The Countdown

Moses was more than likely in a peaceful place when the bush began to blaze before him. He safely escaped his enemy, found a new life and a new profession. He could now comfortably settle in and forget his memoir.

Though I’d never put myself in his league, I can say that I relate a little bit to what it feels like to be in a comfortable place after facing turmoil. Comfort feels good. Convenience isn’t really overrated when you know what its like to not have water for days. The simple amenity of consistent electricity can cause a soul like mine to question my call.

Warm showers on the daily basis are such a delight! Vehicles that don’t break down each week make me feel secure. The ability to control the temperature in my home is a treat. The luxury of doing laundry at any time of the day because there is consistent electricity is probably what I’ll miss most about my time in the states.

The things that the average American takes for granted is truly a treasure to any foreign missionary on this planet. I mean, the ability to drink clean water right from the faucet is something I can’t even wrap my mind around sometimes!

Ruben went back to the Dominican Republic a few days ago to get things ready for the girls and my return.

The look on his face was daunting as he described the condition of our home, “The main wires to the house are fried,” he tried his best to be optimistic, “but I’ll fix it for you, don’t worry.” We recently spent a few thousand dollars to re wire the entire property, but didn’t change the main wires because they seemed fine. Now, that reality faced him. Thankfully, he fixed it. Let’s pray it stays that way.

We don’t pray typical prayers, we pray for the hot water to work when showering on chilly mornings. We pray for the rain to wait a little while after we wash a load of laundry. We pray for the lights to turn on when we flip the switch, even when the bill is paid! We pray for the wifi to work well just so that we can finish a school assignment or an important video call with potential supporters!

So, its no wonder that we hesitate for a minute each time we have to go back.

I’m not afraid to admit that each trip back brings me to my knees a little more than usual. That’s truly why I keep going back.

Our time spent in the states has been necessary. Our family needed us and we needed them. We needed to gain new supporters and we desperately needed care. We are grateful for the ability to get those needs met, but our countdown to return is upon us.

As I prayerfully face going back, I can’t help but to think about Moses. He could’ve said no to God. He tried, yet God was patient. God is patient with me too.

These are bittersweet days for our family as we face the reality of what’s next, but we are confident that God will show up for us just as He did for Moses. He has never failed.

Will you pray for us?

  • 1. We need stable electricity.
  • 2. We need vehicles that are reliable.
  • 3. We need consistent care.
  • 4. We need financial provision.

Will you become a become a monthly supporter?

Will you gather a few people to come on a mission trip with us?

  • 1. 7-10 days with us will change your life.
  • 2. You’ll have the chance to change someone else’s life.
  • 3. It’s easy to raise support for a trip, email us for tips.

We endeavor to continue to make Christ known in the Dominican Republic as we share His love with all we encounter. We purpose to move forward in obedience to God just as Moses did and we are sure that He will show up for us the same.

“I AM-Justice”

History swarms with events that validate the significance of justice. We see the majesty of justice unfold as the Israelites strut away from their oppressor. The might of justice is revealed as they walk on dry ground in the midst of the sea. I can’t count the times that I’ve stood on the shore gazing at the vast ocean, amazed at the power of the One who was able to part the waters.

How about the Emancipation Proclamation? Though many debate over the intention of this proclamation, we can all agree that it was the impetus for freedom of a people who needed justice. Lincoln wrote, “And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

These historical events cause me to wonder where our world would be today had Justice not intervened. Justice saw a cause that was not just worthy, but crucial to the fundamental truth of God’s word. Justice arose amidst the cries of people who were oppressed. Justice showed up to set a nation of people free.

Elohim Mishpat, the God of Justice, is still at work today. God is Justice. He, the Supreme Judge, continues to rule. He is still working to set the captives free.

We, at H.O.P.E Dominican Republic are honored to join Him in His work.

We are all surrounded by some type of captive. Some are slaves to sin. Some are enslaved by people. Regardless of the type of bondage, we are poised, positioned and prepared to usher in their freedom.

Child sexual exploitation is on the rise in the Dominican Republic, mostly because of the tourists who visit the country with evil desires. Way too many urban communities and villages are without a church, mostly because many don’t want to reach out to the marginalized. Our team is happy to love on all who need the love of Jesus.

