I am traveling, flying to Dominican Republic for strategic planning and reconnect with our partners there. STAY TUNNED….
I left Charlotte, NC at 1:45pm with a 2 hours transit in Miami. Miami to Santo Domingo took about 2 h15 min. The plane left on time as scheduled and arrived in Santo Domingo at 8:30 pm on a clear, warm with a cool breezy evening at the Aeropuerto Internacional Las Americas. That was unusual!!!
After clearing the immigration and the customs, taxi drivers were outside trying to get me to pay for a ride. Pastor Mario was already there to welcome and pick me up for a ride to Villa Mella. Both legs of the trips were nice. Charlotte-Miami Miami-Santo Domingo. No turbulence. We flew at 37,000 feet and avoided much of it.
WOW. Nice landing by the pilots. That was very smooth. I expected the bump as wheels touched the ground.
A 45 minutes ride to North Santo Domingo provided a time to relax and look at the night lights. Dinner was ready. Got to see our friends JT and Angie Thomas and their 3 kids and shared briefly.
Fatigue is setting in. It is 11:45 pm and time to go to sleep. So good to see all of our friends again. Praise GOD for this beautiful time to travel and for your provisions.
MONDAY JULY 4th
Happy Birthday America!! Fireworks, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Pizzas,… Friends and Family gather to celebrate and have FUN Parades in the streets of certain cities.
Well, I am in Dominican Republic. No hot dogs and hamburgers, but rather La Bandera Dominicana (rice, beans, salad and some kind of meat) plus juice(s). Fellowship with friends playing Domino game. Talk a lot of Spanish instead of English. I saw pastors Libni and Washington who were here to help Pastor Mario do some work at his house.
Well, I am in Dominican Republic. No hot dogs and hamburgers, but rather La Bandera Dominicana (rice, beans, salad and some kind of meat) plus juice(s). Fellowship with friends playing Domino game. Talk a lot of Spanish instead of English. I saw pastors Libni and Washington who were here to help Pastor Mario do some work at his house.
A chance to meet John Alex (my God-son) face to face was very intriguing for me What an honor and privilege!! It has been an incredible 3 years journey for the Thomas family to get to this point.
Pastor Mario and I left to go run some errands and then back home.
I am very tired. I am going to take a nap. It turned out to be a 3 hr long nap. It has been raining heavy, and at time thundering and storming. Other time just a quiet rain which allowed me the chance to sleep soundly.
I am awake now. It is 9pm. Every one else is going to sleep. Mario Jose and I are up late at night watching “Hot Rod Cars” being built somewhere in the US. I decided to read a book to relax my thoughts -“Eternity in their Hearts” and a chapter from the Bible. Time to put lights out and go to sleep! Tomorrow is a new day, Lord willing..
TUESDAY JULY 5th
WHO NEEDS AN ALARM CLOCK to wake you up when you have roosters, then dogs barking helping you to get up?
A small excursion at a local neighborhood gymnasium (25 pesos to get in) got me started and I was ready to go on with my day. JT is sitting doing some work in his street office. A special/specific place right there where he can get phone reception, like an area the size of 3 feet square. The Kids are enjoying themselves. Pastor Mario has some neighbors helping him straighten some avocado branches that are leaning about to crack. I have eaten avocados from this tree and they are delicious! They will not really be full grown until September.
Time to go to La Sirena to buy some provisions and get a battery put in my watch that had stopped to work. Pastor Mario and I stopped by the Headquarter of the Church of God denomination to talk to the Rector about Marriage Conference.
Went to meet a lady from Pastor Mario’s church whose husband was electrocuted and died trying to help an elderly neighbor connect electricity in her house. He died and left 6 children age 18 to 6. She is struggling in life. NEEDS HELP!!!!!!
Back to Pastor Mario’s house to wait for a team of doctors who collaborate with us doing medical mission work so we can talk and plan about 2012 trips.
WEDNESDAY JULY 6th
Traveled to La Victoria, a municipality North of Santo Domingo, to meet with civic and church leaders about plans for next year medical mission trip back in their area. They are excited and have buses ready to bus people in from several other neighboring municipalities such as Hacienda Estrella, etc… Went to a juice store in Hacienda Estrella. Drank 4 glasses of pure and naturally made juices of chinola, lemonade, hagua, and pinea. I am stuffed!!! I am going to have a belly pop.
