Friday, June 29, 2012

The Real God Market (2)

Good morning everyone Y Dios te bendiga!

Here is the latest in the progress at Rio Vista Mission House in the D.R.  Today we watched as the construction team poured concrete for the top of the 2500 gallon fresh water cistern.  You can see from the pictures that it will make a sizable foundation as well for the pump house and eventually an outdoor kitchen. Once the concrete is dry they will build a small casita on top and enclose the water pump for the house.  The picture also shows the pipe behind the cistern which is the well we drilled two weeks ago.  Once we have power hooked up to the property we can fill the cistern with fresh water and then pressurize the pipes connecting the cistern to the house.(no leaky, leaky!)

water well pipe


The other pictures show the newly installed doors with security deadbolts attached.

I want to continue building the platform which explains The Real God Market here in the D.R.  In my last blog I expressed to our readers how important our work is to the big picture in God's Kingdom.  We are all Kingdom builders during our lives and ultimately this is the test for each of us, whether we believe in God or not, the truth of the world still stares each of us in the face as we go through any day.
This is the question:  What are you doing with your life and does it leave a positive impact on those you come in contact with daily.  Ideally this will involve your family first, as this is every man's First Ministry. "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Prov 22:6 NIV
and concurrently we are told three scriptures later, "A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor."  Prov 22:9 NIV.

In the same breath we are governed with the command of God to teach our children the right ways AND give to the poor.

I started talking in the last blog about "Economic Empowerment of the People"  which I believe sums up the commands from God to all of us.
Educational reform is happening in this country and other countries slowly and largely through Missionary based operations like Dominican Advance, Servants Heart and Island Light Ministries.  There are others however I want to focus on the work of one in particular.

Island Light Ministries is primarily a Christ centered outreach to a small community near us.  Pastor Jim Tunnicliffe and his wife Debra are Missionaries in the village of Paraiso.  Pastor Jim works with the local church in Paraiso bringing hope to the faithful through God.  The village of Paraiso houses more than 1000 Dominicans from the poorest of the communities around.  Each family was given a home, built and donated by another Mission, Samaritan Foundation. Statistics reported in the village that more than 50% of the adults  cannot read or write, making them available only for labor positions in the marketplace, if they can find a job.  The labor market pays very little in the third world, in most countries the average is under $2.00 per day.  Here in the D.R. the minimum wage for hard labor is not much higher and a good laborer can make around 8,000 pesos a month or $7.00 a day.  Many here average less than that because they do not have sustainable work daily.
The wage separation between educated and uneducated is massive here as skilled university positions pay almost at parity with the rest of the world; lawyers, doctors, engineers and business owners make far more than laborers.  Economic empowerment for the majority of the people can only come through education.

One of the mandates of the Millennium Development Goals which were created by the United Nations in 2000 stated that in order to eradicate poverty each nation must provide basic free education for primary children.  In a follow-up report issued in 2005 the D.R. is still falling short of many of the MDG's, but they are committed to continue.(1)
The MDG's establish only educating children to grade 8 in all of the third world.  The D.R. is trying to meet this mandate as  many children under the age of 12 can attend a free primary school for free.  After that the government has no concrete plans for sustainable education.  There are some secondary schools for teens and a few good universities as well, however, less than 60% of children go on to high school.  Of those that complete high school, few go on to university, simply because they have no money.  Vocational schools in the private sector are almost non-existent, again, the people have no money to attend higher learning centers.

Island Light Ministries also manages a large vocational school in the village of Paraiso which provides free education in the technical trades for those interested in rising above the poverty level.  These programs include a carpentry school, electrician school, sewing school, beauticians and soon an automotive school will begin.  The waiting list is immense already as the classrooms can handle only a few students at a time. Resources for these vocational schools come from donations mainly from North American Mission Teams and churches back home.
These vocational programs will create a new revenue base of skilled laborers in the village of Paraiso, a skilled labor base that will provide success for a community.  Ultimately that community will grow and begin to support itself with a "buy at home" mentality.  You see, as a community develops with education and skilled training, the revenue available to those that live in the community also grows.  These people in training at the vocational school are also taught the economics of local buying.  This keeps the earnings from the newly trained workers right within the village they live in.  When local money is used properly in this manner a community will thrive and grow.
This program provided  is absolutely essential as a solution to an economic crisis that continues to grip this little country and her people.

Island Light Ministries survives on donations and support from Mission Teams and churches back home.
We hope that their success with these vocational schools continues; we support them as teams continue to bring resources for the schools.  We hope to support the teams when they are here.

Rio Vista Mission House is provided for the support and sustenance of these Mission Teams and the work their Mission Groups are doing here in the D.R.
You can support our Mission by donating to our project.
Please visit Island Light Ministries site as well to see how they operate.
May God guide your steps.