These past 5 months have been crucial for me and the team that are putting together this beautiful program. I had been told by a friend of mine that starting something new it’s never easy but it's worth its reward if we maintain our hope, which ultimately guides us in our course.
Our greatest challenge is also the most significant part our work. It hasn’t been trying to define the “What” or the content of our program. That, in fact has, been pretty easy. In our desire to honor God and let Him guide our journey, as individuals and as a group, we have been reflecting on the “why” behind our schedules, meetings and future activities.
The Family Empowerment program vision is this:
To have families transformed by the
Gospel of Jesus Christ and parents that are ethical leaders, capable of influencing their communities.
We believe this is a Kingdom vision - Its greater than our capacities, but God certainly can do more than that. We desire God’s presence to be near. We pray that God will transform our families and us.
WHO ARE THE FAMILIES THAT WE ARE WORKING WITH?
There are 89 families already involved in our school program and those that are being added every year from the 3 different communities.
Pancho Mateo: 34 Families | 48 Kids
Chichigua: 12 Families |26 Kids
Tamarindo: 36 Families | 51 Kids
16.5% live with Grandparents
70% of our Families are Dominican
40% of our families have have no commitment with any church or any religious affiliation.
14% of our mothers cannot read at all.
Most of our families prayer request are related to Employment, Housing, Parenting, Spiritual Strength and Family Stability
It’s my intention to share with you some basic truths or beliefs that are guiding us and that are very aligned with the mission of Makarios.
These are the reasons why we wake up everyday and find hope in the midst of such a challenging job.
I am talking about the map that will help us when we face trials.. I am referring to something that is greater than the things we do, beyond the people we work with and their realities, the engine that pushes our lives for His purpose.
The greatest reason we do the work we do is because we love Jesus. . We have talked about this. And one the Bible verses that summarizes best is
1 John 4:10 WE LOVE HIM, BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.
The Family Empowerment Program is driven by three truths:
1) God’s overwhelming love for us and our response to that Love Help us to be aware of our urgent need for Him.
In Matthew 6:33 Jesus encouraged people to seek God’s Kingdom before anything else.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. But, if we did not pay attention to what he said on verse 24 we wouldn’t understand why He is saying that. 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. No one can love two masters that are opposite in nature and essence. In another way, if we ever decide to chase our own interest and passions- that’s exactly when we would have failed in makings things for God’s glory and surely our expressions of love for Him would be empty.
In my relationship with some of my closest Christian brothers within our organization we tend to use words like ‘’pecador’’ (sinner) or ‘’miserable’’ (Miserable) For some of those who have heard us call one another those names, it has been shocking. What? What? Did you just call him sinner? Did he just call you ‘’sinner’’? It’s funny to me when people react that way. The reality is that we really are sinners but it the context that we use the words is to remind us of our need for Him. It also reflects the closeness of in our relationship. This is something I love about being in a personal community that is encouraging to one another, even if it takes to kick to the behind at times.
We can not wait to share this with our families! And We pray that God will send others to join us in this.
2) God’s overwhelming way of loving us is often described as the Kingdom He is preparing- If we love Him we will want to be part of that.
In cultures like mine Jesus’s teaching about the Kingdom is mistakenly and sadly often taught and misunderstood as something to wait for. Something that does not really affect your life now. It gives you hope but it’s not practical. Obviously Jesus teaching, his public ministry and His message tell us a different story. He promised His Kingdom is going to be established but it definitely has implications for our lives now.
Matthew 3:2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. Showing that the closeness and implications of this Kingdom for those who want to be part. This Kingdom requires a radical and holistic change in our lives. This is why the Hope that Jesus offered me has an inevitably effect in my marriage, my finances, my relationships, my time, my resources, etc.
3. God’s overwhelming love for us forces us to joyfully talk about Him, to be a channel to proclaim his Name.
In the New Testament I find a notorious contrast of two type of men. Those who said they love God but did not really mean it (Matthew 15:8-9). And those like the apostle Paul who found his most inner joy in God, living for Him and Proclaiming his name.
1 Timothy 2:3-73 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.
We as the Family Empowerment Program and I personally are honored to be a channel so that the Name of Jesus continues to be known. We hope you can be a part of this from where you are.
HOW ARE WE SPENDING OUR TIME CURRENTLY?
WHAT DO WE WANT TO OFFER OUR PARENTS?
● Mentorship: Finances, Marriage, Stewardship
● Adult Education
● Health Education
● Spiritual Development
● Parenting, Vocational Training and More.
HOW CAN YOU PRAY FOR US?
Please Stay tuned! We would love to continue to share news with and connect you to the work God is doing through this program.
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