We are moving forward with our restoration program for minors who’ve been sexually exploited. We are also moving forward with our dream to see a church in every Dominican community.

We’d love for you to join us. Consider a mission trip with us, you will never be the same afterward.

We are currently living out the history of the next generation. As we serve alongside our God of Justice, we create a better and safer place for generations to come.

Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do right; seek Justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.


She was eight years old the first time we saw her. Fabiola’s dad was our property hand back then. He often times spoke of his family that lived in Haiti, “I have a daughter and a son back home.” I heard him make that statement several times, so I asked Ruben to help him bring his family across the border. Some of our friends in the states helped and before we knew it, Fabiola, along with her brother and mom, were now a part of our mountain family.

I remember her making up dances with my girls to the “Frozen” movie. They would grab my shawls and proclaim “Let it go….” as they’d throw my shawls across the room. They watched that movie over and over and over and over again in English, Spanish and French!

They did things that little girls do. They splashed in the pool or river all weekend, they hiked all over the mountain, they played with dolls and wore down our crayons on all types of paper they could find! They were all little girls, their lives were supposed to be that way.

After a while, her family had to move away. Her parents made sad choices and Fabiola found herself trapped in an abusive relationship with a man at the tender age of twelve.

I’ll never forget the day when our cook announced, “I saw Fabiola yesterday!”

I was thrilled, “Really! How is she?”


My heart sank. She was one year younger than my Starr and one year older than my Soli. It seemed like yesterday when they watched “Frozen” in my living room.

I quickly snapped back to reality as I remembered where I was. It’s not too uncommon for young girls in her economic bracket to end up pregnant. Nevertheless, I knew that I had to help!

After a series of conversations, we realized that she was taken advantage of by a man. He saw that she had a childhood crush on him. He knew that she was vulnerable and unprotected because her dad was out of the picture at this point. He started by introducing her to pornography, then coaxing her into reliving the scenes with him.

She didn’t like it and told him that she didn’t want to continue, but she felt trapped by his emotional abuse. She was only a child, he is an adult!

She ended up pregnant.

He moved into their home and paid their rent, bought their food and took care of everything for all of them. Her mom was glad to have help, but it was at the expense of a little girl!

She had to give him what he wanted when he wanted or he would threaten to leave them. They had no money, live in the Dominican Republic without adequate paperwork and have no education. She gave in because she didn’t know of any other way.

He moved away after a fight. The police are looking for him and he doesn’t want to show up there! We were glad when he left, hopefully this would enable us to reach out to Fabiola. So we did. We paid their rent and brought them groceries too! We walked up the long steep hill in the hot sun to spend time with her. We even celebrated with her on her birthday, the day she turned thirteen!

Sadly, he sent for her and her mother made her go. She was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to take care of two more people, so she told her to go.

The abuse became worse. Her baby continued to grow, but her spirit kept dying. One day, he tried to cut her with a machete, but neighbors intervened and got her out of there. They gave her money to get home. She happily escaped while he was at work. Her mother was happy to see her, but told her to go back.

I literally couldn’t sleep. I remembered the day she asked Jesus to be her Lord and of how she’d swing in the hammock and sing worships songs. It really wasn’t that long ago! So I intervened. I finally moved forward!

We were able to find her and to sneak her onto our property while he was at work. She is safe now. She is cared for. She is loved.

She’s faced trauma in ways that most of us will never even be able to comprehend! Praise God that we are there! He enables us to give her what she needs.

Her baby is due soon. We really need your help! We have to pay for her medical expenses, psychiatric care and normal everyday needs. Can you help?

Now two young lives are at risk. Two children need assistance. This is our chance to radiate God’s glory in this world! Please give towards Fabiola’s needs today.

Stop The Cries

I saw her tears. I heard her cries. She clutched the stuffed animal to her chest as I lightly tapped the door and peeked into her room. “Mari,” I whispered, “Are you okay?” No response. Just the whimpering sounds of a torn heart.

I moved closer, “Please come to breakfast.” She was usually the first at the table, it was strange to sit at the breakfast table without her that morning. “Would you like to call your mom?” She nodded a yes as the whimpering sounds quickly transformed into sobs.