Had another meeting to discuss and plan for February 2012 medical missions. Great meetings!!! Well done. Praise God for allowing us the opportunity to meet with these folks without any hick ups. Amen!!
THURSDAY JULY 7th
Good morning Santo Domingo!!! My natural alarm clock woke me up, plus the electricity was out the whole night until 4 o’clock this morning. So I am ready to wake up but it is 4 am. What to I do? I guess I will read some.
A 1 hour workout at 7am at the local gymnasium set me in a mood to get things going. After a light breakfast, we just hung out for a bit waiting for the driver of the van could get here to pick up JT and Angie and family to go for a run into the city. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANGIE. JT’s favor place to go is a juice and sandwich place called BARAN PAYAN, then Mercado modelo to buy some souvenirs, El Conde and see Columbus House.
Pastor Mario and I left to travel to La Romana to meet with the church planters (3 churches) and their supervisors. A stop at Juan Dolio and Boca Chica would suffice. I was so tired and Hungry. Also sleepy. Remember I was up since 4am. This road trip added on another dimension to my fatigue. Reconnecting with our friends from La Romana was essential. Seeing some of the work our different short term teams have done in the past was gratifying. God allowed us the privilege and honor to raise funding to see a church/community center built in a poor community of La Romana in Los Mulos.
Back to Santo Domingo during rush hour traffic. You need to be in it to see it for yourself. It beats I-485 and I-77 North and South bound. It puts to shame South boulevard or Park Road or even Independence boulevard near Matthews coming from Uptown in Charlotte, NC – because of the way driving is done. Everyone for themselves when it is time to go.
At the house, Olivia Thomas and Deyanira Rodriguez are really beating everyone else at a Domino game. It is time for me to relax and reflect on my days since arriving here on Sunday night.
FRIDAY JULY 8th
Well, 5 days ago since I arrived, things are well. It keeps raining every day and cooling the weather down. Today we are on our way to meet with Campana and Associates lawyers to see about John Alex. Things went well, the meeting was pleasant.
We need to go to a photo studio to get a couple of passport pictures for J. Alex. It is about time to give the taste buds what they need. Time to chow down. JT and the kids love Barran Payan. It is a famous local sandwiches and natural juices place that has an incredible ambiance for those visiting for the first time and/or returning customers. I love it too.
By the time we got back to Pastor Mario’s house, it was later in the day. I just needed to close my eyes. The trip is going well. I am getting everything that need to be done – done. It is hot right now, but it looks like it will rain very shortly.
Truly enough, rain has come. It is evening and the heat is cooling down. I am reflective about the ministry and how much impact we are making here. I am meeting a lot of local people (church members, friends of the pastor, others in the community). It is good to network with people and be relational. Does that contribute to BGA doing what we need to do well? Everything becomes the sum of bits and pieces.
The night is young . Lights have finally come on. So I can actually read something. Please continue to pray for us that Doors and/or opportunities will open for us to share the gospel. It is happening. If you know Pastor Mario, he has NO problem approaching anyone, talking to anybody or otherwise. It is contagious.
SATURDAY JULY 9th
It is early in the morning. I am fascinated by Pastor Mario’s morning routine. He gets up, feeds all of his chicken. He has a mini farm going on here. He knows what and how they all look like. He knows when his chickens are laying eggs and goes all around the bushes around his house picking up these eggs. His chickens know when it is time to feed and they will come running once he sits outside in a green plastic arm chair around the back of the house… Imagine being in South Charlotte in a neighborhood and having 150 chickens running around and no one saying anything!!! He has a little farm going on here. It is similar to going to Africa, Southeast Asia, South America and seeing goats, lambs, chickens, ducks and others roaming around. This is what makes our partnerships unique and authentic. Being that they are in their own localities and adhering to their own set of values. We accept them as they are and where they are. We can NOT change their ways just as they can NOT change our ways. We accept each other as followers of Jesus Christ out to touch one person at a time and changing the world. Together united in mission. It is beautiful. It brings reality to me and what I get to see, reflect upon and think about community, society and they way of life by people in other parts of the world different than mine. I love it.
People are friendly. They greet and wave at you. They stop by to shake your hand and wonder why they have not see you for some time.
