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!
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!
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://give.samsusa.org/
Cards/letters: Cathy Donahoe, Apartado 587, San Pedro de Macoris 21000, Dominican Republic