I grabbed my phone and began to dial as I held back my tears. I knew this phone call would be the beginning of the end of Mari’s time with us. I had a signed consent from her mom where I promised to send her home as soon as she wanted to leave.

I dreaded making the call, but I had made a promise and had to come through.

“Hello Pastor Vicki. Is Mari okay?” Our telephone calls were always about her daughter.

Those welled up tears began to fall, “No.” Sob, sob, sob, “she won’t eat or get out of bed. She wants you.”

“I don’t think that she should come back home yet. I’m not ready.”

The psychologist in charge of this case told me that she would be better off at home once her abuser was arrested. He would be in jail soon, I needed to let her go.

“I don’t want her to leave, but you are her mother. No one could ever take your place. She wants you.”

Her mom began to break down, “I miss her so much. I want her home. I’m just afraid that this is all my fault. I’m such a terrible mother.”

She belted out a cry from deep within. I could hear the regret of the choices she made. The sound of unfulfilled dreams, generations of abuse that reached down to her baby girl filled the phone’s receiver.

“It’s not your fault,” I could barely get the words out. “You have always done the best you knew to do. Now we will teach you how to move forward. You have to take her back. Allow her to see you fight for her. She needs to know that you will always have her back.”

“Okay. Put her on the phone.”

I stepped back into the room with Mari and placed the phone by her ear, “It’s your mom honey.”

She tried to talk, but the words wouldn’t come out. All she could do was bawl.

I told her mom that we’d call back later and I spent the rest of the morning holding Mari in my arms as she cried.

“It’s okay sweetie, cry. Let it all out.” She had been with us for two weeks and had not cried. She tried so hard to be strong. She spent her days playing in the pool, on the trampoline and watching movies with my girls. I kept waiting for the tears to flow, but she refused.

Today was her day. “He hurt me. So did the others. When my friends found out, they said that I liked it.” The sobs were consistent, “I never liked it.”

“I know honey.”

“I miss my mom. I want to go home.”

“You will soon. We want to make sure that home will be safe for you.”

She began to cry more at this point. My heart had taken enough and needed a break so I asked Selina to take over. She held her in her arms until Paola, our future Safe House Mother, took over.

Paola is a Godsend for sure! She cared for Mari as is she were her own child. Mari’s problem with Encopresis didn’t stop her. She treated her as if she were her own. We all did.

But today was the beginning of our end with her.

She is back home now. Her trafficker will be sentenced soon. Today a mother and a child have been reunited and one more child trafficker has been halted.

There is so much more to say. So much more to do. So many more girls out there. So little time to save them. *Every two minutes a child is being prepared for trafficking. The tears burning my eyes won’t let me write any more. Stay posted. Let’s stop their cries. We can do this.


Rewrite Their Stories

Bad stories surround us all. Our typical reaction to a negative situation is usually one of sadness or despair. It’s sad to see a young girl who is sold by her mother to the neighborhood men for tricks each day. It can be a bit overwhelming to visit a family living in a shack made of tin with holes in the wall that expose the outdoors.

Truthfully, these heart breaking experiences were like heavy weights to me a few years ago. It was too much for me to see pain that I could not cure. Women beaten by the men who promised to love them tore at my heart. Some of those women believed they had no other choice but to accept the harsh treatment.

One of the girls at our center walked in on her dad as he was cheating on her mom in their own bed. That little girl wouldn’t eat for weeks and her mom pretended to not be bothered by the affair because she really believed that he was the best for her.

Another young girl left our center at the age of thirteen because her mom told her to find a man who would care for her. That twenty-eight year old man wouldn’t let her come back to us. At fourteen, she was pregnant as he led a lifestyle of alcoholism and cheated on her every chance he could. So many bad stories. So many reasons to give up hope.

I almost did.

I almost quit.

I wasn’t sure that I could make a difference in their lives.

One precious twelve year old girl went to visit a friend. Her friend’s adult brother took advantage of her that day. She lost her virginity and didn’t even know what was happening until it was too late. My energy was depleted when I heard the news.

