One of our missionaries, Franklin Lopez, is sponsored through Makers and Means International. We just wanted to keep you in the loop as to what is happening in the Dominican Republic during this time we cannot meet corporately together as a church. Here is the latest update:
Dear Mission Supporters,
We want to update you on what is happening with the Gospel work in the Dominican Republic as the coronavirus continues to spread. I was visiting today with pastor Castillo on what actions they are taking with those they are ministering to in the midst of this pandemic.
Conditions in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican President Danilo Medina ordered a nationwide nighttime curfew over the next two weeks to limit movement and prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. It prohibits the movement or gathering of people from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. This is especially important as it is the culture of the Dominican people to congregate in their neighborhoods at night. The curfew follows previous decisions to seal the country's border with Haiti, suspend commercial flights and ships into the country, and close schools and entertainment venues. They are exempting cargo ships which are allowed to bring supplies to the island nation. As of today, there are 245 coronavirus cases in the D.R., with new cases being reported daily.
What actions pastor Castillo is taking
All congregant meetings in the D.R. have been suspended, so pastor Castillo, as well as many other pastors we know there, have suspended their church services and are preaching their sermons over the internet. The elders and deacons are in contact with the members of their churches by phone, text, and email.
Of necessity, Pastor Castillo’s monthly pastoral training seminars have been suspended as well. Pastor Castillo is preparing a theology course and a course on the New Testament for the 125 pastors who have regularly been attending the trainings to work through together while they wait to resume the face-to-face classes. They are paying for the cost of the courses with some funds that were in reserve for the face-to-face seminars. These same steps are being taken in the churches in Azua province, as well as the pastoral training there.
Helping their people and other churches cope with the virus
Pastor Castillo is passing on information to his congregation regarding the hygienic steps to take in avoiding the virus. Their church is also gathering the materials to prepare Coronavirus prevention hygiene packages to take to poor brothers and sisters in their own community as well as in the churches in Los Toros and Guanabana. These sanitizing kits include materials and ingredients to make homemade sanitizing solutions and wipes. They are also assembling some of these kits to take to some very poor churches they help along the Haitian/Dominican border.
Please remember to pray for the saints in the Dominican Republic
We have some great news concerning developments in the churches in Azua Province that we will share with you in our next prayer update!
Your servant in Christ Jesus,
Makers and Means International