Following are updates for each area of our ministry for 2015 and pictures of our most recent production, a Christian version of A Christmas Carol, which took place on December 10. There are also pictures of graduation celebrations for the prison ministry that took place in December and of our Christmas dinner with our Drama Group, 8/28 Productions, during which our new members, most improved actors, and best actress for this production were all recognized.
To utilize the knowledge and skills God has given us to glorify Him and lead others into relationship with Jesus Christ.
Ministry Updates as of Dec 2015
Drama Ministry – Amaury and Catherine
Our Drama Group currently has 21 active members, and we presented two full-scale productions this year. Both productions were directed by one of our original drama group members, Roberto, and it has been exciting to see him grow as a director!
This first production was on May 29 when we presented Portador de Su Gloria (Bearer of His Glory). Many who saw this production said it was our best ever, and the youth pastor from our church told our group’s chaplain, Josue, that he has seen real spiritual growth in our group! Unfortunately, we presented to our smallest audience to date with about 100 in the audience, which was the result of our group members not selling tickets as actively as they have in the past. While we were disappointed, we know God will use this experience to help the group grow in the future.
The second production was on December 10 when we presented Un Cuento de Navidad (A Christmas Carol) before an audience of approximately 150! This production is a retelling of Dickens’ story from a Christian perspective. Instead of spirits visiting Scrooge, angels visit, and the third angel is the Angel of Life who shares the gospel with Scrooge. Thus, the changes in Scrooge are attributed to becoming a Christian, and those changes have long-lasting effects on the community! We changed things up a bit with this production as well by casting a female Scrooge, and she did a wonderful job! Aritza is an original member of our group, and it is a blessing to see how far she has come as an actress and how she has grown in her faith over the last five years!
Our Drama Group, 8/28 Productions, also participated in several community projects this year, visiting a local nursing home and painting three houses in different communities as outreach projects.
Additionally, we hosted two retreats with the group, one on our property and one in Palo Alto. Both were focused on developing leadership skills and being the leaders God wants us to be in our families and communities.
We had a great year with the group, and we are looking forward to 2016!
Business/Edification Ministry – Amaury
During 2015, Amaury and his two co-teachers, Josue Gomez and Jean Carlos Estrella, taught a total of 17 classes in three different men’s prisons that reached a total of 457 students! Josue is our ministry Administrative Assistant, and Jean Carlos is a volunteer for the prison ministry.
In La Vega, they taught 101 Ways to Transform Your Life (34 graduates), Self-help and Self-esteem (33 graduates), Men of Values (2 classes with a total of 43 graduates), A Life with Purpose (2 classes with a total of 48 graduates), I Decide (23 graduates), Business Principles (2 classes with a total of 64 graduates), Broken-Hearted (28 graduates), and Financial Harmony in the Home (45 students).
In Santiago, they taught Protocol and Etiquette (25 graduates), Broken-Hearted (22 graduates), and Perseverance and Triumph (19 graduates).
In Mao, they taught Protocol and Etiquette (32 graduates), Financial Harmony in the Home (27 graduates), and Perseverance and Triumph (14 graduates).
A total of 40 men from these classes were baptized! In the prison ministry as a whole that Amaury and his uncle William Gomez offer, nearly 300 men were baptized in 2015!
Amaury and Josue taught three classes at different churches in Santiago this year. They taught Financial Harmony in the Home in March, Protocol and Etiquette in August and in October. Two of the churches are Haitian churches, and one is a Dominican church.
English Ministry – Catherine
Catherine continues to teach World Literature part-time at Santiago Christian School and has been blessed by her position there! For the 2014/2015 school year, she also started teaching an AP Literature and Composition /Dual-enrollment English class, and though teaching a curriculum for the first time has its challenges, it was a successful first year! For the 2015/2016 school year, she is teaching two World Literature classes and the AP/Dual-enrollment class, and it has been a good year so far with her students.
One highlight from this school year was teaching Les Miserables. She focuses the unit on tracking the motifs of Redemption, Grace, Forgiveness, and Charity in the novel and addressing the social injustices in the novel. Throughout their study of the novel, they had several in-depth class discussions about these topics, and several students commented on how much they liked the novel and had learned from the story of Jean Valjean about the importance of love and forgiveness in their lives!
Another highlight of this year related to Catherine’s position at SCS was the inauguration of the Eagle’s Nest dorm at Pino Refugio de los Cielos in Palo Alto where Amaury’s parents have their retreat center! The dorm is a beautiful addition to the retreat center and is open to all groups who come to stay there! Catherine and Amaury (and Josie) had the opportunity to chaperone the first group of students from SCS to stay there for a Prefect Retreat for SCS’s student leader group. Two and a half years ago, Catherine prayed over what was then just the foundation of the dorm building for the students who would stay there, so it was a blessing to be able to be there with the first group! They were challenged by the retreat activities to grow as leaders and by the environment and teaching times to grow closer to God – it was a great weekend!
We have had a great year of ministry and are so grateful for your support!
With love in Christ,
Amaury, Catherine, and Josie
Photos of 8/28 Productions presentation of A Christmas Carol:
Getting ready before the show...
Getting ready before the show...
The Angel of Christmas Past...
The Angel of Life and a changed Scrooge!
8/28 Productions Christmas Dinner:
Prison Ministry Graduation Ceremonies in La Vega:
I Decide - Amaury had the graduation stoles made - the yellow ones are those who graduated with Merit!