dominican republic

The Result of Obedience

This may be a long post, but hang in there with me folks...I promise it's worth the read. This summer One Vision had a record number of trips to the Dominican Republic. We took two teams in June, three teams in July, and one in August. At one point, teams were departing the DR one day, and a new team was arriving the next.

Early on we wondered, "Can we handle this many trips?", "Will this be too much for our staff and volunteers?", "Will there be enough to do for so many teams, so close together?" (I imagine God laughing and shaking His head at us as we pondered these things)

God has richly blessed us this summer with renewed energy, drive, and a passion to share His Gospel. During each trip He revealed Himself in a new way to our staff, trip participants, and men, women, and children in the DR. We were given the opportunity to reach out to others in so many different ways from Martial Arts to Stomp performances to Medical Check-ups to just spending time sitting in peoples homes.

There were times for learning

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Times for playing

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Times for practicing new skills

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Times for check-ups

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And times of encouragement

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What do all of those moments have in common? Relationship building!! All to often we travel overseas with a specific project and a list of to-do items. While all of these "to-do" items are intended to help and serve others, they also shift our focus from God's calling in our love our neighbors as ourselves and make disciples. We worry "If we don't finish painting this room, the trip will not be a success", or, "If they do not receive Christ as their Savior this week, what have I accomplished?"

The truth is, One Vision's goal in taking mission trips is not to save others, it is not to change hearts, change attitudes, or change lives. It is to be obedient, whatever the cost, to the calling to GO and believing that God will use our faithfulness to change the hearts and lives of others for His glory.

Perhaps one of the best examples of this is Mercedes, aka "Nena". One of our teams was scheduled to rebuild her home that was in need to repair. We had taken pictures, priced construction materials, and had begun working out all of the logistics. When it came time to make the final decision, the funding for such an undertaking simply wasn't ready. We worried that she would be disappointed or upset at the change of events but the team made new plans to hand out food baskets and simply spend time with people in the community.

As one group went door to door, they came to Nena's home. She welcomed them in and they all spent time talking; talking about life, family, blessings, trials and Jesus. That afternoon the same woman that we thought would be upset with our inability to build her home asked Christ to become her Savior. She did not feel cheated because our "team project" was not completed but rather felt joy that we had brought her a much better and eternal gift.

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Want to know the best part?? That sort of relationship building does not need to be left in the DR or overseas in a foreign country. We can build the same relationships that point to Jesus in our own state, our own town, and in our own families.

The Word does not say that obedience is easy or comfortable, but is does say that it is mandatory. 2 John 1:6


Help Them Learn

In the Dominican Republic, school is relatively similar. Children come in the mornings to learn math, writing, reading, and history. However, one difference the children in the after-school program face is that they are not allowed to attend school in their area unless they have a uniform.

This may seem reasonable considering a uniform calls for khaki pants, a light blue button down shirt, and black closed-toe shoes (any stye). Easy enough right?


Unfortunately not. Often families can not afford these basic items and suddenly a simple school uniform is the only thing standing in between a child staying at home or receiving an education. 

We have been collecting uniforms for the children in the after school program but we are asking for one last push! If you are able to purchase a school uniform for a child please contact Emily Lee at She will send you sizes for a specific child.

Don't have time to go shopping? We understand! (Some days you feel lucky to have enough time to sit down for a meal) We can purchase the uniform for you if you are willing to donate $40 and write "school uniform" in the memo line.

We can not thank you enough for helping our kids go to school!

What Makes A Family

Often when we think of our family, we think of mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. For some the list is long, for others it is a small group of close knit relatives. But what really makes up a family? Only blood relatives? Do close family friends count? Perhaps you include your church family?

However you determine who makes the cut, the characteristics are always the same: love.....commitment.....forgiveness.....sacrifice.....and an unwavering loyalty no matter the circumstance. What's great about family is that it is always changing and growing. Whenever you feel your family is complete, a new addition comes along and suddenly you can't imagine life without them. But can you imagine having a family member that you have never met?

This is often the case with child sponsorship. You support a child, and by doing so, invite them into your family. You sacrifice financially for them, you give of your time to pray for them, and you may even communicate with them through letters or gifts. However, none of this compares to meeting them, hugging them, or seeing their personality first hand. Below is a testimony from the Webb Family and their experience meeting Jannel:

We recently returned from the One Vision/Sevier Heights Family Mission trip to the Dominican Republic.  This was the third time our family has gone on this trip, and we think this was the best trip so far.  We were able to spend more time with the kids in the community this year, build on relationships we had made last year, serve together again, and meet the child we sponsor in the Dominican Republic (Jannel – age 11).  We could quickly see that Jannel is a very tough young boy, but when Claudia (one of the One Vision full time missionaries in the DR) introduced us to him and explained who we were, Jannel gave us all big hugs and tears welled up in his eyes.  It was obvious how much he truly appreciates the sponsorship through One Vision.  He would come give us hugs each day when we got to the community and when we left.  He also introduced us to his friends as his Godparents.  We would encourage anyone considering sponsoring a child in the DR to give One Vision a call – we saw firsthand how much it means to the children in the DR.

