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Education is the key to unlock the world of illiteracy, poverty, and hunger that prevails in our Sabaneta neighborhood. We are working hard to help provide school children with the required uniforms, books, and supplies. As we have watched many excellent students grow up and finish high school, we are now helping them pursue their university studies by providing funds to pay tuition and purchase books. We have supported medical students, law students, teachers, accountants, and a host of others. It is one of our deepest prayers that we will continue to have the funds to help these students finish their studies, enter the work force, and achieve great things for their families and for the glory of Our Heavenly Father.
Over a period of 11 consecutive years, a medical team consisting of family practice and pediatric physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, dentists, dental hygienists, and most importantly, translators, have established a medical presence each spring within the Sabaneta de Yasica area and surrounding villages. With the team comes donated medications and equipment, which the people seen within each clinic receive at no cost, and which would otherwise not be accessible to them. The Clinics are scheduled and run with the help of the local church and its members. The same team has brought construction workers each year and has helped build at least 4 outlying chapels in small villages with great need. In recent years, these chapels have become clinic centers for our medical caregivers during their work in these villages each spring. Close to 2000 patient contacts are made during the one week the team travels from chapel to chapel. The team's work covers the spectrum of medical need in this impoverished area. Families are seen for child care and given vitamins and access to water filters. Antibiotic and antiparasitic medications fill a major need. Dental extractions are done in large volumes, dealing with the painful and neglected health issue of dental decay. Minor surgeries from laceration repair, finger and toe surgery, abscess incisions, and so on, can fill out a busy clinic day. The team finds itself frequently staffed by multiple year returning volunteers. It works, lives, and shares as a team, and finds many of the local people returning from year to year, to receive the only medical care they know; this made possible through God's Church, and the people who love Him..
Since 1995, we have been involved in setting up free clinics and giving away millions of dollars’ worth of medicines in very poor neighborhoods in Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. We have also worked at several schools and churches in Venezuela, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. Presently, we are working toward providing decent housing and health care for Haitian refugees in and near Sabaneta de Yasica on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. To accomplish this goal, in 2005 we purchased property, a lot large enough (650 sq. meters) for three very basic homes. We have built three, 900 sq. ft., cement floor, concrete block, tin-roof, hurricane-proof homes at the cost of about $15,000US each. Currently there are 23 people living in our three houses. In 2007 we purchased adjoining property (another 650 sq. meters) and have since constructed a soup kitchen/pavilion, a clinic, and a church; these three structures have become very important centers of activity for our community. At the soup kitchen we can provide hot meals to neighborhood kids and adults who are hungry; often as many as 50 kids show up to eat lunch. At the clinic we can provide basic health care and medicines for to up to 350 patients a month. Pastor Sammuel Exanor leads a vibrant group of worshippers at many services throughout the week at the New Life Christian Church, located between the clinic and the soup kitchen.
Journey Into Hope, Inc. is an independent, private, charitable foundation dedicated to improving the health and living conditions of desperately poor people in Latin America and the Caribbean. In whatever way we can, and using whatever means most appropriate to each situation, we strive simply to improve the health and general well-being of people suffering from sickness, hunger, and inadequate (or no) housing caused by extreme poverty. Although we are a Christian foundation deeply moved by the words of Jesus Christ “…whatever you do not do for the least of these, you do not do for me,” we reach out to help, and to receive help from, people of all faiths. By far, the very poorest of the poor in the Dominican Republic are the Haitian refugees; the most obvious needs of many of these families are a dry place to live and food to eat. Presently, hundreds of Haitians are living in the dirt and mud in the flood plain of the Sabaneta River. Seasonal rains bring as much as four feet of raging water into the tin and cardboard shacks of these people, and they are forced to evacuate several times a year. With adequate housing on dry land, we can dramatically improve not only the living conditions of these folks, but also their overall standard of health. All the best medicines in the world will not keep people healthy if they are malnourished, living in the mud and drinking and cooking with contaminated river water. Vision
Over the past several years we have been incredibly, amazingly blessed with sufficient resources to build our soup kitchen, our clinic, our church and our houses. Our challenge now is to sustain the very solid infrastructure we have created by providing the essentials, most basically rice and beans, medicines, and scholarships. In a way, building the infrastructure for the continuing daily work of Journey Into Hope has been the easy part; the Third World is scattered with abandoned buildings, many of them very beautiful and expensive, built by well-meaning individuals, churches, non-profits, or civic-minded clubs and organizations. But once the initial excitement of the building process has come and gone, the real work of sustaining the vision begins. A clinic without medicine and electricity changes quickly from a dream to a nightmare full of sickness and suffering. A soup kitchen without rice and beans and cooking gas is just another building surrounded by hungry kids looking for something to eat and finding nothing; hunger comes around about every six hours whether we cook or not. Babies will be born to hungry and sick mothers whether we can help provide groceries and milk for them or not. In this neighborhood there is a very, very fragile line between survival and death. My Haitian friends often tell me, “Life for us is cheap,” which is a simple, real-life translation of the fact that the average life span for Haitians is 54 years, the lowest in the Western Hemisphere. Lack of proper nutrition and lack of decent healthcare and medicines are two of the most blatant causes for this unusually brief lifespan. We believe it is our responsibility as human beings to do all we can to help our brothers and sisters increase the value of their lives; indeed, for those of us who dare to call ourselves Christians, we are commanded to do just that. Sustaining the work of Journey Into Hope is a huge undertaking; it’s a community effort of many caring hearts and many caring churches. We ask each of you to pray for our work in Sabaneta and to help us help those whose “lives are cheap.” In His Most Holy Name, Richard
Journey Into Hope, Inc.501(c)(3) is officially classified as a public charity under code section 170 (b) (1) (A) (vi). Contributions to Journey Into Hope, Inc. are tax deductible under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. Journey Into Hope 501(c)(3) is also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the Code.
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