Author: rachelsawyer

Who’s your BUDDY?

Pal.
 
Companion.
 
Partner.
 
Friend.
You don’t have to look very hard or very far to find the buddy system in play at Doulos. From the amphitheater, to the playground, to the classroom, buddies are EVERYWHERE. There are official buddies: older grades matched up with younger grades that sit together in the mornings during flag
read together in the classrooms
 
play together at recess on certain days
 
​The concept of “buddy” is thriving in the relational, academic community that is collectively focused on Jesus, which is Doulos. ​On the campus itself, there are buddy examples, but let’s not forget about Doulos’ other buddies who may not be seen as close-up but who play a vital role in developing this facet of Doulos further.
There are our amazing sponsors, whose generosity and heart to give the gift of an excellent education is only surpassed by their genuine love for Doulos students. There are our mission partners, some of whom have been with Doulos since the beginning. There are our service learning teams, many of whom return to invest in relationship year after year. The Doulos community near and far thrives because of a simple concept lived out to its very core: Buddies are important because relationships play a crucial role in the character, development and life of all of us!

Catalyst for Connection

Catalyst for Connection

Tomorrow I will turn 45 and it will be a good day, but do you know what would make it EVEN better?

Wait. This is a little awkward. We don’t know each other that well perhaps or maybe even not at all so it would be forward and quite presumptuous of me to make a gift suggestion or request. Don’t worry, I wasn’t thinking of putting a link to Amazon on here – que rudo! Honestly, I really don’t want to call attention to my birthday, but will you humor me for just a minute more? 

I have the privilege of being the Sponsorship Director at Doulos which means that I am a catalyst for connection, fitting students who need sponsors with a willing person who can provide the monthly tuition in all ($150 per month) or in part ($75 per month) for them to attend Doulos. Then, I get to witness impactful relationships unfold over the ocean and sometimes even here on the Doulos campus between students and their sponsors. It really is very exciting because our God is a god of connection. He is the ultimate CONNECTOR!

So . . . do you know what would make my birthday EVEN better tomorrow? Well, since you asked *wink*wink* . . . .

Last fall we did a sponsorship campaign, and many new sponsors came forward. However, there are still three students who need their first sponsor, and 24 students who need a shared sponsor ($75 a month). I would LOVE to see the number of students that need sponsors go down (and incidentally, my work load go up – Happy Birthday to me!) because that many new sponsors came forward 🙂 Sponsoring a student is as much a gift to the sponsor as it is to the student and their family, so this really isn’t about me at all, it’s about YOU.

Join in on the gift of relationship + an excellent education for someone who would otherwise not have this opportunity!

Student Sponsorship
Per Month
$75
100% Giving Model
Personal communication with child & family
High-quality Christian education
School materials
Sponsor A Student
Class Sponsorship
Per Month
$50
100% Giving Model
Monthly updates from Doulos
Letters & videos from class
Provides materials for entire class
Visit class
Sponsor A Class

Relationship Energy

Relationship Energy

A thread that runs deep and wide, pulling on every other thread, woven into the raw fiber of Doulos, is relationship. If you’ve ever stepped foot on the Doulos campus, you know that it is teeming with energy, but WHERE does that energy come from?

Ms. Bryan on Monday mornings (she loves Mondays …well, it seems that she actually loves ALL the days!)?

Mr. Stomprud with his quirky sense of humor?

It could quite possibly be Ms. Rosalina, who is the hub of all knowledge and hospitality at the helm in the office?

Or is it the first and second graders on the front row of the amphitheater all-a-flutter with excitement that creates that energy?

Could it be Mr. Griffin with his endless supply of high fives and machukas or Mr. Phelps with his extreme positivity powering the school?

Or maybe that energy is created by Mr. Alfonso and his break dance moves?

What about that 10th grade class with their big personalities or those seniors that are like horses pointed towards the barn at the downhill slope of their final year at Doulos?

What about Ms. Carolina and Ms. Ann who are able to make learning as appealing as lollipops and who are expert kitten herders?

