Profile: Rafey, Dom. Republic
April 11, 2018 at 6:00 AM
Dr. Johny Belarme looks after a patient during consultation at his clinic in Rafey, Dominican Republic. (Photo by Dr. Greg Kuiper)
Join us as we take a closer look at each of our ministry partners from the viewpoints of the ministry directors. Three to four ministries will be profiled per month, so check back often to learn more about the Luke Society's 41 ministry partners.)
Profile: Rafey, Dom. Republic
Location: Rafey, Dominican Republic
Director: Dr. Johny Belarme
Q&A with the director
Q: What are the important components to your ministry?
A: Our programs are: pregnancy prevention in adolescents; community health; training community health promoters; growth curve and development programs for children under 7 years of age; training workshops for mothers to adopt better nutrition practices for their young; training program for Christian leaders by giving church leaders theological education.
Q: What factors led you into a career in ministry work?
A: From my formation stage, the community members in which I live, Rafey, came to me to receive medical help. From that moment I knew that this was my vocation and that it was a call from the Lord to serve and spread the Gospel by that means.
Q: Describe some parts of the culture in the region where you operate your ministry?
A: The community of Rafey has a population of 4,500 people and approximately 567 families. This community is composed of mixed nationals: Haitians and Dominicans. The majority of Haitian nationals work in agriculture and in buildings with cheap labor benefits, which is not enough for the sustenance of their families. The Dominican nationals work in the free zone and in the landfill. Those who work in the landfill look for damaged objects with the purpose of repairing them and selling them as materials used either in the market or in the community itself.
Q: How are you able to witness about Christ in your ministry?
A: We spread the Gospel through our ministry, touching and transforming the lives of the people we have had the pleasure of serving. And also by helping those who come to us with emotional and spiritual problems who seek advice in the light of the Bible.
Q: What do you enjoy most about working in your position?
A: Serving others and helping those who really need my help. Trying to bring relief and joy in the lives of many people who need a word of hope and comfort.
Q: What is your vision for the future of your ministry?
A: May our ministry be a light that illuminates the feet of those who do not know God and a source of inspiration for those in the fold; to provide a good human and professional service; to grow more as a ministerial institution; to reach more communities and influence the lives of more young people. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).