Rivers destroy homes leaving families homeless. Storms cause more damage to their already devastated livelihood than we could image.

The men who want to work struggle to find employment. Young boys roam the streets without supervision only to find themselves caught in the traps of selling drugs, gang involvement, sexual abuse and pornography viewing. Women feel trapped and helpless. Children are left alone to care for themselves, sometimes as young as the age of three.

It’s a lot to take in. It’s a bit much to bear, I know. So much so, I haven’t wanted to share their stories with you. They are human beings who deserve respect. They are real people who don’t want their despair paraded online. Plus, I’ve been afraid that you wouldn’t be able to handle their truths. I remember telling a friend that I wouldn’t wish my job on my worst enemy (if I had one).

Yet, God arises over and over again. He shows up in unexpected places and in unplanned ways. He said that we would have trouble in this world, but He promises to overcome. He says that He has overcome this world. He oftentimes does so through us.

Our Vida en Cristo churches are located in areas where needs are enormous. They have become light to the dark world they occupy. You see, those same “bad” stories show up at our churches and the love of Christ slowly begins to transform those stories from bad to good.

Our churches are life saving stations. Lives are released from the power of darkness as they enter into the goodness of our God.

As the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ envelops their being, their lives and the lives of their families are transformed.

Our churches are deliverers of hope.

Neighborhoods are changing because of our presence. Our churches protect girls from sex traffickers as they are given tools to build respect for themselves. Planning is in place to educate them on the vices of human trafficking in order to help them stay safe. This is all happening at church!

These truths are taken into their communities and families find peace.

Our children centers are housed at our churches where our children are fed, educated and taught God’s word. We take the time to visit their families with groceries, clothes and prayer.

Little by little, person by person, neighborhood by neighborhood, church by church; we are making a difference.

And I can finally see my part in it all. I bring the sadness of their realities to God and He sustains them. I also bring their truths to you. I’ve come to realize that God uses you to make those sad stories happy.

There are so many good stories to tell too. It’s because of your faithfulness to give.

We now have a center where 100% of the school aged children attend school. Our children feel secure in knowing they will eat each day. Our girls ignore the “job offers” from traffickers and focus on their walks with Christ and their education.

Our women understand their value. That was huge for me. It brings me so much joy to see our women walk with their heads held high as they pursue deeper walks with Christ.

Our men find creative ways to provide for their families and our young boys have learned the value of hard work and education.

The end has yet to come, so I can’t say that their bad stories have ended well; but I can say that we are now surrounded by stories of HOPE! It’s a hope that circles hope all around.

Please consider a gift today.

We need to replace the recent $2,000 loss we’ve recently faced.

Children are in need of your help. You can help to write their stories.

It would take ten of you to give $200 each month or twenty of you to give $100 each month. Just know that your monetary gift is transformed into the making of a beautiful end to a sad story.

Help to rewrite their stories today!

Give Here!

Save a Girl Today!

IMG_5961We chose a different spot at the beach one day. This time we were a lot closer to the main part of town in Sosua than usual. The atmosphere was different. We typically enjoy the area on the other side of the beach, its more quiet and has a family area. This day, we wanted to try something new. After a short walk, we decided upon a restaurant that served one of our recent teams.

The workers set up our lounge chairs and umbrellas. They were kind and very polite. I began to feel comfortable. My girls enjoyed the waves with the visiting team of university students and I rested under the shade of my umbrella.

Then it happened.

The same nice and polite man who served us well led two women to a group of men. He introduced them. The men looked them over up and down, front and behind. Once they approved, the ladies were told to wait.

Our nice assistant led them to a table where they waited for these men all day. Mr. Nice  repeated this scene over and over again that day.

I. Could. Not. Enjoy. The. Beach

I was too distracted by men sizing up women and making deals with Mr. Nice. By two in the afternoon there was a table full of beautiful women waiting for these foreigners who had just made deals for their bodies that day.

They seemed like an invasion on the beach. Maybe it has always been this way, but now my eyes were opened.

We have more slaves in the world today than ever! Most of those women were there against their will. Most believe they have no other choice. Since adult prostitution is legal in the Dominican Republic, sex tourism has become a major lure for tourist.

