Liquid Church DR Mission Trip - Day 3

Day 3

Today was action packed! We left the capital at 7:30 this morning and headed off to ministry. Now, at 7pm, we are headed to the hotel to the chatter and singing voices. It's a beautiful thing. Today we visited La Rigola, a sweet village. We played and sang, our puppets entertained, and HOH missionary James presented the gospel after Erik led the singing.

Liquid Youth did a great job presenting two dramas for the folks. Then the team handed out Manna Packs to the families. This afternoon we went back to visit and painted two houses. The appreciation from these families was heartwarming. Pray please that tomorrow is as sweet. Thank you Lord

Visit our photo gallery for more pics

Liquid Church DR Mission Trip - Day 2

Today has been a great day!
Our day began with Church on the beach. God is clearly working in hearts. Several gave their hearts to the Lord this morning and we're sure that a celebration broke out in Heaven. God is amazing. This group from Liquid church is amazing!

We had pizza for lunch, then a wonderful time visiting the children at the Robert Reid Hospital. (Sorry, but out of respect for the children and their families, the are no photos from the Children's Hospital). A yummy dinner at Provacon, then back to the hotel for a 30 minute swim followed by skit and song practice. We're looking forward to IS58 ministry tomorrow. Good night Lord!

Liquid Church DR Mission Trip - Day 1

Today was a great day. Long, but great. No one slept last night but all travel went very well. The team did a great job with street ministry, handing out tracts and singing in the park.   Tonight we packed up for tomorrow's visit to Robert Reid Children's Hospital.  Sunday morning will begin with breakfast, then Church on the beach at nine a.m. We are excited about what God is doing. 

A few of the day's photos are below. For more photos, please visit our photo gallery.
Love to all! Everyone is well.

Summer 2017 DR Mission Trip - Day 5

Great day today. Got past Wednesday. Those who have gone know what I mean. VBS final day was packed. IS58 was a really sweet village. Second floor looks amazing and desk repairs coming along. Big day tomorrow. Pray for Kids Camp and concert at night.

Summer 2017 DR Mission Trip - Day 4

Day 4
The Lord has given us another great day. One more day of VBS to go. The Respect Theme is really catching on. The construction team are incredible. The walls are done and the rafters are on the second floor, waiting for the windows and doors to be set tomorrow. Then the roof goes on. David and team are doing a great job repairing the desks. The IS58 team today visited Santa Rosa. The people appreciated the visit, the games and clothes and food the team handed out. Please pray that the Lord continues to give us good health and strength and safety. God bless

Summer 2017 DR Mission Trip - Day 3

Day 3
I'm watching an amazing team in the DR. They are working with kids and families, and doing an amazing job (in extreme heat) constructing a second floor on our school building. Lord send clouds. Please. Clearly, today, they have decided to follow Jesus. We praise God that four of our own, yesterday, committed to follow Jesus. The team is pouring themselves into these lives. Praise God for what He is doing

Here are a few photos.  Check out our photo gallery to see more

Summer 2017 DR Mission Trip - Day 2

Day 2
Our day started with church. So often, faced with decisions about life, we say "But I..." instead of "But God...". Our worship time, led by Brian and Ron, was great. We then went for a great visit to the Children's hospital along with the HOH friends from IBI. The day finished with prep time back at the hotel and off to sleep. Tomorrow we head out early for our first full day of ministry in Catalina. Pray for us!!!  

Summer 2017 DR Mission Trip - Day 1

Day one is in the books as we travel back to the capital for much needed sleep. Our flight was delayed for 2 1/2 hours this morning. Two teams converged at the airport. Our team was arriving, while the MEFC team headed back home. We were able to catch a picture at airport.

We also said goodbye to Maura who interned this summer and to Gio who gave us 40 days before being deployed with the Army. Both were a blessing to many. 

A great day was had as we prepared for VBS and IS58 next week. The construction crew was thrilled to see the roof was on the school, allowing us to put up the second floor next week. The guys worked through sun and heat and refreshed the shade screens in the school yard. The theme of the day seemed to be amazement at what God has done. 

