world report

D.R. Dedicates a Church, Honors a Servant, Gives Thanks

January 30, 2024

From the Superintendent's DESK

John and Rodica Musgrave are in the Dominican Republic (D.R.) visiting several of our congregations there. This past week, they attended several services, including the dedication of the Maquiteria church in Santo Domingo and a Thanksgiving Day celebration in Quisqueya. In addition, they represented the Portland headquarters at the funeral service for a faithful servant, Francisca Sams. She was the widow of Hugo Sams who oversaw the Dominican work from April 1994 until his passing in February 2001.  

The dedication for the newly remodeled Maquiteria church, which was acquired in October, took place on Friday, January 26. The building soon filled to capacity with a smiling crowd of about 120, including many visitors. All were welcomed by the pastor and D.R. District Superintendent, Deivys Pichardo Cabrera, and then were led in the song “When We All Get to Heaven.”  

Following the opening prayer, a history of the Maquiteria work was given, and later in the evening, a video was shown that further chronicled events. In 2010, Brother Deivys began holding Apostolic Faith services in the neighborhood, which was a haven for drugs and crime. On Sundays, he made numerous trips with the church van to pick up local children for Sunday school. Many were eager to ride in the van, and the number in Sunday school quickly grew to eighty. Eventually, the parents started dropping off their children, and as these grew to young adults, they stayed out of trouble. This has had a great impact, changing the landscape of the neighborhood. Today, local children continue to populate the Sunday school knowing it is a place where they are loved—and are sure to receive treats. 

The service continued with the song “Wonderful Peace,” and then several pastors shared their testimonies. Sister Rodica also gave her testimony, and Brother John extended greetings on behalf of the Portland headquarters. The dedication message was taken from 1 Kings 8:1-11 and centered on “Right Actions Bringing Right Results.” Afterward, the platform ministers gathered around the pulpit, laid hands on it, and joined as Brother John gave the dedication prayer.

As the service concluded, an invitation to pray was extended to those needing salvation, and one young lady went forward. She received help, and then the closing prayer was given.   

On Saturday evening, the Musgraves joined about seventy for a service at the Ingenio Quisqueya church where Gledwin Mills is the pastor. Among the specials, they enjoyed several choir numbers including “Peace Be Still” and “Christ Alone” as well as a poem on life read by a young man.

The testimonies opened with the congregational song “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder.” Then five testified. Among them, one young man said he had learned as a new convert that the most important thing was to put God first.  

Before the message, the choir sang “How Great Is Our God.” Then the sermon was given on “The Power of Jesus’ Name” with text from Proverbs 22:1 and Philippians 2:9-11. The service was followed by a good time of prayer and fellowship.

On Sunday morning, a funeral was held to honor the life of Sister Francisca, who died on January 26 at the age of eighty-nine. Hector Guilamo Perez, pastor at Quisqueya La Romana officiated the service, which was attended by nearly two hundred. After he welcomed everyone, those present were led in several songs including “Oh, that Will Be Glory for Me.” An opening prayer was given by Heriberto Martinez Batista, the pastor of Residencial La Romana. Then Brother John made remarks and read a letter from the Portland headquarters offering condolences.

The service continued with many family members sharing testimonies, which made evident Sister Francisca’s faithfulness to the Lord. Then the song “Rock of Ages” was sung before Brother Deivys gave an exhortation from Revelation 14:13. The service concluded with the song “We’ll Never Say Goodbye” and prayer led by Andres Pichardo Richards, the pastor at Haina.

In the evening, the Musgraves attended a service with about one hundred others at the La Romana headquarters church where Brother Deivys is the pastor. The youth opened the service with several songs, and then the congregation sang several hymns. Two were in Spanish and included “Santo Es el Señor” or “Holy Is the Lord.”

The opening prayer was given by Elmo Smith Martin, the pastor at San Rafael del Yuma. Then testimonies were given, interspersed with such congregational songs as “How Great Is Our God.” The message was delivered from John 5:5-6 and focused on receiving what is needed, God’s way. The service closed with prayer and afterward, a dozen or more went forward to be anointed and prayed over. 

On Monday, our Quisqueya churches along with pastors, ministers, and congregants from throughout our work in the D.R., gathered in a sports arena to celebrate “Día de Acción de Gracias.” This is a national thanksgiving holiday, which our churches observe annually by coming together to give thanks to God.

The service began at 3:30 in the afternoon with over one thousand in attendance, including several visitors from the community. The first two song selections were in Spanish: “Nuestro Dios Poderoso Es” and “Más que Vencedor,” or “Our God Is Powerful” and “More than Conquerors.” There was a great response from the congregation to the music specials, as well as the messages later.

From the children’s choir (which numbered about two hundred) to the senior sisters, all the vocalists sang with inspiring enthusiasm and energy.

Throughout the service, there were various prayers, Scripture readings, testimonies, and exhortations given. Brother Hector led the opening prayer, and pastors Noemi King of Nagua and Brother Andres offered prayers for healing. Fiordaliza Demosthene, the National Ladies’ Superintendent, read Romans 8:28-39, and Sister Rodica shared her testimony. In addition, exhortations were given by Brother Deivys, Brother John, and Nelson de la Cruz, the National Youth Leader.

The service concluded with a passionate altar call. Three rows of chairs were lined up to serve as an altar area and were filled by those who came forward to pray. Brother John said they had the opportunity to pray with some who were seeking salvation, and several were anointed and prayed for as well. He continued by saying that he and Sister Rodica appreciated the opportunity to be at this annual event and to see how the Lord uses it to reach the lost and encourage the saints there.

The Musgraves are scheduled to return home on Thursday after visiting our church in Haina, where Brother Andres is the pastor. Let’s remember to pray for the work in the Dominican Republic as well as for their safe return.

occasion / dates
Portland Headquarters Visit
January 26-31, 2024