It is raining again. This day has been wonderful, peaceful and reflective for me. I am thinking about tomorrow and the road trip to Puerto Plata where I will be part of a delegation of 30 people going to support the church of the Tabernacle of Adoration led by Pastor Tomas Cabrera.
A game of dominos at night makes everyone competitive, excited and cool down from the stress of the day. Dominos along with Baseball are two of Dominican Republic pastime activities.
SUNDAY JULY 10th
I am up at 4:30 am so I can shave, shower, and get ready for the busy that will be coming to pick us up at 6:00 am to go to Puerto Plata. From North Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata, it is a 4 hours trip. 30 people sit in this nice 35 passengers Toyota Coaster mini bus. I elect to sit all the way in the back, in the corner, so that I can either sleep or read a couple of books I am taking for the ride. Besides fellowshipping with these friends, brothers and sisters, there will be some down time I will have to myself.
Froylan Perez, one of the nicest and kind man in Pastor Mario’s church leads the devotion while the bus is moving, prays for us and then leads about 7 songs that everyone chimed in in Spanish. I recognize the tunes, but not all the words.
I see young men and women who are now grown, some of whom I saw as babies and kids when I began coming to Dominican Republic. Wow, time flies when you are on a good team, Jesus’ team.
We made good time, arriving in Puerto Plata just as the church was starting at 10:30 am. The hymns, special music, the singing by everyone, the preaching by the Superintendent of the churches reading from Exodus 14:13-14 whose theme was “Porque Claman a mi, dile a mi pueblo que marchant”. He charged, urged the pastors to carry on, the parishioners to make their church a place where new believers can find their places and voices so that the gospel can spread. Many invited guests (pastors) were there. They prayers, gave their benedictions. Pastor Mario and I represent the “Church Planting Movement “ began by Forest Hill Church here in Dominican Republic several years, of which Pastor Mario continues to be our partner and Dominican Coordinator alongside the Evangelical Free Methodist Denomination. I played his American counterpart for Forest Hill Church. Where do we go from here?? We both spoke and gave thanks for the invitation.
Lunch for everyone is at the church. Every body ate well. People began to disperse to go back to their homes and other places. I saw many friends from my times and visits to Puerto Plata.
It is time to go back to Santo Domingo. We load up the bus, and everyone pretty much goes back to their original sitting places. Some lively conversations are taking places here between the 16, 17, 18 to 35 to 40 and 50 year olders. For the young people, they are about future with spouses, dating, and school work. Some parents who are on the bus, could not do or say anything, but listen. I listened. I chimed in bit when my opinion was asked. Well. It is interesting!!! We make it back to Santo Domingo at 7:30 pm, tired, hungry, sleepy and all. The bus takes everyone else to their original pick up stations. Great day for God’s Kingdom and a temple that was dedicated for Him where many poor kids and families will come to fellowship with and know the Lord. Buenas Noches!!!
MONDAY JULY 11th
Buenos Dia JP! Como durmiste? Bien, I said. That was the Pastor asking me as I came out of my room after taking my shower and getting myself together. Bueno, sientate. Sit down. He was watching TV. Que esta pasando? I asked him. Hay una Huelga anivel national. There is a strike on a national level.
Basically, the whole country is sitting still. There is a strike. Nobody is moving from their homes for fear of getting caught in the streets where people may be burning tires and blocking roads. They are striking because the cost of living is going up and up and salaries remain the same.
Well, we had plans to go run errands and do things. So this day, I am obviously staying home. He is staying home. No taxi is running. Nobody is moving. Be home and that is what we are going to do today. Read, watch some news to keep up with this strike, sit outside on the patio to play Dominos, be creative and enjoy your free time.
I had to write some letters to give to some local leaders. I went to see a member of the church that had a printer. While printing my letter, it broke down. I then stayed at these church members home and began to play Dominos with them. Before I knew it I was 9:45 pm and it began to rain. It just is a walk up the street from Pastor Mario’s house. They had to bring me back so I would not get wet. I played a lot of Dominos games (4 people). We won some and lost some. That is ok.
Tomorrow is a new day. Check to see if there is carry over of the strike before getting on the road. We are planning a trip to Nagua.
Has anything been resolved? What is the outcome of the strike? No one talks. Move on..
