Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
So much has happened since we last wrote you. Since our newsletter in June, we made the move to Monte Cristi to work with the new church there. The ministry in Monte Cristi continues to grow. The morning Sunday School program is doing well with 25-30 kids between the ages of one and twelve. The Sunday evening service averages five to eleven adults and up to twenty-five children. There are also several mid-week Bible studies that meet in homes as well. The Tuesday evening Bible study has grown to average 25 people. The Saturday afternoon Bible study that Evelin started for kids near their new home is averaging 12-15 each week.
On July 30, just two weeks after we moved, Abigail and I flew to the States to begin a 2 ½ month furlough. We wanted be a part of my parent's 40th wedding anniversary celebration on August 3. We also needed to raise more support to make up for the lost income from giving up my teaching job to move to Monte Cristi.
In August, Alberto was involved with several clinics. He worked with Gary Klein and six doctors from the U.S. to hold five dental clinics in the Muchas Aguas area. He also helped Gary with a baseball clinic and G.O. Ministries with a medical clinic. Each of these clinics was an opportunity to continue to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to the people of the Dominican.
Thankfully, Alberto was able to join us here in the States in mid-September. While here, we have been able to visit churches in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Tennessee. It has been great being back in the states and getting a chance to visit our supporting churches as well as family and friends. Everywhere we have visited, we have been greatly encouraged by the people we have seen. I know that we will return to the Dominican refreshed, recharged, and ready to jump back into God's work there.
We are asking for special donations to be used to purchase a fifteen passenger van for the mission. The van will be used to transport people to and from church, Bible studies, and other activities. This is very important because most of the people in Monte Cristi do not have their own vehicle. The van will also be used to transport work teams that come to help us and other missionaries. A new van costs approximately $25,000. We will be looking into the cost of a used van when we return to the D.R. Please consider helping us with this urgent need.
We would like to thank you for your prayers in regard to Alberto's visa. When we went to apply for his visa in July, we found out that the whole system for getting a visa had changed. The first stop had to be Banco Popular where we would pay for the visa application and have an appointment set for an interview at the consulate five weeks later.
Gary Klein, medical missionary in Santo Domingo, accompanied us on this visit. Since Gary is a doctor with the consulate and US embassy on a part-time basis, he was able to visit with the director of the consulate about Alberto's visa. The director told Gary that it was almost impossible to get the ten year, multiple entry visa that we wanted for Alberto.
This began a long five week wait for us. Abigail and I headed off for the States not knowing if Alberto would be able to join us for part of our time there. When Alberto went for his interview at the consulate on August 27, he said they only asked him three questions. They did not ask him questions normally asked or request proof of ownership of land or vehicles which is normal. God smoothed the way through, and he was handed a ten year visa that afternoon. The consulate never asked what length of visa he wanted. He was granted what we were praying for. Praise the Lord!
The basketball court in our side yard is almost ready for use. We are excited about putting it to use for activities for the church and for the neighborhood. We pray that through basketball, volleyball, and other activities that people will be drawn in and desire to learn more about Christ. We want to thank the two groups from Fox Valley Christian Church and Lincoln Christian Church for their help in pouring the basketball court. They joined a group of Dominican preachers and Christians who came for a day to accomplish this huge undertaking. We had a total of 45 people who helped work on this project to get it poured in one day.
We also thank G.O. Ministries who brought these two work teams to Monte Cristi for the day to work on the basketball court. We will be able to put the finishing touches on the basketball court once we return to the D.R. thanks to a generous donation for that purpose.
We could use baseballs and baseball gloves, both new and used, for our new sports ministry. (Contact us for shipping information.)
- Alberto was granted a ten year visa
- Safe travel while visiting churches
- New board of directors
- God's provision for traveling expenses
- Donation of baseball equipment (pants, hats, shin guards, bats, face mask)
- Donation of money to put up backboards for the basketball court
- Safe return to the DR on October 15
- Evelin's pregnancy - due the middle of October
- Lynette's pregnancy - due January 8
- Land for a church building
- Increased monthly support
- Finances to prepare the baseball field for use
- Direction for Lynette in her part of the ministry in Monte Cristi
We were blessed by having a work group from Waterloo Church of Christ visit us in July. They were an encouragement to us during their stay. They accomplished a great deal of work during the eleven days that they were here.
The group was able to pour a concrete patio behind our house to help get rid of some of our mosquito problems. They painted the inside of the wall that surrounds our house which really helped to brighten up the area. They also began building a kitchen on to the back of our house.
I'm looking forward to getting the kitchen finished so that I can put it to good use. Thank you Waterloo! We appreciate all your hard work!
We appreciate your support and prayers as we continue to get settled and set up our ministry here according to God's will.
Forwarding Agents: Make all checks payable to: Juan Alberto and Lynette Rivas Valarie Peterson Cedar Falls Church of Christ SGO 13908 715 14th Street SE C/O CDEM 7990 15th St. E Rochester, MN 55904 2727 West Fourth Street Sarasota, FL 34243 507.289.1086 Cedar Falls, IA 50613
God bless you.
Alberto, Lynette, and Abigail Rivas