Real People Making A Real Difference

In February  2019 I had the privilege of joining Denise (Founder of The Abundant Life Charity),to travel to Higuey, in the Dominican Republic.  Pastor Gabi and his family gave us a warm welcome at the airport and into their home where we experienced our first Dominican meal.  Following dinner we became part of an assembly line to put together gift bags for the kids at the Batay.  Not gift bags like you would make for kids at home.  These gift bags were full of essentials like tooth brushes and tooth paste, soap, sanitary items, cartons of milk for calcium, soda crackers for salt and of course some candy.  We struggled through with broken Spanish with Gabi interpreting for us. What I remember most was the genuine love, smiles and laughter.  It was like there was no language barrier when we shared the love that God has for each one of us.  

The next day we loaded up the van with containers and containers AND containers of food (mostly prepared by Ingris).TWELVE of us piled in (most of us had a child on our lap) and off we went out to the Batay, singing most of the way.  JOY real JOY.  Outside was a very rough dirt road.  The van bounced along as we kept bottoming out over pot hole after pot hole. Sugar Cain grew on each side of the road, way over our heads. It was like being in a maze.  As we drove along this pot holed road I remember wondering “how much longer?”  It seemed like we had been on this road for hours, to the middle of no where.  And then there is was.  This community of lean-tos.  Not even really shacks.  No running water.  No power.  No washrooms.  These were the homes of the children we were coming to feed. 

The children welcomed us with open arms.  They were excited to see us.  They were full of energy, and smiles – JOY! 

The older children helped to unload the van.  We had a wonderful time of songs and Bible stories.  These kids know how to sing.  What impressed upon me was the outpouring of love for these kids from all of those who were in the van with us.  As we chatted about the kids, the dream of the school became evident.  

The next day, we drove around looking at three different properties that were potential sites for the school.  We walked the land, chatted and prayed.  It soon became evident which piece of land was the perfect choice.  We quickly learned that buying land in Dominican was a very different process than in North America.  I’ll never forget the look on Gabi’s face when he handed Denise the file with the papers we required to take back to Canada.  It was not normal protocol in Dominican… the seller NEVER parts with any papers until the money is in the bank.  It was clear that God had a plan for this school and we watched as HE made a way.

Although at the present time, I have not been back to visit, I’m excited to see what the Abundant Life Charity has accomplished over the last few years, and it’s my privilege to be a monthly donor and support such a wonderful cause.


Liz B.

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