DDG Companion News | September 3, 2015

Tropical Storm Erika over the island of Hispaniola on August 28, 2015

On Friday, August 28th, the Dominican Republic was once again hit by a tropical storm. Tropical Storm Erika had already caused major damage and heavy loss of life on the islands of Dominica and Puerto Rico to the east of the Dominican Republic. As the storm approached the island of Hispaniola, Bishop Holguín asked for prayer for those affected  by  the storm and those who were still in its path.

Erika, weakened by atmospheric conditions, passed along the southern coast of the Dominican Republic and made landfall near the city of Barahona. It was further weakened by the high mountain ranges between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and soon dissipated south of Cuba. Official reports from the Dominican Republic Civil Defense totaled 843 homes damaged, widespread power outages, minor street flooding and some crop damage. Bishop Julio Holguín, Canon Juan Márquez and the Dominican diocesan staff have reported that there was no major damage to Episcopal church facilities and their  surrounding  communities.

Many of our brothers and sisters in the Dominican Republic live in houses which cannot  survive tropical storms or hurricanes. Bishop Holguín and the Dominican Episcopal Church have recognized this major safety concern, and have designed all of their new building facilities to be constructed of reinforced concrete so that they can be used as storm shelters for the surrounding communities. Additionally, the DDG in partnership with the Dominican Episcopal Church and its diocesan mission companions have a housing program which builds safe houses for those in need.

-- Bill Kunkle, DDG Executive Director

Bill Kunkle (orange shirt) checking out a new house built for a family in Jarabacoa during June 2015 by two mission teams from the Dioceses of Georgia and Nebraska using plans developed by the DDG and the Diocese of the Dominican Republic. The new concrete-block house replaced an older one with a wooden plank & pole framework, and features three bedrooms, a living room / kitchen, a covered porch, an interior bathroom with toilet, sink and shower, and electrical lighting and running water. The total construction cost was US$5,000, all of which was raised by the two mission teams and donated to the Diocese to pay for this project. The materials salvaged from the older house were recycled for other projects, and only new building materials were used for this replacement house. The family members who live here are members of Iglesia Episcopal Monte de la Transfiguración on the grounds of the Episcopal camp and conference center in the village of El Pedregal, just outside the city of Jarabacoa.
Meeting on Missions in Haiti/DR on September 24, 2015
The Companions in Mission Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut is sponsoring a meeting on mission opportunities in Haiti and the Dominican Republic  from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.  on September 24, 2015, at St. James Episcopal Church in Farmington, CT.  Panelists at the meeting include the following: The Rev. Miguelina Howell, vicar of Christ Church Cathedral and a native of the Dominican Republic; Marc Yves Regis, director of Camp Hispaniola and a native of Haiti; Giselle Genecee, St. John's West Hartford parishioner with a long-term mission partnership in Haiti; and Alan McCollum, leader of seven mission trips for teenagers to the Dominican Republic. The moderator will be the Rev. George Roberts, rector, St. James Farmington, who is currently forming a mission team to work in the Dominican Republic in 2016. For more information about this meeting, click the link below:

DDG Exploration Trip November 12-18, 2015
San Pablo Apóstol in Angelina
One of the activities of the Dominican Development Group is to help potential mission team leaders become more familiar with a variety of work sites in the Diocese of the Dominican Republic. The DDG conducts two exploration trips each year to visit many different locations so that participants can see  first hand the social, educational and religious programs administered through the Dominican Episcopal Church. 

The next trip is scheduled for November 12-18, 2015, and will be guided by  Karen Carroll and Bill Kunkle. Karen Carroll is a missionary from Florida who lives in Santo Domingo and is in charge of coordinating the logistics for the many mission teams who come to the DR each year. Bill Kunkle is the Executive Director of the Dominican Development Group and has been organizing and leading mission teams to the Dominican Republic for 16 years.

The trip will travel an east-west path along the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, and will visit Santo Domingo, San Pedro de Macorís, Santa Fe, Boca Chica, Angelina, Jimani, Barahona, Baní, Azua, La Romana, and several other locations. One highlight of the trip will be a dinner with the Rt. Rev. Julio C. Holguín and his wife, Doña Milagros Hernandez, at their home in Santo Domingo. 

The cost of the trip is US$800, excluding airfare. The deadline for registration is October 1, 2015. For more information, including a detailed itinerary, click the link below:

Clergy Transfers
To access this interactive map of the Episcopal churches, schools, and other facilities in the Dominican Republic, click here.
It has been the normal practice within the Diocese of the Dominican Republic to transfer several priests to other posts each year to provide each clergy member with experience in multiple locations and types of congregations. The following transfers were effective on August 24, 2015. If additional transfers are announced later, they will be included in future issues of this newsletter and also posted on the DDG's Facebook page.
1. Rdo. Daniel Samuel to Jarabacoa, replacing Rdo. Álvaro Yepes
2. Rda. Ercilia Peralta to Monte Llano, replacing Rdo.Daniel Samuel
3. Rdo. Bienvenido Lopez to Haina, replacing Rda.  Ercilia Peralta
4. Rdo. Milton Amparo to Puerto Plata, replacing Rdo. Bienvenido Lopez
5. Rdo. Álvaro Yepez to Santo Domingo, replacing Rdo. Emilio Martin
6. Rdo. Emilio Martin to Santo Domingo, replacing Rdo. Milton Amparo (San Andrés) and Rdo. Vicente Peña (Sagrada Familia)
7. Rdo. Vicente Peña to Baní, replacing Rda. Milquella Mendoza
8. Rda. Milquella Mendoza to San Pedro de Macorís, replacing Rdo. Ramon Canela
9. Rdo. Ramon Canela to Dajabon, replacing Rdo. Manuel Diaz
10. Rdo. Manuel Diaz to Azua, replacing Rdo. Jesús Mosquea
11. Rdo. Jesús Mosquea to Jimani, replacing Rdo. Nephtaly Desir
12. Rdo.  Nephtaly Desir to Santa Fe (San Pedro de Macorís), replacing Felix Encarnación
13. Rdo.  Felix Encarnación to San Isidro, replacing Rdo. Adolfo Moronta
14. Rdo.  Raul Guaillas, to Consuelo (interim) and continuing at Las Flores (San Pedro de Macorís; El Buen Pastor)

DDG Board Meeting in October 2015
The members of the DDG's Board of Directors will hold their next meeting in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Monday, October 26, 2015. This meeting will be in conjunction with the annual convention of the Diocese of Western Louisiana, one of the companion dioceses of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic. Several board members will represent the DDG at that convention from October 23-24, and then will speak about the programs of the DDG and the Diocese of the Dominican Republic in area churches on Sunday, October 25. For information about Western Louisiana's work in the Dominican Republic and other mission fields, go to this diocesan webpage.

Links to online copies of previous issues of the DDG Companion News:

Contact the DDG:
Office: (813) 400-2722 | Fax: (813) 983-5082
Executive Director: Bill Kunkle | bkunkle@dominicandevelopmentgroup.org
PO Box 272261 | Tampa Florida 33688-2261

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