MEFC DR Mission Trip - Day 3

Well day 3 is in the books!

We started our day early, leaving for Catalina at 7am. A lot of excitement from the team as we drove there as they have been waiting to see Catalina for quite some time. 

The first village we went to for our Isaiah 58 ministry was La Rigola. They were so happy to have us come and share with them! We did puppets and sang songs for the kids... and for the  adults we performed a drama and James gave a short sermon. After handing out food we played games with the kids! 

After lunch we headed out to another village called San Jose following the same routine. Kevin and Bill commented "how great it is to see our kids getting out of their comfort zones and really engaging with the people here".  What a great response from the people who have welcomed us with open arms!

After San Jose we packed meal bags for tomorrow's village and had dinner in Catalina. 

Back to hotel where the kids requested ICE CREAM! So we walked, just down the street from the hotel, to a great ice cream place called Bon. 

Overall a hot, but action-packed day! 

Our day 3 video is below! 

MEFC DR Mission Trip - Day 2

Hey everyone!

I'm writing this blog entry late because we have had a really long but exciting day!

After breakfast we went to IBI church here in the capital. The music was amazing and the sermon was impactful. We were given earpieces that translated to English for us! That was helpful! 

After church it was Pollo Victorino for lunch. (Best Chicken ever). We enjoyed laughing, eating and getting to know our HOH staff and interns a little better. (I feel really blessed to have them here)

After lunch was our trip to the Robert Reed children's hospital. Every group I go with always has a different experience but today I was very touched by how receptive the people were and the smiles on all of the kids faces when we sang for them. This group of Montgomery kids are awesome! Our visit was cut short because it was dinner time for patients there. 

After our visit it was a trip to Jumbo (supermarket) for snacks and dinner in the mall. 

We went right back to the hotel and begin prepping for our first day in Catalina tomorrow! We practiced puppets and put the finishing touches on our drama we will be performing in the villages! (there may have been coffee and Nutella donuts) 😊

Tomorrow is going to be an early start so I need to get some sleep! Please continue to pray that everyone stays healthy and safe and that God's light will shine through us to the people we will minister to! 

Attached is our day 2 slideshow.

MEFC DR Mission Trip - Day 1

I am Dave Barletta and, this week, I am privileged to be leading a wonderful team from Montgomery Evangelical Free Church on their DR Mission trip. Time permitting, we'll be posting a nightly update with a few highlights of the day as we minister together.


I'm always amazed at the way God works. How He gives us strength when we are weak. How He takes our humble offerings and uses them for His glory....

As I sit here in my hotel room, tired from a long day of travel...I am thankful for this group of teens and leaders who have come down here to serve the people of the DR. I'm thankful that God has chosen me to lead them on this journey and couldn't be more proud of the way these kids have handled themselves so far. 

I've attached a video that Bill (one of the Dads on the trip) put together of our first day. 

Tomorrow will be church at IBI in the capital followed by a trip to the Robert Reed children's hospital. 

Good night all!

See the Need. Make a Difference.

“I have one life and one chance to make it count for something… My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.”  Jimmy Carter

If you have been on a mission trip, or have ever passed a homeless person on the street, you have seen the need. If you have seen a child who can't go to school because he has no shoes or clothes to wear, or held the hand of a 14 year-old mom who can not feed or care for her baby, you have seen the need. If you have eyes, you surely have seen the need; the overwhelming needs of the people around us.  How can one person make a difference?

Our recent medical mission trip was nothing short of amazing, as our team of 70 ministered care and compassion to a multitude of people in a few short days. With such a wonderful team, there are (at least) 70 stories to be told by 70 individuals who, each in their own way, choose to make a difference. One of those stories is lovingly illustrated by the new playground equipment in our schoolyard.  

One of our team members, while participating in the 2016 medical trip, visited our school, saw the need, and donated the funds for the playground equipment. It is such a blessing to our school and to our precious students. The children love it!  

