When I moved to the Dominican Republic 10 years ago, I didn’t know how long I would be here, and I still don’t know. Throughout these 10 years, the ministry has morphed from primarily treating patients needing physical therapy, to primarily teaching Dominican physical therapy students, which certainly has a greater impact on how Dominicans are treating their patients. God has been very active throughout these years here, preparing me all along through relationships established and experience gained for each phase of the ministry. In addition to the physical therapy aspect of the ministry, God has been using me in my congregation and community in various service ministry roles.
This edition will have fewer words and more pictures, in a recap of these years of ministry. More photos are available on my website. Thank you for joining this ministry! Please continue to pray for the students, the Dominican therapists, the community of Santa Fe and for God’s love to reach all corners of this island!
Consolation ministry (2008-now): Juan who suffered a spinal cord injury and returned home without hope.
Clinic work (2007-2012 patient care, 2012-now ancillary role): Therapy staff with students from Regis University at my house.
Las Chicas Nices (2008-now): We are singing at the Encuentro en Mision 2013 in the cathedral. (Photo courtesy of Julius Ariail)
University ministry (2010-now) Some of my students learning wheelchair mobility.
Construction ministry (2017): Maria is in her new, indoor kitchen.
Thank you for your support for this ministry! May God bless and keep you as you bless those you meet.
Cathy Donahoe is a SAMS Missionary and Physical Therapist serving in the Dominican Republic.
Donations: SAMS, PO Box 399; Ambridge, PA 15003 with Cathy Donahoe in the memo line of the check or go to the website https://secure-q.net/Donations/SAMS/3311 or https://samsusa.org/givetomissionaries
Cards/letters: Cathy Donahoe, Apartado 587, San Pedro de Macoris 21000, Dominican Republic
Thanks to folks who responded with support for this new housing project, we have begun helping families. Mae is a widower with serious health issues that prevents her from being able to work. While she has a daughter, who is a professional, that daughter has a family with 3 children to care for as well. Her daughter helps as much as possible with medicines, it never seems to be enough and the condition of Mae’s house has been out of reach for needed repairs. As you see in the picture, the wood supporting her roof was rotten in many places. Working together with a local man skilled in construction, she sought others to help with the labor and our housing committee purchased the new wood and other supplies needed to repair her roof. It is still possible to join in this project as there are many families with needs. If you feel called to donate to this specific project, please send a check made out to SAMS, with “Donahoe project” in the memo line. 100% of your donation will go to materials and labor to improve people’s living conditions which will positively impact their health as well. Please pray for this ministry to make wise decisions and right actions to best benefit our neighbors in need.
The PT clinic continues to be of service to the community. The months of December and January are typically slow months due to various holidays, but even so the PT area stayed steady. February has seen increasing numbers of treatments given per week with high levels of patient satisfaction. There is still much to be done as we try to negotiate with insurances to be providers which will help ensure the sustainability of the clinic and as we further promote the service now offered. Please pray that the clinic continues to serve with integrity and thus become self-sustaining.
May you always sense God’s loving guidance and comfort in your life!
Dear Partners in mission, Nov. 15th 2016
When I was in 9th and 10th grade I ran hurdles in track and enjoyed the challenge of getting the steps right and clearing the hurdles well. Life presents us many hurdles of differing shapes and sizes, so getting the steps right is much more challenging. The opening of the PT clinic faced numerous hurdles throughout the process but opened mid-October. For me, the biggest hurdle was the last-minute dropping out of one of the therapists who had been planning to join us. She was the one I really wanted in the clinic because of her heart for Christ and her fellow-person. It caused me to doubt the opening, to doubt what others were saying to me and to doubt whether this was really a part of God’s plan after all. With prayer and conversation, a solution came to light that as an American PT made me uncomfortable, but this clinic is not in the US. A month or so after the opening, we have treated 20 patients for a total of 75 treatment sessions. Challenges continue to unfold but we continue to take them to God and find solutions. The goal to have this clinic sustain its monthly costs may take a few months to come to pass, but with God’s help will be achieved. Please pray that God be the controller of decisions for this physical therapy clinic, regardless of the hurdles that come before us.
Dear Partners in Mission,
How much are you willing to step out and fight for your neighbor? God calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves, but do we? The Episcopal Church in the DR has a martyr to give us an example of truly selfless living and love of our neighbor. Back in the 1930s, the dictator Trujillo was in power in the DR and had little tolerance for the Haitians who were living in the country at the time. He ordered their removal resulting in a blood bath along the border of Haiti and the DR. Thousands of Haitians were massacred in 1937. Trujillo was controlling communications tightly and the Reverend Charles Barnes, a missionary Episcopal priest, wrote about it to contacts in the US trying to raise awareness of the situation on the island. One of his letters was intercepted and he was martyred on July 26, 1938.
I was recently asked to give a sermon on readings that touched on justice merited by the Israelites for failure to comply with God’s commandments. While I didn’t bring Rev Barnes into the sermon, I did touch on whether we are truly reaching out to “save the weak and the orphan, defend the humble and needy; rescue the weak and the poor; deliver them from the power of the wicked.” (Psalm 82:3-4) With God’s help, we can help our neighbor in difficult times and as Christians, we are called to do so. Are you loving your neighbor as yourself? Please pray with me that you and I are strengthened through the Holy Spirit to respond to God’s call to us to truly love our neighbors, of all kinds.
Peace in Christ,