TUESDAY JULY 12th
Buenos Dia Hermano. Como durmiste? Que pasa. Good morning brother. How did you sleep? What is happening? I am ready. Time for departure to Nagua is in about 1 hour. We have several meetings in Nagua and also visit the orphanage in the Colegio Alfa complex. We have worked at this complex for several years doing medical work as well as repairing and building playground for the kids in this orphanage. We have painted the whole complex and cut grass to keep the place livable and safe for the kids.
The new highway to Nagua and Samana is quick and cut down your travel time by half from the old way we used to travel several years back. The 3 tolls you have to pay are ok, granted you are getting to your destination faster. Don Francisco rest and eatery place was a saving grace. We all were hungry and needed and bathroom break. A couple of pieces of pork chop, fried plantains, sweet potatoes, yuka and a coke made it possible to carry on our journey. We arrived at the orphanage well. We dropped off the Thomas family who were there to play and visit with the kids. It was nostalgic and memorable to see these kids again.
Pastor Mario and I went on to several meetings to meet with the church planters and their mentors. Pastor Manuela and her husband Rey, Pastor Tomas De Jesus, etc… to catch up, discuss marriage conference, discipleship, medical missions and others. At the end, the meetings were fruitful.
We stopped at a local supermarket/ grocery store to buy supplies for the orphanage. It is getting to be time for us to go back to Sto Dgo. The weather is again threatening with rain. Rain has been a constant here. This is the reversal of season. It is Summer time and it is raining so much and daily in this country.
Back in Sto Dgo, La Sirena supermarket is always a good place where you can find anything. We purchased what was necessary and headed on home.
WEDNESDAY JULY 13th
I woke up so early at 4 am. No more sleep!!! Time to spend with the Lord and in prayer. Tried to go back to sleep but it was impossible. I caught with Pastor Mario who was already outside at 630 am feeding his chickens. After a while, I went back in to read a book. “Secrets of Leadership”.
It is 930 am. So we are taking the Thomases to see their Adoption Lawyer and the judge. Things are a bit off skelter here. They happen as you go. So we have to be there even though there is not a planned appointment with the judge. After 30
minutes, the lawyer showed up. So much back and forth whether we will be seen or not. Finally it happens. The judge sees the Thomases and there is hope in why we are here at the cout. It is 12:45 pm, it is a good thing if we can go to Barran Payan, our favored Sandwiches and Natural juices place. YEAAHH, everyone votes for it. So there we go.
Completo, Pierna y pollo, jamon y queso sandwiches plus Granadillo, Zapote, mango, melon juices con leche evaporado made big sense. I am telling. Once you eat from this place and enjoy the ambiance, you forget some of your worries. Sometimes I like to people watch and see hoe the locals are enjoying their favored eatery.
A quick visit with the friends of the Thomases in Arroyo Hondo allowed for a time to get away. We are finally going back to the house. It has been a long day. It is 4:30 pm.
At 6:45 pm, I am riding the Dominican Metro system on my way to the stop at the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo. It actually is nice. There are guards in each car for security and protection of passengers I thought. People are talking to each other. Some are quiet if they do not know you. I joked with someone about people keeping to themselves. He said that they are busy thinking about how they can provide for their families the next day. That is why they are quiet in this island country where people are friendly. A drive to the malecon is nice at night, with lights reflecting on the water. Dinner at Adrian Tropical Restaurant is nice. Typical. I am a juice lover. So I order Jugo Caribbeano (mango, pineapple, strawberry, chinola or passion fruit) all together. Yummy!! The sitting is right on the ocean. If you have your car keys and you do not keep them safe, they may drop in the Caribbean sea.
It is late, time to go home. What are the plans for tomorrow Pastor Mario? I would like to be prepared and be ready for our trip to La Roman again. We are being called for a couple of meetings.
THURSDAY JULY 14th
You know by now the routine. I always see the pastor outside feeding his chickens and checking for eggs that have been laid by his birds. He checks to make sure none are sick and if they are, he finds meds for them. I curiously watch and it is fascinating to me. For me, I love to walk my shit zus and play with them, or ride with them in the car. It is a pastime…
We pray together as we are prepare to go to La Romana. We are meeting with our church planters and other pastors in this city to talk strategy about what they are doing. I am observing, but also advising. We talk about marriage conferences, how By Grace Alone Ministries is figuring out in all that we’ll be doing in Dominican Republic in the future and elsewhere.
