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God is Moving in the Dominican Republic

God is Moving in the Dominican Republic

Mike Rhoades | Jun 9, 2015

Over a decade ago, Pastor Ruperto Medina Beltre planted Casa de Gracia church in Barahona, a large city in the Dominican Republic. No one showed up to the first service. “For the first church service they invited the entire community, hundreds and hundreds of people,” said Ross Reichel, Missions Coordinator for Praying Pelican Missions. “They set up 150 chairs.” Pastor Medina Beltre and his wife Germania waited and waited. “Not a single person showed up for their first church service,” said Reichel. “But at seven o’clock on the spot Pastor Ruperto got up to preach and he preached to an empty church. He prophesied over the church that one day the community would be so attracted to the Lord’s presence there that every seat in the building would be full, that people would have to stand outside and look in the windows.” When Praying Pelican Missions first sent a mission team to his church in 2013, his vision had been fulfilled. “Anybody who has been to Pastor Ruperto’s church knows that building is too small for how many people come there,” said Reichel. “People are arm to arm, shoulder to shoulder, packed in there. People look in from the streets through the windows during church services.” And Pastor Medina Beltre had not stopped dreaming. Several years before he met Praying Pelican Missions, he had been praying for a new church building. He found the plot of land he wanted but could not afford it. “He would pray and prophesy over the land, that this is the Lord’s land, this is where the house of God is going to be,” said Reichel. Pastor Medina Beltre was eventually able to purchase the land. Praying Pelican Missions partnered with him in 2013 to assist in building the church. One of the teams who has assisted Pastor Medina Beltre is River Run Christian Church of Chuluota, Fla. When River Run arrived the basic shell of the church had begun to be built. The team was able to assist physically and financially. Pastor Medina Beltre had hoped to have the church built in five years. But with help from churches in the US, it took only a year and a half to finish. “This last November they had their first inauguration service,” said Reichel. “They filled up the entire new church building.” Lead pastor of River Run Christian Church Mitch Todd and elder Angel Lozada attended the inauguration, solidifying the relationship between the two churches. Besides helping build the church, River Run has also done evangelism, youth ministry and sports ministry in the community. The team put on a street service for youth last summer. River Run youth shared about their experiences with God and built relationships with local youth. The River Run youth also love sports and Pastor Medina Beltre was able to connect the team with a local baseball stadium so they could minister to youth and children through sports. River Run aims to build a genuine partnership with Pastor Medina Beltre. “When our church goes out there, everything we do we try to make sure it is pointing to Casa de Gracia, not our church at all,” said Kelli Robertson, Director of Youth Ministry. “It has been really humbling that PPM has been able to be a small part of being the bridge and connecting by bringing teams from the US down there,” said Reichel. “Us serving down there is an answer to all of these prayers, visions and dreams that Pastor Ruperto has been looking forward to for a decade.” Casa de Gracia and River Run Christian Church are now dreaming together. They hope to add on a kitchen and cafeteria to the church so that Germania’s dream of feeding poor children in the community can come true. “We are constantly asking him, ‘What’s next?’” said Robertson. [subscribe2] About the Author: Sara Marie Spaulding is a journalist and missions enthusiast. She began her writing career at the Williston Herald in the oil boom town of Williston, N.D. She has also written for the Anoka County Union Herald in Anoka, Minn. and the Minnesota Christian Chronicle. Her missions experience includes short-term ministry in 10 countries across Asia and the Americas. She has recently wed Andrew Moore in May of 2015 and is excited to start the next chapter of her life with him.

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