From the Desk of the Chairman

Written by Ken Lund, Chairman of the CDEM Board of Directors

What an exciting time to be part of CDEM! On August 23-26, I traveled with three other U.S. board members to the Dominican Republic. I was accompanied by Jeff Jewell, Earl Allen, and Nic Coers. We went to spend time with the leaders of CDEM supported ministries. After our visit, we have renewed excitement for the future of CDEM and the impact it is having on the people of the Dominican.

CDEM currently support 4 missionaries, 5 teachers, and 2 teaching assistants. We are now looking to add another missionary and a secretary in the D.R. The school in Buenas Aires started just over 3 years ago. We have been able to add a grade each year and now offer education for K-3. We started with just 13 students and now enroll 84! Wow! God has worked mightily in 3 short years.

We, as a board, would like to thank all of you for making this happen. Without your prayers, financial support, time, and service, we would not be where we are today.
Students at the school display the backpacks and school supplies they received from Prairieland Christian Church.

Announcing a Restructuring

The U.S. board has been working closely with Alberto Rivas to make some organizational changes to CDEM. A secondary board has been formed in the Dominican Republic. This board will make day-to-day decisions and be responsible for basic operations. The D.R. board will be able to respond quickly to issues that arise. Our hope is that their proximity to these situations will give them perspective and decisiveness. The D.R. board will also be responsible to report to the U.S. board and operate on a budget approved by the U.S. board.

The August visit marked the beginning of this new structure. The 4 U.S. board members met with the 7 Dominican Republic board members to discuss transitioning responsibility and setting expectations. The U.S. board is fully confident that the D.R. board will be a benefit to CDEM's ministry.

The D.R. board members are Alberto, Martin (pastor a the Monte Cristi church), Freddy (supporter and friend), Arismundi (serves at the Monte Cristi church), Fior (member of the Barrero church), Joselo (pastor of the Barrero church), and Ramon (elder at the Barrero church).
The 7 members of the first D.R. board of directors
Seven members of the D.R. board and 4 members of the U.S. meet

Missionary Updates

Alberto Rivas

Alberto Rivas
Alberto is a founding member of CDEM. He recently moved with his children, Abigail and Jonathan, back to the D.R. after a few years in the U.S. Unfortunately, his wife did not make the move with him. They are currently separated in spite of intensive family counseling. This change in his personal life has put extreme stress on Alberto. He, Abigail, and Jonathan continue to attend counseling in the D.R.

Alberto's responsibilities are currently limited to administrative needs to allow him time to deal with the family challenges.

Please pray for the Rivas family as they work through these issues. If you have specific questions about this situation, please contact Ken Lund.

Joselo & Yani Munoc

Joselo preaching at the Barrero church
Joselo and Yani serve at the Barrero church. This congregation is bursting with musical talent. Their services are filled with joyous noise! The Barrero church embraces the talents of young and old alike; everyone is included in their worship services.

The 4 board members who visited in August were blessed to worship with the congregation at Barrero. In the words of Ken Lund, "We couldn't understand everything said, but we were still inspired by the passion of their worship. If we could only bottle that and bring it back with us!"

Martin & Marta Colon

Martin, Marta, and their sons
Martin and Marta serve at the Monte Cristi church. Some may remember their family at the Barrero church, but Martin's family was willing to move to Monte Cristi to strengthen the congregation there. The family recently moved into a new parsonage, built next to the church.

Martin has been helping the other members of the CDEM team. He regularly lends a hand to Franklin by delivering food to the school in Buenas Aires. Martin is a natural leader. CDEM is blessed to witness the fruits of his labor and wisdom.

Martin and Marta have 3 sons, 1 in college, 1 starting college in January, and 1 in school in Monte Cristi.

Franklin & Rebecca Rodriguez

Franklin at the schoolin Buenas Aires
Franklin and Rebecca serve in Buenas Aires. In addition to being the pastor at the Buenas Aires church, Franklin, along with Rebecca, serve at the school. They fulfill administrative roles, teach a bit, and fill in anywhere they see the need. They are dedicated to their students. They strive to meet physical, mental, and spiritual needs.

In July, Franklin and Rebecca welcomed a new baby to their family. Needless to say, they are a very busy household.
The leadership teams in the U.S. and the D.R. want to thank all of our supporters for your faithfulness and compassion. God has not forgotten the Dominican Republic. He is working!

CDEM has been blessed with faithful supporters, but there are still challenges. Please consider donating--one time gifts, students or teacher sponsorship, or participating in a short term mission trip.

CDEM currently operates on an annual budgt of less than $100,000. That money is used to support 11 full and part-time workers, aid 3 churches, and meet the needs of countless Dominicans.

The mission receives approximately $4,550 in monthly support. Total expenses, including missionary support and vehicle maintenance, totals $4,610 each month.

Current Needs:
  • Security bars are needed for the windows of the parsonage at Monte Cristi ($1,700).
  • The church in Barrero is working on enlarging their building. Windows and security bars are needed before the construction can be completed ($2,700).
  • The Barrero church received an electric guitar and needs an amp to go with it (contact a board member for details).
  • Additional monthly support is needed to allow for increased support for ministry workers.
The school has taken on a life of its own. There are currently 84 students, 4 classrooms, and unfinished cafeteria, kitchen, and office. The neighborhood surrounding the school has improved in the past few years. CDEM treasurer, Nic Coers, commented, "As we drove to the school, I thought I was lost! I didn't even recognize the neighborhood. It's still a poverty stricken area, but residents are slowly cleaning up and caring for the properties surrounding the school."

The Dominican government may require all schools to provide all day school. The CDEM school is currently half-day. If this regulation is put into place, it will double the cost of operating the school. Please pray for this situation.

The current monthly operates at a shortfall. The difference between monthly expenses, $2,343, and income, $550, is covered by the mission savings.

Current Needs;
  • Students at the school need sponsors ($35/child/month)
  • Teachers at the school need sponsors ($156/teacher/month)
  • Funds are needed to finish and secure the office to store computer equipment and student records ($2,700).
  • Two new classrooms are needed. (If your church is interested in traveling to the D.R. to help with this project, contact any member of the board).
  • Additional monthly support is needed to allow for an increase to the teachers' salaries.

U.S. Board Members
Contact Information

Ken Lund, Chairman

Earl Allen

Nic Coers

Eileen Dailey

Ed Gillespie

Jeff Jewell

Adam Schwab
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