As we come to the end of 2013, I am writing to you to request your support for our national staff. Half of SI’s field staff are from the countries in which they serve, so these donations are critical to our ministry. Our national staff is one of the most exciting aspects of our ministry. God has brought us an amazing group of people with a high calling to serve the Lord through their professions.
I’d like to share with you the story of one of our national staff.
Meet Vanesa. She grew up in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic. At age 12 she began attending a Bible study where she came to know Christ and trust God for her future. At this young age God impressed on her heart the verse from the Great Commission, “You will be my witnesses…” While studying in dental school, Vanesa began tutoring the SI staff member Lowell Troyer in Spanish. Lowell asked about her future dental plans, and she shared her desire to be a local missionary. Soon, she graduated from dental school and opened the first Students International dentistry site! She has faithfully served with SI since 2001. She has not only discipled many North American students, but she has also trained new dentists from DR.
Being a local missionary has many blessings and challenges. She enjoys providing quality dental care to the poor for little cost and being able to minister to her patients, not just take care of their teeth. However, at times she feels financially insecure. As with most mission work, both her salary and the budget for her dental clinic come from donations. Entrusting her needs to God is a daily step of faith. Electricity is not stable, and it often damages her equipment. A tight budget limits her ability to buy what she needs when something breaks. Nonetheless, she is repeatedly amazed at how God does provide. And she loves being able to tell stories of His faithfulness.
Your gift is extremely important to SI. It supports the national staff already serving in the mission field. Your gift also provides seed money for national staff development so that our work can grow and be more sustainable in these communities.
A one-time gift of $25, $100, $250 or $1,000 can make all the difference to our national staff in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Guatemala and Nicaragua. If you like, you can specify which country’s national staff you’d like to support. Through our website you can safely donate online.
Blessings to you this holiday season.