We are to meet with the Governor and Senator of El Seibo along with the local Free Methodist Pastor as they are interested in collaborating in a medical mission program. The focus is to support the local church and be a vehicle for outreach for them. More negotiations still need to take place. We are focusing on a BGA/FH medical trip in DR for February and a BGA medical trip in March 2012.
This is a season for lots of fruits in Dominican Republic. There are mangos and pineapples to die for. There is a town or city called Cotui, in the Cibao region. If you buy from a vendor and eat a pineapple that has grown from this area, you will wish you had a 10 gallons stomach to keep eating more. They are so fresh, sweet and juicy. Anyway, I just did that. 4 pineapples between Pastor Mario and myself on our way back to Santo Domingo.
Back in Santo Domingo for another meeting with the medical doctors who will be working with us in both February and March 2012.
A dominos game always brings everyone together. I played hard and well. The two Thomas girls are becoming champion competitive dominos players against a well known neighborhood hard hitter Bolivar. You should see their excitement and focus. So we played throughout much of the night until it was time to go to bed. This game keeps us sane.
Tomorrow is a new day. I have several errands to run before leaving later in the day. Go to La Victoria and meet with the Alcade of the municipality, etc…
FRIDAY JULY 15th
Buenos dia Pastor. Buenos dia mi hermano. Todo bien? Si. Creo que si. Gracias a Dios. Here is a morning welcome and salute. I am ready to do a few things to get myself ready.
Go to see JT and family to see how they are doing. See you in a couple of hours, I told them. Pastor and I have to go to La Victoria and run a few errands.
Travel to La Victoria took about a half hour. We deliver what we are taking to them for next year medical missions. Everyone is happy. We have to stop at the money exchange office to get some $$ into pesos.
Back to the house. We are taking a friend, member of the church to the airport so she can travel to Puerto Rico with her 2 kids. Busy!! The Pastor stays on the go all the time. After finding out that I will not be going home to the USA today, I am back at Pastor’s house to relax and plan for the rest of activities.
It is raining again. WOW, I feel like I am in an equatorial climate or in Seatlle Washington where it rains every day. Ironically, this is good. Since it is hot right now, this rain cools things down. It is a blessing. The Pastor and I have commented on this several times. His wife has traveled to Santiago to a Women’s conference for the weekend. So it is JP, Pastor Mario and the kids.
John Alex Thomas is very playful and got me to do some exercises. We walked the neighborhood for about 6 laps. He is very energetic.
Time to rest, relax and call my wife home to let her know I will not be home today!!!
SATURDAY JULY 16th
It is Saturday. I get to read more, relax, do some exercise, and then have a big glass of a Freshly prepared juice by Pastor Mario’s wife. She is so wonderful!!! This is a season for Mangoes, bananas, pineapples and more fresh fruits that are sweetened from their branches, not in boxes. Ha Ha!!
My work out went well. No fans and/or air in the gymnasium. Workout the old fashioned way. Sweat and all. I see many Dominican locals working out, young men and women, doing exercises. It is good. A walk back to P. Mario’s house is relaxing, my time to enjoy nature. Dogs barking, chickens running around, people already going out for whatever they need to town. I am seeing day workers coming around looking for employment. Great!
Take time JP to relax. I am reading a book and finishing up on a few things. I get this big glass of freshly squeezed juice. Whoa. Neighbors and guests come in and out looking for the pastor.
JP quieres ir conmigo? No hermano. Me voy a quedar aqui a la casa. So the pastor leaves me behing.
At 2pm, I am leaving with the Thomas family to go to the National Zoological Park. We got to see Panthers, Crocos, Rhineceros, Zebras, a variety of parrots called Lori somethings, Lions, Hyenas, etc…. It is nice for all of us riding a choo choo train going around this rain forest looking zoo that was built by Dominican Engineers back in 1975. After that, a trip to Mega Centro Mall on Careterra Mella is sufficient. A fun time looking for some Cubaveras and Chacabanas for JT and J. Alex.
I am picked up for a meeting that was magnificent. We talked about lots of things to do with ministry and how BGA ministries would like to do more in Dominican Republic. Stay tuned as God leads us in this direction to fulfill the vision I have.
SUNDAY JULY 17th
The Pastor is always up before everyone. A time for personal prayer, watch an Enlace ministry program on TV, then some sports news. I am getting up quickly and ready to get going.
