What Renewing Communities Looks Like
A Batey (sugar cane community) is a difficult place to live. Where intense poverty exists, these are isolated communities with few available resources of education, health care and business opportunities. In Batey 9 near Barahona, Dominican Republic, 15 years ago most of the children that you saw were naked and malnourished, and the houses they lived in were made of sticks and mud. Today, malnutrition persists but less so thanks to Pastor William Decena‘s nutrition center where he feeds 80 to 100 children daily. Most of the homes are now made from cinder blocks. There is a school (Pre-K to 4th grade), a public park, a basketball court, a baseball field (doubles as a soccer field), one latrine to every two to four houses, curbs and sidewalks, access to well water throughout the community, a water tower to serve as a water back-up, a library with a computer lab, and a water purification system. All of this has been accomplished through William’s advocacy on behalf of his community in Jesus’ name. This is a powerful picture of renewing communities through the local church.