I arrived in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on Columbus Day, Monday October 12, 2015. Our timing was pretty amazing. However, as I listened to Dominicans describe this day, they spoke of celebrating the “Meeting of the Races,” or “Dia de las Razas.” While they did not celebrate Columbus, they did celebrate their history. I realized that history and what you celebrate about it is a matter of perspective.
One of the highlights of the trip was to lead a group to survey the Buckner Family Hope Center in Villa Esfuerzo. We met Buckner Dominicana staff and children we serve in that community. The children are engaged with the AMO curriculum and learn skills that enhance their education. Buckner is shining hope in this community into the lives of vulnerable children and families.
I managed to slip away to a meeting with the First Lady’s office of the Dominican Republic. Brad Barnett and Maria Alida de Brugal went with me. We met with Dona Martha, the First Lady’s assistant to discuss ways Buckner Dominica might collaborate in greater ways to serve children and families; and ways we might strengthen the work of foster families.
The day closed with a celebration of the 5th anniversary of Buckner Dominicana. These five years have slipped through our hands. The ministry to serve children and families is concentrated in two Family Hope Centers but also extends throughout the Dominican Republic through humanitarian aid and our program called www.shoesfororphansouls.com. The evening was accentuated by the recognition of outstanding leaders such as Adisa Suero who was recognized for 5 years of service; Francisco Pascual who was recognized as a Servant Leader; Guarionex de los Santos who was recognized as a Compassionate Servant; and Jonathan Contreras who was recognized as a Servant with Conviction.
I am grateful for outstanding leadership at Buckner Dominicana. These leaders are true servants serving with a Christ-centered focus, who are passion driven, and a servant spirit. You can learn more about their work at www.bucknerdominicana.org.