In March 2011 a group of staff from YWAM (Youth With A Mission) San Diego/Baja opened a YWAM campus in Juan Dolio in the Dominican Republic to serve the San Pedro/La Romana region. Tasked with finding new locations to host Homes of Hope and Mission Adventure teams, the leadership of YWAM San Diego/Baja is supporting this endeavor as a ministry plant from the thriving Tijuana and Ensenada campuses. The main focus for this plant is to provide shelter via the Homes of Hope program, counseling, community lead projects, and to encourage Church growth through evangelistic programs.
In its first six months in function, this base has hosted over 160 people who have come to help serve with and minister to the people of San Pedro. Construction has been completed of seven homes for families, local Haitian communities have been impacted by the gospel, and the Juan Dolio community has been benefited through prayer and pioneering outreach campaigns.
“Life here at YWAM San Pedro, Dominican Republic is going, going, going! Missionaries from the USA, England, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic do life with us daily” according to YWAM’s staff members. Since they arrived here almost a month ago, 6 houses have been built in San Pedro, over 100 people on teams from the USA and Canada have come to work with us, and over $60,000 has been donated for local ministry needs!
Day to day life changes with every week. The first few weeks staff work in the kitchen, shopping for and preparing food for all the hungry mouths that come home after a long day of construction. Then staff switch to preparing for 10 days straight of a mission/discipleship/ work project program…and just now finished it!
Daily ministries vary. Some days it’s all behind the scenes work, and other days it’s dancing in front of little kids while singing about God being the creator of crocodiles, orangutans and snakes! Some days it’s contacting teams preparing to come here, and other days it’s hosting the teams that ARE here. Some days it’s painting little Haitian girls’ nails, and other days it’s passing out pancakes to little Dominican kids that surround the area where we are building.
YWAM reminds us that Jesus tells us “whatever you do for the least of these, you are doing unto Me” (Matthew 25:40).” It’s a life of showing Jesus love, in whatever way, big or small.