The last year has been about redeveloping the La Represa ministries from the ground up thanks to the partnership between SCORE and New Vision Baptist Church. This year, we were focused on the children’s Bible program in the public and private primary schools in the community, the baseball ministry that provides daily practice and devotionals for boys, a literacy program for older students who have trouble reading and writing, family-focused events (worship night, Christmas dinner, Mother’s Day activity), school employee appreciation activities, and partnering with the local church. We have seen children, teachers, and parents get excited and express their thankfulness about what God is doing in these ministries, and we have had numerous opportunities to share the gospel throughout the last year. One of the greatest struggles in ministry in La Represa is that everyone knows the gospel. Almost everyone prays to God and believes that Jesus came to earth and died on the cross to ultimately forgive us for our sins. The missing factor is that few people want to actually surrender their lives to God. Because of this, we have been trying to change the way we teach and study the Bible within our ministries to make sure that important point isn’t forgotten. We are so grateful for the growth that we have seen in the La Represa ministries over the last year and are excited about kicking off another school year now that we are more established.
We are currently in the middle of our summer programs. We have a weekly Bible program for
all K-8 students where we are currently teaching about the armor of God. We are in the middle
of our second summer baseball tournament where we have 36 boys ages 9-17 hearing daily
devotionals and weekly Bible messages while they play their favorite sport. Those boys are also
doing a weekly Bible study to learn the basics of following Christ and reading His Word. We are
also continuing to work with the children who participate in the literacy program. Finally, we
are also going on home visits in order to get to know the families who are represented by the
250 children we work with on a weekly basis. As we go into their homes, we have had
opportunities to share the gospel, pray with families, and invite them to the local church. We
are also using the information from these visits to make a community map to use with future
mission teams and in our everyday ministry. We are so grateful for the moments we have had
getting to know the families in the community on a deeper level.
As a ministry, we are partnered with a local church that was planted by New Vision and is
dedicated to ministering to families and serving the community while teaching the gospel to all.
The church finished the construction of their building in April and is currently painting and
preparing for its grand inaugural service at the end of August. They are already having weekly
worship services and children’s Sunday school service in the building. They are also allowing us
to hold our weekly Bible program there. Over the last four months, 24 couples have been
participating in a marriage Bible study at this church and recently attended a marriage retreat
where they learned how to strengthen their marriages. Many of the couples are parents and
grandparents of children in our ministry, and we are so grateful to see them making a
commitment to be good examples for their children! As this church grows, we are confident
that we will have increased opportunities to partner with them.
Want to learn more about what’s happening in La Represa? Contact our missionary there:
Kristi was raised in a Christian home and accepted Christ at a young age. In middle school, she began to understand what it meant to follow Christ with her entire life, and she was baptized. Upon moving to Tennessee at age 13, she became involved in her church’s student ministry. Her relationship with Christ grew as she went on youth retreats and mission trips, and during that time she developed a love for ministry. She served as a student ministry intern in college and later worked as the high school ministry associate.
Growing up, Kristi was a homebody and said she would never move too far from her family. That changed in 2009 when she went on her first trip to the Dominican Republic with her church. She felt at home in the community of La Represa from day one and soon realized her desire to live there was a calling from God. In 2013, she moved there with one of her best friends who felt the same calling to serve the children and youth of the community. She worked alongside a team of missionaries for three and a half years before moving back to Tennessee in 2017 for a much-needed time of rest and quality time with her growing family.
During her time in La Represa, Kristi fell in love with Alejandro, who she had met on one of her first trips to the community. He proposed in May 2017 while she was visiting, and the two were married in April 2018. Alejandro currently works in the sports ministry as the baseball coach, and Kristi manages child sponsorships as the Children’s Ministry Director. They are excited to finally be reunited and to serve as husband and wife in the community they both love.