Category: partner spotlight

Redemptive Impact

Intervening for a

Redemptive Impact

Doulos was blessed to receive a visit from Denise Weiss-Salinas, an Occupational Therapist who was able to observe and consult for the benefit of several of our developmentally delayed students. She spent time in the classroom and in a family home, shedding light on remedial strategies for improving our intervention understanding and efforts.

Much of what love means, is the willingness to intercede for the benefit of others. Helpless people can sometimes be hopeless people who need an advocate. In accordance with the mission statement of Doulos Discovery School, the ultimate purpose of our work here is “to impact the Dominican Republic”.

“Educating and equipping servant leaders through
Christian discipleship and expeditionary learning to
impact the Dominican Republic

But just what is the nature of that intended impact? It’s suggested by our desire to see Servant Leaders raised up. It’s explained in our desire to inculcate Christian values, teachings, and a Biblical worldview. But what is our desired outcome? What kind of impact do we hope and pray for? In a word: Redemptive. Change isn’t good merely for it’s own sake. Redemptive change is our goal! Just as, in Christ, God redemptively impacted a fallen world, we seek to intervene to improve what already works, to restore what was broken, to rebuild what’s been damaged, to give hope for despair.

Accordingly, we seek to lovingly intervene in dysfunctional systems and people. As the Redeemer did, we “put skin in the game” and interpose solely for the benefit of the loved one, and for the glory of God.

Low test scores, speech pathologies, and other perceptual impediments, can appear to be a permanent condition. But they are not always so! At times we can help parents discover that their child is only suffering from a learning delay that may be treated and resolved. Often the help that’s provided is as much for the benefit of giving hope to disappointed parents, as for the child. Families can be made aware of resources that hold the promise of redeeming a situation with their child that had appeared to be an insurmountable challenge.

We are grateful to Denise, who came in the company of her carpenter son, Hezekiah, whose energetic help was a redemptive work of it’s own on our campus!

Sponsorship Paves a Road to a Diploma

“Our hope in sponsoring a Doulos student is that we can walk alongside our student over the years and celebrate together on graduation day!”

—Kathy P., current sponsor

Albert likes hanging out with his sponsors.
There is much to be said about the joy and sacrifice of sponsoring a student through Doulos, but today we are going to focus on the finish line, whether it is far away or on the horizon. For the Plankenhorn family, their sponsored student is currently in first grade, and he won’t graduate until 2029.

While 2029 may seem like a long way off, Albert will be wearing a cap and gown in the blink of an eye, and Lord willing, Kathy and Trevor and their family, will be in the audience smiling proudly, celebrating with giddy excitement at the achievement that they helped accomplish by saying “YES!” to sponsorship so many years prior.

Right now, the Plankenhorns have a macro-view of sponsorship at Doulos because they live, love, serve here, and they’ve had a great chance to get to know Albert and his family and invest in relationship with them. It may not always be the case that they have such a “close up” opportunity like they have right now. Knowing them, however, and their commitment to Albert, no amount of distance will prevent them from continuing on in encouraging and supporting Albert’s education. After all, they are already planning to celebrate together at the Graduation Ceremony 2029!

The Plankenhorns desire to follow in the footsteps of legendary sponsors who started investing in relationship with their student when they very young all the way until they received their diploma. Regardless of whether or not a sponsor started from the very beginning or came into the picture later with an older student, we are grateful that sponsorship is something that we can celebrate together! A big “MUCHAS GRACIAS” to all those who give towards sponsorship from all of us at Doulos!

Partnership Spotlight: The Loftsgaarden Family

Jeff and Colleen Loftsgaarden

Our partners play a crucial role in carrying out our mission. They’re not just investing in a school or a ministry; they’re investing in change-makers for Jesus. Sometimes we may think that partnerships only benefit the ministry receiving support, but as Jeff and Colleen Loftsgaarden will tell you, being a partner changes the lives of everyone involved.

Jeff and Colleen Loftsgaarden are longtime partners of Doulos. They’ve been with us since the very beginning when Doulos was just an idea that started around a campfire with Chad and Krista Wallace, the founders of Doulos. That idea has turned into a lifelong investment for Jeff and Colleen, and has impacted many lives for the sake of the Gospel.

We sat down and spoke with the Loftsgaardens about what their partnership has meant to them and how it has evolved over the years. When talking about their partnership, they say one of the most rewarding things as a longtime partner is the ability to witness the development of Doulos throughout the years. When Jeff and Colleen jumped onboard with Chad and Krista’s vision, the campus consisted of a simple, vacant building. Since then, they’ve watched it grow to become an impressive campus with multiple buildings, soccer fields, a basketball court, an amphitheater, a garden, and hundreds of students. They’ve seen both the campus and the student body continually grow, and Colleen mentions she loves seeing the graduating senior class increase every year.

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always..." Matthew 28:19-20
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always…” Matthew 28:19-20

Partnerships with Doulos can look differently and evolve over time. The Loftsgaarden’s partnership has done just that. Originally they supported the physical labor and construction of the campus and they now support Doulos financially. They’ve supported our students in their education, our Service Learning Teams, and now our staff. Jeff co-owns Spirit Mountain Coffee Plantation and provides unlimited Dominican coffee to our staff, which is a necessity we all greatly appreciate.

According to Jeff, it’s easy for he and Colleen to support a school with a “tremendous vision and a committed staff.” Knowing half of Doulos’ students are in our sponsorship program and the staff is dedicated and willing to raise their own support makes it easy to give. They believe in using what God has blessed them with to bless others, and in return “it’s changed [their] lives and it’s changed [their] church.”

Jeff and Colleen’s partnership reaches far beyond Doulos and the community of Jarabacoa. Their home church has been consistently involved in what’s going on at Doulos by sending down Service Learning Teams every year. Jeff says he’s seen the trips change the lives of many team members.

Their hope moving forward in their partnership is to continue supporting Doulos and make trips down to Doulos every year to continue serving and to see the continued growth of Doulos. They say they’ll be partners forever and we couldn’t be more grateful for their dedication and generosity.

We are blessed to count them on our ministry team, and honored to call them friends.

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