It’s hard to believe that a full year has passed since Taylor & I took our first trip to the Dominican Republic with Childrens Heritage Foundation. So much has happened in our lives, and even more so in the lives of the people living in Olivares. And now, Jimmy & I are just about to head back over for our first missions trip together (and our 4th trip combined this year)!
Real quick(ish), let me just share how YOUR prayers and support have made a difference this last year….
When we look back on the last 12 months of work in the village of Olivares, Dominican Republic, we stand in awe of what God has done through our initial step of faith. The following are some of our accomplishments during this very short period…
Food Security: We are cultivating over 17 acres of farmland that the program purchased with donations from several San Diego families. This Food Security project is focused on long-term solutions to expand food production and thereby reduce hunger among children and families in the village. Agricultural products including bananas, vegetables, corn, beans, poultry and fish.
Fish Farm: We are also assisting our local partners with a small fish production facility. This small project is serving as a pilot for a larger fish farm that we hope to develop in the village in the very near future.
Child Sponsorship: We are pleased to report that 8 of the 64 children who are up for sponsorship were sponsored in the last 8 months. As a result of the sponsorship program, these children are now going to school and receive daily nutritious meals.
Clean Water: Expanding access to clean water has been an integral part of our work. With the assistance of various San Diego residents and organizations, we began the construction of an expanded community clean running water system. We dug a new well, installed a modern pump, rehabbed four existing water storage tanks and laid the physical infrastructure to deliver clean running water to entire community. The clean water project is already benefiting many families, providing water that is free of bacteria, parasites and cysts. The clean water they receive every single day reminds them that God truly loves them!
Occupational training: We launched a cabinetmaking training program for unemployed youth from the community. This short-term vocational training course provides intensive, hands-on training in the making of household furniture. The training program helps youth to systematically develop their hand skills, along with an understanding of tools, materials, and processes, a sense of care, and a commitment to excellence in their craft. Five unemployed and uneducated young men from the village are currently enrolled in the program.
Baseball Academy: We have created a baseball academy that is teaching the fundamentals of baseball and prepare talented young athletes for a career in Major League Baseball. The academy also motivates athletes to do well in school and instill the practices of good ethics, respect, courage, perseverance, resilience and life-long learning.
In addition, we rebuilt the local baseball field that had been in disrepair for decades.
Mission Trips: CHF facilitated 4 mission trips that included over 32 San Diego residents to Olivares, Dominican Republic. These trips brought much needed supplies to this poverty stricken community.
I also asked Robert to share with me his greatest prayer requests & needs so I could pass it along. And it’s because you’re among our most caring friends that I’m asking you to please join us in prayer for our list of future projects and activities:
· Expansion of the Clean Water system – Extend the physical infrastructure for an additional one kilometer ($1,500)
· Modern Playground – Build a modern playground for the children of Olivares ($5,200)
· Occupational Training Center – Construction of a permanent building to house the occupational training program ($3,500)
· Community Clinic – Construction of a small building to serve as a community clinic: ($7,200)
· Child sponsorship – Secure child sponsorship for the additional 56 children who are in need of sponsorship. Let us know if you’re interested! ($35/month per child)
Many of you have emailed me over the months just how you can get involved in supporting us…and quite honestly the greatest gift you can give to us is your prayers. We would love if you would consider committing to praying for us daily or weekly as we continue to be involved in this ministry? We need the Lord to go ahead of us in this venture; preparing our hearts and the hearts of the people we will be reaching out to.
Please feel no obligation, but if you desire to make a tax deductible donation in any amount know that we would be so grateful! (An accounting of all funds will be available, should you desire to see it, upon our return.)
Tax Deductible Financial contributions can be made using the following methods:
~ Online: Make a secure online tax deductible donation by visiting the Children’s Heritage Foundation website.
(Donations can be made in multiples of $10, 25, 50, or 100)
Make sure to enter “Saldana Family” in the comment box. You will be emailed a confirmation of payment within 24 hours.
~ By Phone: Make a contribution by phone using your credit card by calling (858) 481-1389 Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p. m.
~ By Mail: Checks should be made payable to Children’s Heritage Foundation. Please write our names/Domincan Republic in the memo line of the check. You can mail checks to:
CHILDREN’S HERITAGE FOUNDATION 991-C
LOMAS SANTA FE DR. PMB 427
SOLANA BEACH, CA 92075
We sincerely thank you again for all your love, encouragement, prayers and support over this last year!!!
We are incredibly grateful to be partners with all of you in this ministry.
Summer & Jimmy