HOPE Mountain is More than a Mountain

IMG_9237-573The buses rolled in through the gate as we quickly gathered the few items on the clotheslines. Loads of people unloaded each bus with excitement. They were familiar with the atmosphere. Some ran towards the hammocks to swing and to rest. Others to the river for a quick dip. Some to the lounge chairs that line the wrap around porch. Some stood around the pool to gaze at the beautiful mountains, while others headed to the pavilion for shade.

Everyone had a place. This is their home away from home.

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People were everywhere. Every visible part of HOPE Mountain enjoyed this invasion. This place was meant for them. God created our planet for people. God adjusted the atmosphere for people. God sent His only Son to die and to rise for people.

Yes, for people who were once dead, God brings life.

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Lives that were once broken and lost have found HOPE on this mountain. Lives that had no peace and no joy are alive now. This mountain has united our IEVC churches. It’s a place of HOPE for our ministry leaders.

This mountain is more than a mountain.

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It’s a place of refuge. It’s a dream restorer. It’s a faith lifter. It’s a HOPE rebuilder. All of this for people. For people like you and me. For children who cry at night and long to be wrapped in loving arms. For women who don’t know how valuable they are. For men who don’t know what it truly means to lead. For teens who search for love in the wrong places.

All of the above have found answers here on this mountain. My own frazzled life has found peace here. HOPE Mountain lives up to its name every day!

As the lovely people from our churches enjoy a meal together, laughter exuded in our midst. Happy faces enjoyed the moro and stewed pork. This is the food that warms their hearts. This is the moment that will create a special memory.

After our meal, we were ushered to the pavilion to worship our Savior together. Brothers and sisters from four different parts of the Dominican Republic together under one roof worshiping God. The God who created all of this. The God who made it all for people. Yes, for these people.

He provided a ransom for them. He gives HOPE to them. And He let us be a part of the process. He’s allowed you and me to watch the people transformation come to life. It’s amazing.

 

One such transformation is of a precious young lady who came to me a few years ago asking for prayer. She said she had grown up in church, but left home and the church to move in with her boyfriend. At that point, they had one child and very little income. I prayed for her and asked her to return to Christ, but she refused. She didn’t want a relationship with Christ to interfere with her boyfriend. My heart was saddened for her, but I kept praying. I encouraged her every time I saw her and made it a habit to invite her to church.

After experiencing difficulties after the birth of her second child. she began to attend our Los Cerritos church. She began to remember the joys of a life with Christ. She was ripe. She was ready.

Under our pavilion, with those from all of our churches surrounding her, she gave her life to Christ. Our lovely Angela Weir led her to the Lord that day. My heart was overwhelmed with joy and reminded of why we can’t give up on anyone.

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As the buses rolled away that day, my heart was full. There is nothing like being involved in a life transformation. I’m so honored that God has allowed me to join Him in this process. Thank you for your support in allowing us to make this happen.

 

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Rebuild the City!

Isaiah 61:4 Then they will rebuild cities that have been in ruins for many generations. Contemporary English Version

I remember the dirt roads and the dirt floor homes made out of cardboard or cheap tin. I remember when Cien Fuegos was a place where no one wanted to be, day or night. Every crime imaginable existed there. Education wasn’t an option. Churches were hard to find.

That was a long time ago. Ruben and I were dating back then. We would sometimes venture out to visit people who were special to Ruben. I tagged along because I was young and in love and wanted to spend every waking moment with him. Little did I know that many years later, we’d make a change there.

Many of those dirt roads are now paved. Those cardboard homes are now wood or concrete.

Yet, the city still seemed ruined. The sins of the past lingered into today. Drugs, prostitution, incest, no education and a plethora of other abuses exist. It’s like a reminder of yesterday. A stronghold that won’t let go.

In the midst of poverty, dissapointment and despair rests a center of hope.

God has given us the grand opportunity to reach deeply into the lives of one hundred children who otherwise would be ruined. We have the chance to rebuild the ruins of yesterday in order to bring strength and hope tomorrow.

Today is our day to change lives.

As we are persistent in tearing down strongholds, God is faithful to give us the victory.

Little girls at our center are not suffering abuse any longer. They are safe. They understand their rights. Their parents have been made aware of ways to protect their children. But most of all, they know that they are loved.

Little boys at our center have opportunities that didn’t exist before. They are dreaming of careers other than selling drugs or pimping. They have hope. They know that they are loved.

We’ve all played a part in this rebuilding of a city. You send in donations. We use them to pay our teachers and director, feed the children and provide a safe environment for them.

We still need your help.

These children’s lives will only continue to get better if we keep our doors open.

Please give today.  $2500/month would make this center all of what we dream it to be. We need 50 peope to give $50 each month to make that dream a reality.

A changed life. Hope for tomorrow. A secure place in heaven. All of the above and more in exchange for $50.

Just like those dirt roads became pavement, these lives will become prominent leaders for Christ in their city.

Thanks for giving today!

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