Buenos dia Hermano? Bueno dia. In Dominican Republic. (S) at end of words is sometimes silent., depending on who you are talking with. I have to get ready so we can go to church. Today is John Alex Thomas’ dedication at the church in El Eden.
The service was great. Personal testimony from JT about their new son. Testimony from Olivia and Bailey about their brother. Pastor Mario shared about the family, then went into the whole process of dedication. Everyone in the church is great. We reconnect with many friends as we are moving through the church. I see Drs Victor Alcantara and Rosmery Rodriguez. I see some old friends. It is good!!
I drive everyone home and then come back to pick up Pastor Mario who was counseling a young man from church on his life.
We received a personal invitation to a complex an 1 hour away from Santo Domingo. To retreat from the huzzle and buzzle of the city, to swim, eat, play and enjoy ourselves. I am driving the car with the Thomas in it. Pastor and his family are in another car. The scenic view is breath taking. The complex itself is amazing. We are taking some souvenir pictures. Our host is kind and well-known. I enjoyed playing pool table and lost a few games.
After several hours, we are driving back to Sto Dgo so that I can go to another meeting this evening with several doctors who collaborate with us on medical missions. My work is not finished. I have to network and get to know people and meet new ones. This is part of sharing your needs and hopes with others so they know you want them and that you can count on them as well.
It is 1130pm and we are going back home to rest and reflect upon all that just happened this whole day.
God is good. I made good contacts with people. Let the future take its course.
MONDAY JULY 18th
I am quickly awake and ready to go to the gymnasium just to do something. Wake up!! After the work out, I am back at the house for a good conversation of memories and reflection with the Pastor’s wife. The Pastor comes back from where he went and chimed in. It was good. Just a light morning. We looked at avocados. They have a beautiful tree that puts out real big avocados. Delicious. They will be ready by September. Watch out!!!
I am quickly in the shower and ready for the day. I have an appointment with the Thomases to go to the Market and Barra Payan. These are two important places that anyone coming to Santo Domingo needs to go to. The market place is where you buy all of your souvenir. It is of course a tourist trap, but you understand how to negotiate. Barra Payan is a sandwich and juice place that should be on the national registry for this country. All natural. See how many local people come here on a daily basis. It is amazing and fun to watch. It is good to be a part of this ambiance and find yourself in the middle of it. JT got himself a Barra Payan hat. Mine is to come later. Free publicity.
It is time to leave. It is 7:00pm. Time to head home. I am so full. Can’t eat anymore! I know the Pastor’s wife will have food at home. I will just have to politely decline. Really!!! Yes it is true. She definitely has food ready. She keeps asking for me to eat but I can’t. Just being a great host.
Well, I have to pack, get some sleep and be ready for tomorrow’s ride to the airport to catch my early morning flight out of the country. Have I been able to do all that I needed to do on my trip here? Yes, I believe so.
I love Dominican Republic. Let God use me to be His servant and touch the lives of many around the world.
BGA Ministries News 2012.
Highlights of 2012 and a recall of all
December 2011. The Year 2011 is ending as an incredible year full of excitement and God’s promises for our ministry. We trust and call on all of you to remain in prayer with us and to seek God’s grace and mercy, guidance as we proceed ahead with new ideas and vision for the ministry.
As a leader of By Grace Alone Ministries, JP Sangai has the privilege to sit in on a Branding Boot Camp lead by FH church Global Outreach Director John Parker and Jason Mink, Principal at Cognition, a marketing and branding company.
FH Church facilitated that all the ministries that are partnering with the church have the opportunity to understand “who” they are and identify their “brand”
BGA ministries, a global outreach ministry organization that focuses on preparing, equipping and mobilizing others for global missions around the world, found out about 4 areas of interest and importance when branding and launching a ministry.
3 out of 4 areas listed below are available, but lack in one
We need marketing….
The year 2012 started with a Bang! God is Sovereign and graceful. A sense to come close to the Lord and share with him our needs, prayers and thanks is met by a decision to fast. Fasting 10 percent of the days of the year is such as small thing to claim Christ, the head for our ministry and seeking God’s wisdom, guidance, and purity and direction in how By Grace Alone Ministries will operate.