Mr. Cesar Valdez with his consistent leadership, meek and humble spirit and tireless efforts could quietly produce a lot of energy?

What about Ms. Mer and her artsy ways and sweet voice of worship?

Ms. Rosmery and her crew of helpers who make lining up exciting?

Mr. Lowe with his stapler ceremony and spinning wheel for presentations could certainly be a major part of the source?

How could I forget that service learning team on campus, all bright eyed and bushy tailed as they serve alongside us or that sponsor who is on the ground in the D.R. visiting with their student?

What about all of the unseen people, working diligently and quietly whose presence is not always known but who make everything else run smoothly – the Susannas, Marlenes, Leos, Joses, Eladios, Yesenias, Merediths, Joyces, Kylies, Jonathans, Danias.

Clearly, I could go on and on and mention everyone on campus because every single person and area contributes to this special ant hill of creative learning and Jesus loving. Like most places, there is a wide array of personalities and giftings, but the thread of relationship binds all of this place called DOULOS together and creates the unique and special blend of energy that is experienced on our campus. You could say that Doulos is powered by relationship. Ultimately, it is because of Jesus and our relationship with Him that we do what we do and how we love like we love. All of the love that radiates out of a bunch of wildly different yet singularly focused on Jesus people is hugely powerful!

If you are reading this and are, have been or will be connected with us in the future, thank you for being an impactful part of relationship.

Literally and/or figuratively, have you ever been in darkness so thick that there was no trace of light? A veil of inky blackness that consumes your sight, whose depth of darkness leaves you squinting for the slightest break of pattern in the blackness so as to be able to focus . . . but to no avail?

Darkness is the absence of light. Darkness can not define itself, it needs light to do that. The second that the smallest amount of light interacts with it, it is no longer dark. At daybreak, the darkness does not turn itself off, but is pressed in upon by the light – thus no more darkness. Light triumphs over darkness and not vice versa.

“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” –John 1:5

Recently, a group of Doulos staff (& company) visited a remote part of the island, 7,000 feet above sea level in a hidden away spot thriving with blankets of flowers and tucked in by forests of pine and cedar trees. This refreshing spot is untouched by human hands for the most part, dappled with a few small cabins, where the sounds of sheep bleating, turkeys gobbling and fresh air wafting through the mountainside is the music of tranquility.

Away from electricity and high up in the clouds, the air is cold (for a tropical island) and solar powered lights, a cozy fire in the fire place and the moon are the only source of light once the sun drifts away. When the fire burns out, and the lights lose their juice, it is very, very dark. The darkest dark I have ever physically experienced. Though I’m a grown woman, the extreme darkness was overwhelming for me, and I began to anticipate, hunger for, deeply yearn for the light. When I opened my eyes to dawn each morning, I became giddy in my spirit. LIGHT!

It was there in that place where the truth and message of Jesus, the light of the world, met me in a fresh way on the brink of this advent season.  We are in the season of celebrating Jesus’ birth of putting on human flesh so that He could walk among us, die on behalf of us, and save us from our sinful selves by receiving Him as Savior.  Jesus is the LIGHT, and when we accept and receive him, He is in us. The LIGHT is in us. We have the LIGHT because we have HIM.

This season of anticipation and hope has little to do with great deals, cyber sales, gatherings, good food, Santa, elves, reindeers,  or “home,” – though those are all fun things. It has everything to do with the fact that we were in total darkness, consumed by the inky blackness of sin, self and flesh, and then the Light of the World was born unto the earth, offering those who would receive Him the gift of eternal life.   There is not a single fact more hope filled than this!

Is there someone in your midst who may be living in darkness, someone who is yearning for LIGHT? Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, if you have Jesus, you can shine His light that is in you and point them to Him.

Are you living in such comfort that you’ve ceased yearning for Jesus?  Let us not be consumed by the things of this world, but remain steadfast, focused and plugged into the hope that we have that is Christ Jesus. I pray more than anything else that you would be giddy with Joy because of the LIGHT that you have received and that you can now offer to others!