Category: Relational

“Joining Jesus” in the Doulos Sponsorship Program

One Family’s Experience in Relationship Building

We began sponsoring Doulos students in 2013 when we moved to a church in Minnesota where there was a partnership with Doulos. I was first drawn to this partnership with a school in the DR simply because my second language is Spanish. Then, as I learned more about Doulos Discovery School, especially the mission, and met people who were directly involved in the school/ministry, I knew I wanted to “join Jesus” in what He was doing in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic.

There are so many ways we can join Jesus on His mission to restore all people to a right relationship with God. One way, of course, is being a good steward of the finances He has given us. In the U.S., we often find ourselves easily giving money to help feed and clothe the world. And we are called to do that. But we can’t stop there! Those are the basics – the ones that tug at our hearts because we don’t want to see anyone live without food, water, clothes, and shelter. It makes us feel good when we give in this way. But joining Jesus on His mission is more than that. It includes developing relationships and, within those relationships, encouraging one another in the Spirit.

Busch Family Sponsor Student, Andry (wearing red)

When we first started sponsoring Doulos students, I was not thinking about “developing relationships.” I simply loved the mission of the school—and that this was a long-term commitment to helping not only individuals, but, ultimately, an entire nation (one person at a time!). The school values of Christian discipleship, expeditionary learning, and mixed economic student body (along with the amazing dedication and passion of the school staff!) plant “seeds” in these Doulos kids – and their families – that God waters. The Doulos graduates that I know (and I have developed a relationship with) are rich in the fruit of the Spirit! They are blessings to the Dominican Republic and will continue to positively impact their country. (I should mention that we as a family – my husband, 2 kids, and I – decided to not only be sponsors of Doulos kids, but also to be missionaries working for a year on the Doulos campus. This gave us a great opportunity to really develop relationships with some of these kids and their families and to experience, first hand, the dedicated staff.)

So, though developing relationships was not my initial intention when we started sponsoring students, I have come to see the great value in them. We can encourage each other and build each other up as we join Jesus in His mission to restore this broken world. Sponsoring Doulos students is a part of this great mission!

Love from Minnesota!

Michelle, Randy, Benjamin, and Caroline Busch

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!

Doulos Welcomes Our First Campus Brand Ambassador

Doulos Welcomes Our First Campus Brand Ambassador

Last semester at Doulos, we initiated our Brand Ambassador Program. The goal of this program is to have representatives on college campuses who believe in the mission of Doulos and who want to share what we are doing here with their peers in hopes that they, too, might capture our vision.

Michelle Howard, our very first brand ambassador, is a junior at Furman University. Michelle spent last summer with us as an intern during our summer camps. Michelle had the opportunity to support work teams, interact with Doulos students, and work closely with a mountain community we partner with called, Angosto. Michelle jumped on the opportunity to become our first brand ambassador because she believes in our mission. “I love Doulos, the kids and the staff there, and everything that Doulos stands for, and is about.”

As our brand ambassador, Michelle is responsible for being our voice on her campus. She speaks at various campus ministries, builds relationships, meets up with students to share more in-depth about what we are doing, and ultimately aids in our recruiting process on her campus. “I care about Doulos and believe in the school, and my desire is to take opportunities to share about what I care about.”

We are thankful for Michelle and her voice on Furman’s campus. We are excited about the opportunity to have Brand Ambassadors on other campuses across the country. What better way to hear about Doulos than from a peer who understands so well who we are? “I always go through the statistics about education in the DR because Doulos desires to create leaders who are smart, ambitious, and who love the Lord. I think that is really important.” Michelle has built enduring friendships with our Doulos students and staff, and has already made her way back to visit since last summer.

Are you a college student who has been impacted by what we are doing here at Doulos? If you are interested in more information about being a part of our Brand Ambassador team, please contact our Communications Director at kylie.dever@doulosdiscovery.org.

 

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!