During the month of January 2012, all of us at BGA ministries spent time asking the Lord for wisdom and direction and the Board of directors joined in rejoicing being one with the Lord.
JP Sangai, founder and president of BGA Ministries was also ordained as one of the elders in his church. What a proud moment to serve his church community.
We participated in Cross cultural training where best practices and the process of doing effective and efficient mission trips for teams traveling to serve and disciple others around the world.
In February 2012, a team made up of BGA and Forest Hill Church representatives went to Dallas Texas to attend the Global Connection Leadership Community conference. When doing missions, you can always learn more from others about how to effectively serve and understand changes going on around the world about missions. What do mission leaders think about mission home and beyond. We met many leaders from other churches to share and learn from each other about the Great Commission – Matthew 28:18-20.
Speak at Grace Presbyterian Church during mission week to show God’s call to serve the least of these…
March 2012 saw in action both Acts 1:8 “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth…” and Isaiah 49:6b “…I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
A team of 13 pilgrims went to Dominican Republic to serve in North Santo Domingo in the Community of El Eden in collaboration with the Evangelical Free Methodist Church of El Eden in Villa Mella, doing medical work. Over 5,000 people heard the gospel and were served in areas of dentistry, general medicine and pediatric, eye care, and a full fledge pharmacy to dispense medicine to patients who bring their prescriptions. It is a time to serve the least of these, disciple them while the team is being discipled as well.
God has blessed us, opened the door and provided the opportunity for By Grace alone ministries to acquire 250 tareas (Dominican measurement) or 40 acres (American measurement) in Dominican Republic. This land will be used to
- build a Christ centered church whose buildings will be used for continuing education for local lay leaders and pastors in Dominican Republic, the Caribbean and much of Latin America; and a training ground for North American short term missions.
- provide clean water to the communities around the BGA campus and a much needed medical clinic to meet the physical needs of our Dominican brothers and sisters;
- the development of Christ Centered education opportunities for young people and adults and much more…
Jean-Pierre Sangai, Founder and President of BGA Ministries has been in negotiations with friends in the beautiful Dominican Republic to acquire this land.
Through our partnership and incubation by FH Church, we are able to do a variety of things in our service for the Kingdom of God.
BGA ministries representatives meet with the President of Mission of Hope Haiti to listen and learn about their experiences running a North American ministry based in a foreign country, and ironically enough, the island of Hispanola where Dominican Republic is located.
During our board of director meeting, the BGA board of directors has unanimously voted for us to acquire the land in Dominican Republic. A team of BGA and FH church representatives travels to DR to see the land.
The land is awesome, beautiful with a Spring of water that is running and locals depend on it to get their needed water for consumption for the day. It is located near an international airport, a short drive from the current US embassy that is under construction, and for those of you who are baseball fanatics, traveling to this land allows you to pass two training camps for US major league teams in Dominican Republic (Seattle Mariners and Philadelphia Phillies).
The month of MAY 2012 has been fulfilling. Between planning for other mission trips BGA ministries is facilitating, several FH and BGA representatives travel to Orange County California to attend the Orphan Conference at Saddleback Church.
Thousands of people from all over the world, lay people and leaders, ministries leaders and their representatives who are dealing with the plight of Orphan and Orphan care around the world were there to share ideas, goals, and ways to care for orphans.
A second Global Training for Mission trips takes place at Forest Hill Church in North Carolina. Best practices for Cross Cultural Discipleship.
Come learn how we can help you and your church.
Meetings are taking place behind the scenes to find out how to shape our ministry and how to do it all well.
We are having our next Board of Directors meeting on June 5, 2012.
JP Sangai is traveling to Dominican Republic to meet with land owner and family and to look at strategies and laws of Dominican Republic as far as land ownership by a ministry and several land studies (topography, etc…) and meeting certain local leaders.
A team from FH church is on its way to Burundi, Africa to work with local partners down there.
This month is allowing us to continue to be in obedience and seek God’s presence in all things. Colossians 1:18 – “In All Things,… Christ Preeminent”
When Jesus first promised to "build" his Church (Mt. 16:18) he assured us that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.
The relationship between Jesus as Head and the church as Body is organic and living and vital. He exercises sovereign control over us and we are ever and always dependent on his abiding influence and presence.
