We had hardly been in Haiti a week before I was on a bus and off on my first “business” trip – to the Dominican Republic for a Hispaniola Summit. The summit was a few days of meetings that allowed both the Christian Reformed World Mission (CRWM) and World Renew Haiti teams along with some of our partner organizations to meet face to face with our Dominican Republic colleagues and their corresponding partner organizations.
My colleagues with World Missions, World Renew and Back to God Ministries International (BTGMI) work together in Haiti as a team providing a holisitic approach to ministry. Known locally as Sous Espwa (meaning “fountain or source of hope”), we seek to provide our partners with the resources required to allow them to fulfill the mandates that God has called them to.
Here in Haiti our partner organizations include: The Haitian Christian Reformed Church (ECRH), The Ministry for Christian Development (MDK), The Consortium for the Reinforcement of Christian Education (CRECH), Program for Training Diaconal Organizations (PWOFOD), and Back to God Ministries International Follow-up Center (PRIHA). As I get to know these organizations better I will be able to share more about their work.
In the Dominican Republic much of the work that the CRWM partners and the Christian Reformed Church of the DR does is with Haitians living in the Dominican Republic. Because of this some of those partners do similar work as our partners in Haiti so collaboration between these organizations that share the island of Hispaniola is a natural possibility. It was good to witness these partners from opposite sides of the border sit down, put their heads together and dream about what they could do to strengthen and bless one another.
I was also able to meet with Rob and Betty Wood, who are doing great work in the Dominican Republic with Timothy Leadership Training, to discuss ways we might collaborate with future trainings. In addition I had some discussions with the director of PRIHA on how we might be able to direct young volunteers in his organization into a mentorship program. Both of these meetings ended with action plans that will become part of my work in the New Year. In the next few months we hope to see some of the plans for collaboration begin to take shape.
For me this was great opportunity to get to know my CRWM DR colleagues, meet some of the people behind our partner organizations and get a feel for what they do and then also spend time dreaming with them about what we might be able to accomplish together in collaboration with our Dominican Republic colleagues. As an added bonus I was able to enjoy some of the Dominican landscape for the first time.