It was great to be back in the DR again serving with the One Vision team and the rest of the team from Sevier Heights.

Thank you One Vision and Edgard, Claudia, Alex, Junior, Maria, Angel and Jorge (the One Vision team in the DR) for the great work you are doing in the DR and for taking such good care of us!  Thank you also Carl for all you did in leading our team!

The Webbs (Gary, Tiffany, Alex and Grant)


The Webb's may have only raised two children but they have made a lasting impact on a third. When they chose to support Jannel, they not only became child sponsors, they became Godparents and their family grew just a little bit more.

A Prayer for Comfort

Today there are heavy hearts in the Dominican Republic.


Rosanna is a young girl who is a part of our after-school program in the DR. This week she lost her parents, Antonio and Rosa, in a car accident. She is only seven years old. The loss of a loved one is never easy to bear, and there are no magic words to comfort her but we are thankful that we know the Eternal Comforter and the Giver of Peace.

Claudia, Edgard, and the staff at the after-school program treat each of the children like family and are there to support and grieve with Rosanna. As an extended One Vision Family, we ask that you would support Rosanna through your prayers. As we have said before, prayer is the most powerful and effective tool that the Holy Spirit provides and we hope that you will join us in an effort to bring peace, healing, and comfort to Rosanna and the rest of her family.

Here are a few specific ways you can pray for Rosanna:

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,  who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

- You can encourage Rosanna, not only through prayer, but through writing her a letter. You can mail your letter to P.O. Box 20608 Knoxville, TN 37940 and we will deliver it to her personally.

James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

- I personally never know what to say to someone who has lost a family member. However, our prayers for others are often much stronger than our words. While we may not be able to be there for Rosanna physically, we can lift her up in prayer to her Heavenly Father.

Thank you for being diligent prayer partners and taking the time to encourage Rosanna today and in the coming weeks. 



The Power of Prayer

At One Vision International, we believe in the power of prayer.


Prayer can heal, restore, and bring strength to the weak. It brings intercession for the needy and gives thanks for our undeserved blessings. It is what we do for the people of Haiti and the Dominican Republic daily and what we covet from you.

We want to honestly and openly share our prayer requests with you so that you can become prayer warriors on our behalf but mostly on the behalf those in other countries that depend on intercession from the Lord to meet their basic needs. When I say basic needs I am referring to food, shelter, medicine, and clothing but I am also referring to love, hope, joy, and the freedom that comes from knowing your Lord and trusting Him.

1. We are blessed with the ability to send containers to Haiti. Some are filled with food, some construction materials, and some with other supplies for the children. However, the process of getting a container through customs in Haiti and released to the orphanage is much longer and complex than you might imagine. Some days it feels like only a miracle will get our containers to the orphanage on time. We currently have two containers waiting to be released and, by the grace of God, we just got word that one should be released and on its way to the orphanage by early next week! Pray that this process will go smoothly. Also, pray that the second container will be released quickly so Francisco and Cecile can receive and use the much needed supplies! 

2. The second group of children recently joined the child sponsorship program in the Dominican Republic! We are excited to get to know each one and are working hard to find them sponsors. As we learn their stories from Claudia and Edgard we are excited that they are a part of the after-school program but also broken-hearted by what some of them have endured at such a young age. Please pray that God would use Claudia, Edgard, Mathilde, and the other adults to show them the healing power of Jesus Christ. Also, pray for peace, reconciliation, and kindness in their homes and hearts.

3. We hope to have the children officially moved in to the One Vision Children's Home this fall! The Sevier Heights VBS will be working to collect money for landscaping this summer so that their new house will start to feel like a home. Often the closer we get to doing great things for God the harder the spiritual warfare becomes. Pray that the Haitian and American staff will hold fast to the promises of the Lord and the transition will be smooth (and certainly exciting) for the children.


4. Pray for Claudia and Edgard as they travel, within the country, and back home early next week. God has already proven Himself faithful in getting them here safely and providing OVI with the opportunity to introduce such faithful servants to everyone in Tennessee! Pray that the Lord will give them the words to accurately describe what He is doing in the Dominican Republic and plant a seed of passion in others for their country. 

I can't express how thankful we are for your thoughts and prayers. God's word says "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16) and we not only believe it... we have experienced it.