sunday, Wednesday, Friday and Sabbath afternoons, we get together for Bible studies to ground the new believers in the Adventist message and to help them prepare for Jesus’ coming. Thank God for the self-sacrificing service of Felix, the Bible worker. He has started 60 Bible studies in this community by going from house to house, ministering to people in a practical way. We pray for God to continue touching hearts and expanding our mission field!

Our goal for this group is to become an organized church by the end of 2023, and to then go out and start new branch Sabbath Schools. We want to continue planting churches until the light of the Adventist message shines into every heart in the area! “To give character to the work, to be centers of effort and influence, to attract the attention of the people, to develop the talents and capabilities of the believers, to unify the new churches, and to second the efforts of the workers”—this is our motto! Publishing Ministry, 50. 

Thank you all for your brotherly love and your prayers for the work on the island of Hispaniola. Your financial support given through Mission Projects International has been a huge blessing. We have done many evangelistic meetings which have reaped scores of baptisms and given us hope to plant many more churches. May the peace, joy and love of our Lord be with each of you.  

Dominican Republic

Leonel Mesa is the district pastor in the province of San José de Ocoa in the Dominican Republic.

How You Can Help
Pray for this new church plant in the San José de Ocoa area to continue growing and reaching new souls for Christ.  

Pray for Pastor Mesa and Bible worker Felix as they faithfully preach the Three Angels’ Messages! 

Give to help preach God’s last warning message to this unreached area of the Dominican Republic by sending your donation marked “Dominican Republic” to:

Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138

To give securely online, visit: