Being God's Love in the Dominican Republic


Jennifer Shaw Ministries June, 2013
Happy Summer! Jennifer Shaw 

Was your spring been as crazy as mine?  This time of year just seems to fly, and suddenly, I turn around and it's summer.

So much has happened since I last wrote that I'm a little embarrassed that I haven't kept up better!

My two-part interview on FamilyLife Today with Dennis Rainey aired, and we've added it to my media page in case you missed it.  They did an incredible job and were such a pleasure to work with. We'd love to hear what you think!

Our biggest happening was that we went to the Dominican Republic with World Vision last month.  It was an absolutely inspirational trip, and I've blogged it in three parts with lots of pictures - don't miss the link to the album!  To me, the pictures really take you there.  Here's  the direct link
to the first part, or go to the main blog and just scroll down a few entries.
Also this month, Insight for Living posted a Skype interview I did with Colleen Swindoll Thompson.  Colleen runs the special needs ministries at Insight for living, and it's been such a pleasure to get to know her and her heart.
I've been asked to do pieces on our trip for both World Vision and Autism Speaks this month.  They are both on my blog, and the World Vision piece is below.  I hope you enjoy them!
Let us know how we can be praying for you or partnering with you in ministry - we love to hear from you!
In Christ, 


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Being God's Love
A journey to the Dominican Republic with World Vision


World Vision has been a constant part of our family. When I was little, we always had a sponsored child's photo up on the refrigerator. At 17, I sponsored my own child for the first time. And now, as part of the World Vision Artist Program, I have been working to find sponsors for World Vision children at my ministry events for years. I was thrilled to be able to go and see their work in Dominican Republic just a few weeks ago.


Before we left, we decided to sponsor a new little girl in Dominican Republic so that my husband, Nathan, and I could meet her while we were down there. Her name is Melandia. We got her picture folder, and wondered who she really was? It's so easy to see all the pictures and think of needy children as a big group or a problem to be fixed, but they are not - they are individuals, children just like mine, with their own dreams and gifts and potential to make a difference in the world. We were so looking forward to meeting her!


Before we got to Melandia's neighborhood, we got to see several of the programs run by World Vision in her area, and it was truly amazing. I was expecting the schools and the medical clinic. I was expecting to see children who had access to nutritious food and clean water where there had been none before. What I wasn't expecting was the realization that when we sponsor a child, it's not just that child who is sponsored - it's their whole family, it's their community, it's their future.


Melandia's area is caught in the grip of generational poverty from which there is no escape without help. They are of Haitian descent, people who immigrated here to live in shanty towns and work the sugar cane plantations. There's nothing else here. If you have nothing, how can you get the start-up funds needed to become educated, or move to a better area, or buy a bike to get your crops to market, or the materials to create something for sale?


I saw World Vision running not just medical clinics and schools which are incredibly important, but also teaching gardening techniques to moms, giving classes at the vocational school such as barbering, baking, and sewing, teaching basic math skills and how to run a business. Perhaps most startling was to see the micro business loans of $100, $200, or $500 which had completely transformed families. These are sums most Americans wouldn't think much of, but we met a father and son who used that money to buy a grinder. They collect plastic trash from their area, grind it up, and sell it to area companies as recycled plastic. They paid their loan back in 10 months, and now support their entire family with it. They are saving, and plan to expand their business next year.


When we got to Melandia's house, we met not only her, but her younger sister, her mother, and her little niece. We met her chihuahua and learned that he made her less shy. The first thing she brought to show us was the letter we had written to introduce ourselves. We gave her a picture of our family and letters our children had written to her. We brought her some school supplies and little presents and groceries for her family. And the whole time her mother just beamed at her. She was so proud of her daughter! It was her mother who got to me. What mom doesn't want to see her child thrive? How difficult it must be to not be able to give your children the future you want for them, and that is what World Vision is addressing.


That was the moment I realized that we are not just sponsoring Melandia. We are sponsoring her family. It costs us so little, and because of our sponsorship they have access to so many resources. Because of our sponsorship we can write and remind them that God loves them and we are praying for them every day, even if we live thousands of miles away. When one sponsored girl we met was asked, "What is your favorite thing you ever received from your sponsor?" she answered with no hesitation. "Every time they write, they send me their love! Every time!"


That incredible gift of love is what World Vision makes possible.



Continue reading on Jennifer's blog...


About Jennifer Shaw Music 
Jennifer Shaw is a speaker, author, singer, songwriter and worship leader. Her ministry has been featured by Focus on the Family, Insight for Living, FamilyLife Today, Autism Speaks, Joni and Friends, and many more. Her new book, Life Not Typical: How Special Needs Parenting Changed My Faith and My Song, has brought national attention to the issue of Sensory Processing Disorder. After being classically-trained as an opera singer at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, Jennifer became a professor of music at Cedarville University before she felt led into her current role as a contemporary worship leader. Her testimony includes tragedy and triumph,being the parent of a special needs child, and losing her father to Lou Gehrig's disease. With the release of her fourth album, Someday, her songs, including five singles on Billboard's Top 40, offer hope in any circumstance and also reflect her recent experiences on the mission field in Asia, Africa, Central America and the UK.
Jennifer Shaw Music
P.O. Box 340773
Columbus, Ohio 43234