SAMS’ long-term missionaries will go on Home Ministry Assignments (HMA) every few years to reconnect and visit with family, their home church, and Senders. SAMS Missionaries also stop into the SAMS Home Office to share their ministry happenings and to debrief their time in the field.
Cathy (right) visits the SAMS Office and gifts Associate Director with a collage of ministry photos from the Dominican Republic.
Recently, Cathy Donahoe, who serves in the Dominican Republic, made her journey back to the States to spend time with her Senders and the churches that are involved in her ministry. Cathy serves in several ministries in the Dominican Republic. She is a physical therapist, teaching classes at the university in the capital city. She also has a consolation ministry in her neighborhood, which involves members of her church bringing words of comfort and scripture to those in the community. In the recent years, Cathy took on a construction ministry, helping restores homes in the community that were affected by last year’s hurricane.
She has a full schedule in the Dominican Republic, making Home Ministry Assignment an important time of rest and renewal, and while the HMA calendar can fill up fast, there are ways to help your missionary during this transitional time. Here are four ways you can serve them:
Set up a time to Share: As a church, give your missionary a designated time during the service to share how the Lord is working through their ministry. It allows those who support them to hear about how their prayers and giving have contributed. It also may inspire new people to get involved.
Invite Missionaries to join your Bible study: This is a time of refreshment in the Lord for missionaries, but they may have been away for a long period of time, making it difficult to get connected with a community. Reach out and invite them to take part in your prayer or Bible Study group.
Ask Intentional Questions: Let your missionary know that you want to hear about their ministry. By showing an interest in the details of their ministry, you are letting missionaries know you care about their life and work. Some examples are:
What is your typical day like for you?
How have you seen God work in a person’s life while on the field?
How can I be praying for you?
Be an active Listener: Sometimes just sitting and listening to someone is all the help they need. According to Serving as Senders by Neal Pirolo active listening says, “I am with you. I will take the time. I will put energy into really hearing you, not just what your surface words are saying.”
What are some ways you have served missionaries on home assignment? Missionaries, what’s a way someone has really blessed you during this time? Leave a comment!
Bishop Skilton (our retired assistant bishop) loves to remind us that God is good, all the time. My last quarterly asked you to consider God’s call to you in helping my neighbors with their housing needs and God moved many to help, raising over $7,000 for this project, without limiting the gifts for the regular ministry. THANK YOU! We have been handing out applications for assistance and are starting to look at the returned applications and visit the homes to see how we can best help. Please pray for God to guide us in our decisions as to whom and how to help. This is our most recent project, Avida’s house before and after.
Teaching continues to be my primary focus in terms of physical therapy ministry. This spring term I have 3 classes all of them in the new curriculum which started in January 2014. Most of the terms since then, I have had a new class to prepare and this is no exception. Many of those classes I taught only once or twice, but we have reached the point where the three neurology classes are now open. Many of those classes have had the same core group of students. In this picture, we are working on wheelchair mobility tasks to better help patients who have neurological conditions, such as spinal cord injuries.
It is close to the time for my next home ministry assignment and I am planning to return to Colorado for the fall term. My hope is to visit supporting churches and share in person about how God is working in the DR, during the months of September through December. It is a short time to visit everyone, and some visits will need to be creative, as there won’t be enough Sundays to visit all on Sundays. We can start the rough sketch of planning anytime now, with details firmed up closer to the time. Please pray that God is in control of all that will take place during this home ministry assignment.
Thank you for your support for this ministry! May God bless and guide you in all you do.
Cathy Donahoe is a SAMS Missionary and Physical Therapist serving in the Dominican Republic. You can support here
God uses all sorts of people to teach us about his love and his sacrifice for us. One Sunday a little boy was visiting with his mom and grandfather. He was quiet and respectful during the service, so I was surprised to find him crying when I returned from communion. He was crying because of what had happened to Jesus. I tried to comfort him with the positive outcome for us of his sacrifice, but knew it had been a long time since I’d been touched so deeply by the crucifixion.
Jesus told us we need to come to him as children, and this innocence, unjaded by life’s experiences and stresses of the world pulling us this way and that way, is requisite for our hearts to fully open to the Holy Spirit. Lent is a perfect time to reflect on what is pulling us away from our commitment to be faithful servants of Christ and go about repenting and breaking these barriers down, all with God’s help.
Thank you for your support and prayers! Please continue praying for wisdom with my teaching and for the construction team as we consider whom and how to help.
This past hurricane season was a rough one throughout the Caribbean as I’m sure you’ve heard. Hurricane Maria is the one who inflicted the most damage to the Dominican Republic, but thankfully we didn’t have the significant damage that many of the other islands suffered. Thankfully God moved hearts to make gifts to improve housing this past year and we’ve assisted 9 families so far to improve their living circumstances. The projects have ranged from minor repairs, to partial or complete new roofs and even a new home. Jan has a new home now, pictured here with before and after shots. He invited a neighboring family to shelter with him during the storms that hit this fall, as they await their turn for assistance. There are many families still living in leaky and insecure structures needing assistance. Should you feel drawn to help with this project, please send a check to SAMS with “Donahoe Project”in the memo line and 100% of your gift will go towards improving housing for people in need in my community. Please pray for discernment in which families to help and to what extent.
At the university this year, I have had a total of 9 classes with about 180 students. Most of the classes have been in the neurology tract and have been a mix of the old and new curriculum students. We are 3 years into the new curriculum and there are notable improvements with the students’ understanding and abilities. God has continued to shape my teaching style, to which many students seem to respond well. Please pray for wisdom with my teaching.
I am very grateful for your support and that God has given me the opportunity to be a part of these ministries.
May you have a very Merry Christmas and may God fill your 2018 with amazing blessings!
Summer is always an intense time for me. The heat is tremendous and with air conditioning, a very limited commodity, it takes its toll. I remember flexibility being one of the characteristics that Peace Corps was interested in for potential volunteers. It seems to be the same for missionaries. This summer term I started with 2 classes and ended with 4. While I enjoyed the students and the classes, both additions were new to me so required more preparation and an extra day and a half in the capital every week. The pictures are students learning about plyometrics and my group in the clinical rotation on our last day as a group. The director of the program recently left on maternity leave, though she will be checking in here and there. Please pray for her and her first child, as well as all the professors as we head into a new term the beginning of September without our director helping to put out fires that inevitably crop up.
A few years ago, God granted me the opportunity to stay in housing at the seminary during my nights in the capital, and I therefore had the pleasure of sharing a bit in the community life with the seminarians. They were in their first year of studies then and we shared dinner and Morning Prayer regularly that year. Recently I had the distinct pleasure of joining them at their graduation. Their ordination will take place soon. Please join me in giving thanks to God for these hard-working servants who are heading into the world to spread God’s word and love to God’s people! May God bless, guide and strengthen their ministries and their lives!
Thank you for your support for this ministry! May you see God at work in your daily life!
Cathy Donahoe is a SAMS Missionary and Physical Therapist serving in the Dominican Republic.