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Hi everyone,

I hope all is well. I would like to share that God has been doing amazing things in my life over the last year and a half. Much has changed and is still changing. With this being said, I very much would like to invite you into my life and the work God’s given me by informing you about a particular upcoming opportunity.

A group from my church will be embarking on a missions trip to the Dominican Republic this upcoming June 25th through July 1st. We will be partnering with Love Serves International; an organization that has worked within the Dominican Republic coaching indigenous pastors with the goal of developing healthy churches that transform communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

While there I will have the opportunity to:

  • Help with construction work on a local trade school

  • Minister to hurting and vulnerable people within the community

  • Impact youth through outreach camps

I am writing this letter asking for your financial support in this mission. The total cost of this trip is approximated to be $1,250. I’m looking for people to join me in this journey by financially supporting me to make it possible for me to go. Please prayerfully consider whether you can support me financially. Any amount you are able to give would be helpful.

If you are unable to give financially at this time, there are other ways you can support! As I begin this journey, I would very much ask and appreciate your prayers. As you can imagine, raising support is somewhat difficult and feels daunting at time; but I know that if it is the Lord’s will that I make this trip, then He will provide for me the funds necessary.

If you are able to help, please follow the corresponding link on the Givesendgo tabs associated alongside this message. Here you can submit your gift and see real time information regarding the mission's fundraising.
To learn more about the heart of the mission, my church home, and the ministry partner, please visit the following sites:

  • http://www.summitlife.com/international-partners

  • http://loveserves.org

My desire is to allow God to use me as his vessel and that he be the one who is to be glorified by this mission. The privilege to impact a community alongside my friends, be sacrificially loving to others in another nation, and care for the vulnerable and hurting are treasured in my heart. I’m excited and yes even nervous as this will be my first missions trip ever. Please continue to pray for me as these plans fall in place.

Best regards and love,

Kevin

Jonathan Castano

2017-06-24 04:57:12

Love you Kev. Let yourself be humbled and let the Father's love continue to conform your heart.

Celia M Rubin

2017-04-22 16:06:57

Kevin I am so happy to see you giving back. Please stay safe and learn from this experience.

Update #1
April 28, 2017, 7:55 pm

Hi everyone,

I am glad to be sharing an update with you all about the mission. It has been wonderful having received your gifts and hearing of your support over the last few weeks. I am very grateful and endeared in all the contributions.

Earlier this week I was able to sit in a meeting and learned we will be working alongside a Dominican church called The Refuge. By partnering with them we will be giving a substantial amount of our time to help out in building their trade school.

The city we will be in is called Haina, one of the most polluted cities in the world. It was as of a few years ago designated as the dirtiest city in world and has been considered to have the highest level of lead contamination in the world. It is low-income and is a port city just outside the country’s capital, Santo Domingo.

The purpose of this trip is to contribute to the process of building mutual benefiting relationships that can bring effective long-lasting change to the community within Haina and the Dominican Republic at large. This can only be done by helping this community bear its burdens as it trudges its way out of poverty, brokenness, and violence. It’s crucial we don’t “fix their problems” or “ride in on our white horse to save the day” as to create a codependent relationship with the American church. As an unhealthy relationship could mean the impoverished community not doing anything and instead simply waiting for others to give them clothes, food, etc.

The overall goal is to help the Haina community without hurting. Poverty is a feeling of inferiority, shame, and powerlessness. If we went to Haina and gave a father's children clothing, something he himself couldn't provide; this likely would exacerbate the realities of poverty's effects on individuals ability to live passionately fulfilled lives. The reconciliation we look to contribute to is a banner stating “I’m hungry too and I’ve found the bread of life”; and this comes by encouraging God’s work on the ground and in the lives of the Dominican people who have already been equipped, as well as the others who are currently being equipped in working to solve their communities issues from within. This is in contrast to the utilization of a somewhat materialistic and dissociative poverty fix which states: If you just had ______  then everything would be fine. No the poverty problem is physical, emotional, and spiritual. These are real human beings with the same feelings, needs, desires, hopes, and longings as us. They want friendship, laughter, security, significance, and a to belong just like anyone else.

The work of training and discipling men and women into leadership is being done already. This is laborious, personal, and takes diligence on behalf of those on the ground long-term. As a group of short-term missionaries going into the Haina community, our opportunity is to support and fellowship with these individuals. It would all be pointless if we went there and did not minister to to those whom are simply looking for another person to take the time and be with them; receptively sharing that this is sad, hurts, and that we love them. This is our mission.

More updates to come.

Love ya’ll,

Kevin
 

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Love you Kev. Let yourself be humbled and let the Father's love continue to conform your heart.

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Kevin I am so happy to see you giving back. Please stay safe and learn from this experience.

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