From June 9-11, as part of an ongoing attempt by the Global Mission office of the Church of the Brethren in the US to encourage unity and reconciliation in the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic (Iglesia de los Hermanos Republica Dominicana), retired pastor Alix Sable of Lancaster, Pa., and Global Food Initiative (GFI) manager Jeff Boshart met with church leaders.
Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) for a tornado response and rebuilding program in Kentucky, aid to Ukrainian refugees and others affected by the war, a hurricane response in Honduras, projects of the Church of the Brethren in the Democratic Republic of Congo, among other needs.
For the first time since 2019, leaders of the Global Church of the Brethren Communion met in person, hosted by the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic (DR). Leaders representing Brazil, the DR, Haiti, Honduras, India, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Spain, and the United States met for five days, including days of meetings and visits to agricultural projects.
Brethren Disaster Ministries staff and the Atlantic Southeast District leadership are continuing to reach out to affected churches and communities to learn of the impact of the storm and the needs that have developed. So far there are no reports of injury among church members, but there is news of minor damage in two churches.
Small, but important steps were taken this year in the life of Iglesia de los Hermanos (Church of the Brethren) in the Dominican Republic.
The Global Mission office of the Church of the Brethren has instituted a new communication tool named Country Advisory Teams (CATs). These teams are a way for the Global Mission leadership to stay informed and better understand each country or region where Church of the Brethren partners are involved.
Jason and Nicole Hoover have concluded their work with the Church of the Brethren Global Mission and Service program in the Dominican Republic in order to begin working with Solid Rock International.
Three new grants from Church of the Brethren funds will aid projects in Honduras, Indonesia, and Haiti, responding to disasters and assisting training for farmers. Two of the grants come from the denomination’s Emergency Disaster Fund. The most recent provides $18,000 in emergency relief for Honduras, which suffered severe flash flooding in its southern region
In the 1990s, a wave of Dominicans began leaving their home country to look for a better life in Spain. Members of Iglesia de los Hermanos (the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic) were among them. In time they established the Church of the Brethren in Spain and continue to plant new fellowships across the country.
“Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have been monitoring the situation in the areas already, or soon to be, affected by the hurricanes,” reports Roy Winter, associate executive director of Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries. Staff are “coordinating response efforts and planning with Church World Service and other church partners.”