Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Acts 4:12 says, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." What a privilege it is to serve the Lord and be able to share Christ with others. God sent his Son here to earth to save humanity from sin, and it is only through Christ that we have salvation. We serve an awesome God!
Area Children watch a puppet show on Sunday evening The work in Monte Cristi continues to go well. Sunday school averages about 20-25 children each week. The weekly church service is held on Sunday evening with 12-15 adults attending. Evelin has also begun having Sunday School in the evening since there are as many as 30 children present. Three women made decisions for Christ and were baptized in September.
There is a Bible study in our home/church on Tuesday evenings. A Bible study also meets each Wednesday in various homes. Cristian and Evelin also have three individual Bible studies each week.
Cristian and Alberto, along with a few other men, have been busy trying to fix the water situation at our house in Monte Cristi. They are building a small building/platform for a tinaco that will hold running water up high. The gravity will help the water flow into the house so that we can hopefully have running water all the time. Right now Cristian and Evelin are without running water. I always appreciate my shower more after returning from Monte Cristi.
We were very much encouraged by a visit from Phil Scott, preacher at Waterloo Church of Christ in Iowa. Phil gave us some sound advice and a lot of vision. We are excited about the possibilities of our ministry that he was able to point out to us and are praying for direction and guidance.
October seemed like evangelism month. We had a spaghetti dinner for the people from church on the 13th. They were to invite a friend to come with them. There were about 40 people for supper and games afterward. A Christian movie was shown the next evening, and 30 people came to watch. The Gospel message was shared in the movie as well as afterwards. The Christian Church from Hoya del Caimito in Santiago sent a group of people to Monte Cristi to hold a revival at the end of October. They had two evening services and went door to door evangelizing.
Over the past few months, we have had a few mission groups working with other missionaries come to stay at the house in Monte Cristi. It is a convenient stopping place on their way to work on projects in Haiti.
Sunday School in Monte Cristi Alberto will be starting some new aspects of ministry. He is going to start giving classes to help train people in the church in different areas. He will be starting in Monte Cristi and in La Pina with classes on discipleship. He is planning on having two hour classes every other week. Alberto will also be traveling to Haiti four or five times a month to visit and report back on the work of G.O. Ministries there. This is a church that has had incredible growth over the past years and so will also provide a learning environment for Alberto. Hopefully there will be many new ideas that we can apply to the church in Monte Cristi.
The Rivas family currently has their ministry base in Santiago. Each weekend, Alberto (and sometimes Lynette and Abigail) makes the two hour drive to help in the new church work in Monte Cristi. He spends anywhere from two to five days there each trip. But after this school year ends in June, they will be moving to Monte Cristi. This will be a great blessing for their family and ministry!
Local Teens play volleyball at the new house in Monte Cristi The disadvantage to this, though, is that they will be losing the salary that Lynette receives for teaching at the Christian school. This provides about half of their income. Please pray for an increase in monthly support to allow them to effectively continue the work they are doing in the D.R.
As we mentioned in a previous newsletter, Alberto's niece was murdered last May. She left behind two children: Estefania, 4, and Berto, 2. The grandmother (Alberto's sister) did not want the children and so Alberto and Lynette began trying to adopt them. After promising custody for months, she has now decided not to proceed with the adoption. She does not provide Estafania and Berto with adequate food or supervision. Please keep these children in your prayers!
Thank you to everyone who gave so generously to cover the costs of flights and medical expenses for Lynette's surgery. You have been a blessing!
Lynette has had a struggle with her health since returning to the Dominican following her surgery in November. After several weeks of sickness, she was finally diagnosed as having a hiatal hernia, three ulcers and a severe infection. She is doing much better but has had to make major changes to her diet and lifestyle. Thank you to those who have been praying for her during this difficult time.
A video highlighting the work of CDEM is now available. Contact Valarie Peterson if you or your church would be interested in a copy.
We appreciate your support and prayers as we continue to get settled and set up our ministry here according to God's will.
We can also be reached by writing
715 14th Street SE
Rochester, MN 55904
Our address in the Dominican will be
Juan Alberto and Lynette Rivas
SCS-DR, PO Box 24770
West Palm Beach, FL 33416
Make all checks payable to:
Cedar Falls Church of Christ
2727 West Fourth Street
Cedar Falls, IA 50613
God bless you.
Alberto, Lynette, and Abigail Rivas