The Dominican Republic is a major tourist destination filled with beautiful beaches and resorts. With tourism as the country’s primary industry, rural areas are overlooked by the government. More than 42% of Dominicans live below the international poverty line of $1.25 a day. Half of the country does not have access to clean water and food. Social exclusion creates particular barriers for Dominicans of Haitian origin. Not only do they suffer from poverty and poor living conditions, about 20% of Dominicans lack the proper documentation to benefit from social assistance programs.
In spite of the poverty that the Dominican Republic faces, the hope of Christ is being made known. The two 25 Project ministry locations, Villa Laura and Batey Lecheria, give a place for orphaned and vulnerable children to hear the hope of the Gospel. Through sponsorships, children are given a place to belong, necessary nutrition, medical care, educational tools, and discipleship to provide a better future for themselves, their families, and ultimately their communities.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
The church in the Dominican Republic, consisting of many different denominations, is experiencing dramatic growth. While Catholicism is the predominant religion, Pentecostal and charismatic churches are reporting large increases in numbers and evangelical ministries. Those churches have seen their numbers double between 1990 and 2010. Roughly 30% of the population in the DR is protestant. Out of about 1.9 million Haitians living in the DR, many practice Afro-Spiritism, such as Voodoo. In addition, as many as 4,000 villages have no evangelical witness, so cross cultural missions remain critical.
Pray for the practice of Biblical ethics among believing government socials in the midst of corrupt practices.
Pray for the faithful few within church to evangelize the nominal or uncommitted majority.
Pray for Dominican believers to reach out to Haitian immigrants with love and compassion in the midst of cultural and racial tensions between the two.