Our centers in Puerto Plata and in Cien Fuegos are positioned to help our girls avoid the trap of prostitution. It is estimated that 60,000-100,000 women work in prostitution in the Dominican Republic. Our center directors work hard to teach our young ladies a different path.

Our prayer is that our girls will not end up like the ladies we saw on the beach that day. With over half of the Dominican population living below the poverty line, there is a great possibility of them believing the lie of prostitution.

It takes $2,500 to run one of our centers each month. Will you join our fight to protect innocent girls? We cannot continue without your help.

 Donate Here


Resurrection Power

IMG_5826Faces like these are true representations of new life! Death is real. Their dead situations were real. One single father recently told us that our center’s presence allowed him the opportunity to work so that he could provide for his small children. Prior to the existence of our center, he had to leave them alone without any supervision. He spent many days without the means to feed them because they were never safe when left alone, but had no one to help. Their mom walked out and never returned. Today, his children have that needed care, food and education. That is the power of the resurrection of Christ!

The ability to bring life to what is literally gone keeps us going. That ability is found in the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We promote Him each time we go door to door to share His story. We elevate Him when we open those center doors each morning. We exalt Him each time someone walks into one of our Vida en Cristo churches. As He is lifted up, new life is extended.


Children who once rummaged through a trash dump to eat now sit at a table for a meal each day. That’s the power of the resurrection!

Women who sold their worth to the highest bidder now stand to lead worship at church. That’s the power of the resurrection!

Men who chose to walk away from their responsibilities are now working the best they can to support their families. That’s the power of the resurrection!

A little girl who recognized the dehumanitizing touches of men is now safe and secure. That’s the power of the resurrection! 

Young girls and young boys who were convinced that a life on the streets was the only way to go are now on those same streets sharing the truth of our Savior. That’s the power of the resurrection!


Shall I say more?

How about forgotten communities that now find hope each day? Or the elderly who are no longer alone? Or the scores of young missionaries who find new meaning while on HOPE Mountain? His resurrection power is evident throughout our ministry every day, yet we face a crisis situation. We need to rebuild our financial support.

As we face a huge decline in our financial support, we seem to be walking through our own version of the “valley of the shadow of death”. Yes, it’s only a shadow, but it sure feels like death! On this resurrection Sunday, will you consider a special gift for HOPE Dominican Republic? DONATE HERE


If our centers shut down, many children may find themselves back at the trash dump.

If our churches close their doors, countless lives will miss out on the truth of our Savior.

If HOPE Mountain closes it’s gates, scores of young people will miss out on the opportunity to serve Him and to glean from His presence.

Will you be a part of God’s resurrection power today?

You see, you and I have a choice. We can turn our heads and close our eyes to their plight and continue with life. They, unfortunately can’t do the same.

If our Moca church closes it’s doors, the single mom who cares for her invalid daughters won’t have our help.

That dad in Puerto Plata won’t be able to work any more.

That sweet little girl won’t have a safe place.

Those women, those teens, those men will all have to start all over again without the proper tools.


If you already give, please double your gift today. If you have not given, please do so today. Four gifts of $1,000 to get us on track for this month. Eight gifts of $500 will do the same. Real lives depend upon your donations. Please come alongside the powerful work of God in the Dominican Republic today. We need you!



Church Planting in the Dominican Republic



Just a few miles off the coast of Miami lies the most visited travel destination in the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic is a nation that boasts lovely beaches, warm tropical sun, beautiful mountains and a society of exceptional hospitable people. Their hospitality is a door opener for us as we knock on doors to share the gospel. Most are extremely welcome and permit us to enter their homes to pray and to openly discuss the God’s love.

They are story tellers. We listen to their stories. Then we share our stories.

They listen with open eyes and ears as we tell them of the Love that set us free from our sin and bondage. They invite us to sit and to have coffee as we talk about Jesus’s desire to walk with them. You see, almost every Dominican knows that Jesus Christ is Lord. Their flag even has an emblem of the Bible.


Catholicism helped to teach Dominicans the truth of Jesus as Lord. They know all about Him. They  say, “God bless you,” in normal conversations. They know that Jesus died and rose for them. They are familiar with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, many are not familiar with the reality of living and walking with Christ daily. This is one of the reasons why church planting is essential in this nation.