We all have the capacity to make a difference and we shouldn't make the mistake of thinking it needs to be a huge, imposing or intimidating task. Sometimes, it requires only a simple act of kindness. Sometimes you write a check, or volunteer your time or some specific talent or ability. It could involve a paintbrush or a hammer; a stethoscope or, perhaps, a pen and paper.  There are endless opportunities so go ahead, get involved. See the need, and make a difference!

Here are a few ways you can get involved at Handfuls of Hope

Sponsor a child
Our school is funded solely by the generosity of our donor/sponsors. You can make a difference in the life of a child.

Participate in a mission trip.
Be part of the team. Activities include construction, VBS, food ministry, medical/dental. visitation, or a host of other opportunities.

Creative fundraising ideas
You can help us to achieve our ministry goals by raising funds and/or awareness for HOH.

Do you have other ideas?  We would love to hear them!
Contact us today!

Let's make a difference!

Jan 2017 Medical Missions Trip - Day 5

Our last full day in-country. It began with a great breakfast, then some worship and an impactful message from Don Coords, who asked us to listen to what God is calling us to do; to work toward being committed to HIS plan, and not seek our own alternatives. He was preaching to me personally although the room was packed. 

After that the team had some time for rest and relaxation at Costa Caribe, with a dip in the ocean and a fabulous meal, it was a well-deserved break from ministry work. 

The icing on today's cake was our visit to "Pasitos de Jesus"  a girls orphanage that HOH has a relationship with. As we entered the grounds we heard the girls singing for us. They greeted us in song then grabbed our hands and played with us out in their large open yard.  Face painting, bead bracelets and a Pizza Party to top off the evening. 

These young girls have such love for the Lord, and they are so polite and thankful for what they have. Several girls told their story of rescue from abuse and how they are thankful to be living with their "sisters" and Mamma Dalma at Pasitos.  Our evening ended with the HOH team presenting Mamma with a significant donation to be used for food and necessities. Pasitos is struggling to keep the lights on and the refrigerator stocked for 50  growing girls. 

Eye opening, but glad we could serve them pizza and distribute donated toys, shoes and clothing.  Emotional for sure, and we left all our tears on the pathways surrounding our gathering area. Another late night and early morning, so "Good Night" and thank you for supporting HOH with your prayers and financial resources. -  John D. 

Jan 2017 Medical Missions Trip - Day 4

Our day started with a visit to our sponsored children as they played on the new playground equipment. Never have we have seen so many smiles on a Saturday morning in the school courtyard. We had the time to share gifts with our sponsor child and meet with their parents. Won't you consider sponsoring a student for the remainder of the school year? It's easy, electronic and life changing for both a young child and you ! Just go to the Home Page and click the "Sponsor a Child" photo. Or go directly to   

Our clinic opened bright and early and we saw more than 1000 clients today, including our Mobile Medical Clinic which rolled alongside our Isaiah 58 bus.

It was truly a wonderful week serving alongside some amazing people. Our Medical Team cared for and treated approximately 2,700 people in three short days, both in-clinic and on our mobile medical unit. Isaiah 58 distributed more than 21,000 meals, hundreds of clothes items and more toys and beanie babies than one can count. Thank you again to HOH, family and friends who helped make this possible. The Medical Team looks forward to returning January 2018.  Please think about joining us next year or sign up for a Summer Trip in 2017. 

Late night tonight.... we will update you tomorrow - John D. 

Jan 2017 Medical Missions Trip- Day 3

What's in a number? I'll tell you what; it's the hope that comes from sharing your love and compassion with God's children. 925 is the number I have in mind tonight. That is the number of men, women and children we saw today at our clinic in Catalina and mobile clinic near Bani. 

Individual care, love and respect were evident as the Isaiah 58 team served two areas today. We distributed clothing and shoes as well as food packs to appreciative Dominicans. We also turned a small street into a "Bubble Party" with the young ones.  Our Mobile Medical Clinic distributed Medication after careful diagnosis. We even transported an older gentleman and his wife back to our main clinic because Dr. Rick needed to care for his foot wound. Flexibility is word ONE on these trips and I am always amazed at how our volunteers step up to the task and jump right in. 

