Outreach: Los Esperanza (formerly Los Algodones)
Early in 2011, the Ridgetown and District Christian Ministerial Association undertook a mission partnership with Los Algodones, a village in the Dominican Republic. In the spring, one group made an information-gathering trip to the village. In October (2011), another group, the “build team”, went to help in building a kitchen facility for the school in the village. The nineteen-person team finished building the kitchen, made repairs to the school and painted classrooms. By the time the team left, the kitchen was fully equipped and the children had enjoyed a noon meal. By October, the number of sponsored children was at 121.
By January, 2012, Mission Los Algodones became known as "Mission Esperanza". The former shantytown is completely gone and all the residents are now living in Villa Esperanza. The land of the former village is being ploughed under and will be the site of the vegetable gardens and agricultural project being kicked off with the visit of the team from Ridgetown in February. The response of the Ridgetown and area churches and supporters has been wonderful - from prayerful support to financial support to the individuals committed to the build trip.
2013 - Five people from Ridgetown and area along with a family from Manitoba travelled to the Dominican in January for 1 week. The goal was to build a foundation for an already purchased 20,000 gallon water tank to install at the school in Villa Esperanza. Hydro to the village is sporadic so often there is no water. The tank would enable the school to always have potable water as they could fill it when the hydro was working. Thus, food to fill empty stomachs every day, working toilets, and running water in sinks. The team also painted the outside of the school and two of the most needed classrooms.
2015 - Our work here is nearing an end. The mission group "Baskets of Love" has taken over operation of the school. The kitchen has been converted to classrooms and any remaining funds that were donated for the kitchen operation are being diverted to a small village deeper in the jungle - where the need is greater.