Story and photos by Missionary Jana Inglehart, Regional Communications Specialist for the Latin America & Caribbean region
Missionaries, seminarians and congregation members in Palmar Arriba, Dominican Republic, planned for about fifty children from the community to attend a week-long Bible camp. The camp gave children a place to be for a couple of hours during the heat of the Dominican afternoons and featured daily Bible stories, memory work, games, crafts, songs and snacks.
Rev. Dr. David Preus, seminary professor and pastor of the congregation, planned the curriculum and wrote the materials for each lesson. Deaconess Caitlin Ramirez and her husband, Jeancarlos, a seminary student, organized the event, planned for the music, games, crafts and snacks, and engaged the church members, seminary students and the missionary community.
To the surprise of everyone, a sea of children flooded the registration tables the first day. There were so many children that an urgent message went out to other local LCMS missionaries requesting their help. Though plans were for 50 children, nearly double that number arrived on the first day. Word of the exciting event spread throughout the close-knit community, and over the following days, 120 children, then 137, then 146 and on the final day, 150 little ones were joyfully engaged in the Bible camp! In the final tally, the names of 190 children were on the list of registered attendees.
Follow-up visits continue with the children and their families. We pray that the tiny seeds of the Gospel planted in the hearts of those children will bear much fruit. We thank God for His abundant blessing in the lives of so many precious little ones.