There are still about 2,000 village communities in the Dominican Republic without a church. Though many cities enjoy Evangelical churches, most Dominicans can’t afford transportation costs to church.

We want to see a church in every Dominican community!

God is already making this happen! Successful church planters travel to the Dominican Republic to teach the pastors and leaders at our yearly conference. Church planting is necessary for a sustainable growth in Christianity. Our pastor’s conference focuses on church planting. It is designed to teach pastors and church leaders to multiply their churches, not just their congregations.

Dominicans need churches that are accessible to them. They need churches that relate to them as a people. They need churches that are full of God’s glory and truth. They need churches with leaders who walk and live with Jesus every day.

The more healthy churches we see, the less orphans we will see. The more we plant robust churches, the more we will see a decrease in crime. The more we establish living and strong churches, the less we find the trafficking of human beings.

Local churches, full of Christ, can only produce a life giving community.


As each church learns to plant four churches, we will see a transformed nation. 

Since 20,000 Dominicans are given United States residency each year, as an American, you should want them to arrive with a strong relationship with Christ. Their relationship with Christ affects us all.

Simply put, they live in our hemisphere. We are connected in so many ways. Columbus went to them prior to his arrival on the North American continent. Freed slaves from the United States were sent there and started communities that thrive today.

We are connected. The people of the Dominican Republic are a part of us. They too live in the Americas and they need your help.

Will you give today to help a church leader? Our upcoming church planting conference is designed to teach pastors to plant churches. Please make a donation to help these pastors today.

Donate Today!





This Christmas

Lights, trees, glitter, festive music and food surround the Dominican Republic. Visits from distant family fill hearts and homes with joy. Expectation envelops us all. There is a hope of something desired that lingers within.

The joy of giving ignites our faith as we receive the gift of our Father God. The gift of His Son’s return fills us with great anticipation. The HOPE of this world gives us a reason to hang garland and lights.

That HOPE inspires us to make the season meaningful for the less fortunate. This is our amazing opportunity to share the love of our awaited Savior with them. A gift, a meal, a festive celebration-all for the glory of His name.

This Christmas, the children at our centers decorate with handmade decorations, glittery mesh and lights. Families all over the Dominican Republic will gather on December 24 to celebrate a feast of roasted pig, special salads, rice, beans, grapes, apples and gumdrops.

Our churches and centers reunite each year for a special Christmas event of worship, fun, food and entertainment. Everyone receives a gift as an expression of love. It’s a time of remembering the true reason for this time of year.

It’s a season of HOPE in the awaited coming of our Savior as we celebrate His birth. Will you join us in bringing HOPE to the Dominican Republic this Christmas?

Our celebration needs to take place prior to December 17. Please send a donation today to help cover the costs of the dinner, transportation, gifts and venue for every HOPE Dominican Republic participant.

Thank you for making this and every Christmas we’ve celebrated special!


A Home for Children


According to the Global Slavery Index, one in four of the 40.3 million slaves today are children.

Right now.

Since the Dominican Republic is the most visited tourist spot in the Caribbean, it has become a known location for sex tourism. The unfortunate reality is that many of these tourists have an appetite for children.

Innocent children


We were recently approached by the largest anti-sex trafficking organization for children. They wanted us to take in children for them. They have done an amazing job at rescuing children and understand that rescued lives need restoration and hope. In doing their due diligence to place these children, they reached out to us.

Many know that we moved to the Dominican Republic with every intention to start a children’s home. When we leaned towards that direction, God led us to plant churches first. Church planting will always be our main focus. We need churches in order to bring true transformation in this world. Our churches provide vital resources within our communities and train leaders to work within special aspects of our ministry as well.

This is why we are sure that now is the time to begin our home for children.

Will you join us?

It is our heart’s desire to go back to that agency with a resounding, “Yes! We can house children.” We can’t do this without you.

We set aside land on HOPE Mountain for this home. Our estimated costs to build a two story home for children is $50,000.

Please join us today as we play our role in the rehabilitation of broken lives.


Donate Here