Paul continues by describing him as "the beginning, the firstborn from the dead." That is to say, he was the beginning and founder of a new humanity, a new people, by virtue of his having been the first to rise, never to die again. When God the Father raised him from the dead and glorified and exalted him to the right hand of the majesty on high, he became the first-fruits of that resurrection guaranteed for all who are united to him (cf. 1 Cor. 15:20-23; Revelation 1:12-18). “Enjoying God Ministries”.
Our vision is to build God’s church through the transformation of peoples’ lives in Dominican Republic and beyond.
A team from FH is leaving to go to Cuba to work with our friends in ministry at Mision Mundial.
A golf tournament is organized to bring friends and short-term mission teams together to raise money for teams traveling to Cuba, Dominican Republic, Rwanda and Burundi. Play 18 holes of golf and have fun. Share with friends about what you are doing, where you are going, when you go and meet other people you have not
known. A captain’ choice game is always good.
A series of By Grace Alone Ministries Global and Cross Cultural Trip Leader Certification is taking place this month to train and guide trip leaders on the process of planning and leading a group of people on a trip anywhere around the world.
JP Sangai and 2 other ministry friends travel to Dominican Republic to meet with other church leaders in Dominican Republic, meet with land owner and family, spend some time with kids and an all boys orphanage and plan and prepare for the upcoming construction trip to Dominican Republic.
In support of partnership in ministry, we participated at the banquet of Two Becoming One Global ministries. Our ministry partner that teaches the biblical principles of oneness in marriage around the world. (see Deuteronomy Chapter 1 and 2). Christian Family Life ministries were created and founded by Don and Sally Meredith and now led by Charles R. Wimmer, CEO and President.
In partnership with FH and the Evangelical Free Methodist Church of Dominican Republic, a team of 12 people is traveling to Santo Domingo to work on the third floor of the church led by Pastor Mario Rodriguez in El Eden de Villa Mella, North Santo Domingo. Doing stucko work, mixing gravel, cement and helping to lay brick is the old fashioned way of sweating and praising God.
In the midst of hard work, the fellowship with many Haitian and Dominican day workers, and local church members, helped our team to come close and get to know each other and those we were serving.
After 6 months of experiencing what would be missions and putting lessons learned in practice, our team is again back at the Global Leadership Network Conference #2 to deepen the experience and meet more church leaders and bring back report on how well we put in practice what we had learned several months before.
Another Cross Cultural Certification and training for trip leaders and groups takes place at FHC.
A celebration of Global Missions takes place. We celebrate our trips and where teams have gone…
A Master Planning Committee is put together to look at opportunities for ministry at the Land and its use.
Because there is a Spring of water that runs through the land in Dominican Republic, and water is the source of life for everything we do, WE ARE NAMING THE PROJECT in Dominican Republic “FUENTE DE VIDA” meaning “SOURCE OF LIFE” or Fountain of Life. Our land will be referred to as VIDA VILLAGE or LIFE VILLAGE.
A BGA Executive team has traveled to DR to Fuente de Vida, take pictures and videotape. Meeting leaders and locals in communities surrounding Fuente de Vida to understand the needs of the community and what things are a priority as BGA ministries will become a neighbor to all of these people.
- A structure that would be used for training leaders coming from across Dominican Republic, the Caribbean and beyond. A Christ-Centered church,..
- A clinic to meet the physical needs of the communities around Fuente de Vida,
- Structures for educational opportunities,
- Structures for retreat and training for mission teams
A FH team has traveled to Burundi.
More behind the scene meetings with the subcommittees of the Master Committee to review clean water needs, educational needs, church recommendations, planning and building structures.
God is good for His provisions to us are abundant.
JP travels to speak at Grace Presbyterian Church about mission opportunities
JP meets with Christ Church leaders about trip opportunities
Give Thanks to God for His love, grace, provision and for wisdom to think about how to serve His children around the world.
In preparation for a medical mission trip in Dominican Republic to serve communities surrounding Fuente de Vida, a team already in process is breaking down medicines that will be shipped by sea and used to serve these communities this coming February 2013.
A Master Committee meeting has met to review the rendering of building plan at Fuente de Vida based on all the objectives and vision we have to serve God’s people in this country and beyond.
JP Sangai and Laura Snow have traveled to Dominican Republic to plan for 2013, to meet with local leaders in DR, to prospect for building materials, and to meet with a dear friend of the ministry, Mr. Garretson and family.