Steve Brauning is grateful for the gift of ministry shares when he considers what the support of CRC congregations in North America has meant to the growth of the Christian Reformed Church in the Dominican Republic.
Recently that church celebrated the organization of a new classis. The classis, the 12th in its denomination, was formed in the mountainous community of La Mercedes.
More than 300 people attended the event, at which a number of pastors were commissioned. Four pastors also were ordained and installed in four congregations, several local preachers were recognized, and a regional steering committee for the new Pedernales classis was established.
Fifteen students from the local Reformed Bible Institute graduated that day—an especially pleasing development for Pastor Antonio Vazquez, “who has taught the Bible Institute classes and worked with this group of churches for the past several years,” says Pastor Jose Manuel Gutierrez, president of the board of the CRC in the Dominican Republic.
It was also a good day for Brauning, who visited churches in the area and has provided support and mentorship for Pastor Vazquez through the CRC’s growth ministry team.
“The Pedernales area is very close to the Haitian border, and most of the churches are made up of undocumented Haitian immigrant agricultural workers on plantations,” Brauning says. Most of those workers don’t speak Spanish and they can’t travel out of that area. So Pastor Antonio’s work was key in organizing the November event.
Brauning says that without the support that comes via ministry shares, events such as this might not have happened.