Our teachers and Teacher Trainers worked tirelessly with both upper and lower grades, delivering novel teaching techniques and a mountain of new Spanish reading books and textbooks. We even had a morning reading time out in the courtyard enjoying the beautiful Dominican climate.

Construction continued on our new play area, getting the rough lumber smooth for little hands. 

Medical Clinic, Mobile Ministry and Food Distribution to multiple villages, Teacher Training, and Construction... all in a days' work for our talented team of HOH volunteers. Won't you consider partnering with us? God Bless and Good Night  - John D.

Jan 2017 Medical Missions Trip - Day 2

Today was filled with much activity across the Handfuls of Hope Ministry. We were greeted by the entire elementary grades at the Handfuls of Hope School as they sang and welcomed us to their beautiful school. The work the teams did in the summer really shows as these students have a beautiful, clean and safe area to play during recess. Their presentation took place in the new courtyard in front of our new building which added several classrooms for the 8th and 9th grades. 

Our Clinic was in full swing, seeing approx. 600 "clients"  today and our doctors and nurses treated each one with the personalized care they needed. Buses arrived throughout the day bringing people to our portable clinic. Our clinic treats dental, optical, gynecological, general internal, pediatric and prenatal needs. It is amazing to watch the intake teams work with the physician/nurse teams to make sure everyone sees the right specialist. 

Isaiah 58 Mobile ministry was on the road, visiting the towns of Azua and Santa Rosa. They were joined by a magnificent rolling Clinic provided by the Rawlings Foundation and staffed by our teams. Naturally we distributed food to families in need, totaling approximately 1300 Meal Packs. We provided clothing to children and young adults and played with the children while they waited to have their faces painted.

Our construction team started construction on a new Play Structure for the older children, we will have pictures of the finished product; sure to be a surprise for our elementary grades. 

Friday promises to be another day of blessing across all the ministry opportunities here in the DR with HOH. Dios te bendiga  - John. 

Jan 2017 Medical Missions Trip - Day 1

Wednesday-Day one. We are about ready to go to sleep. Many of us have been up since Tuesday morning. Thank goodness for a few short naps. Before heading to the clinic to set up we went and visited the families who live in San Juan. This is a sugar cane village. There we distributed bags of dry food and played with the kids. Many of these families will be visiting the clinic while we are here. The rest of the day we organized the clinic along with preparing dry food bags for the teams to distribute tomorrow along with clothing and toys. Many of our local friends were here to greet us.  What a joy it was to serve alongside this group of people

Bags are Packed and Team is Ready

Well we are all ready to set up a Medical Clinic in Catalina, DR . Last minute preparations for the team of 70 + people ready to serve and be blessed in the process. Our bags are packed with medicine, face-painting kits, toys, balls, books, shoes, clothing, and many other items to be used in ministry. Many thanks to all who donated supplies for our trip!  Follow this Journal with us this week as we share photos and maybe some video as well .

Day 4 & 5 Summer 2016 Ministry in Full motion!

As the sun rises over Santo Domingo this morning I am writing this to update everyone on the progress of the mission here in the DR. Day 4&5 is included here as the nights have been late and the team has been gathering back quite late preparing for the following day. People are tired but overjoyed by the way God keeps "showing up" and blessing the people we seek to serve.

As a quick Recap of Day 4 & 5 I will provide bite-sized updates on all our major Projects this Week. Please forgive me as there is SO much going on - most importantly lives being changed, both on the team and in the villages where we serve. 

HOH School Courtyard - Completely covered in Cement and now a great Gathering place for our School Community- It looks Awesome- I can almost imagine the kids playing during recess in this space during the school year.

The new Building ( classrooms) Block by Block working along side a local team of Dominicans HOH is erecting this new classroom Space. It is safe to say that every team member has had a hand on a cement block used to construct this massive building. Block by Block our faith is strengthend as we watch God provide the energy and skill needed for this undertaking. 

VBS... we finished our incredible VBS program at the end of Day Five - Get this, while a building is being put up only 50 yards away. VBS is in full swing !  Courtyards and Classrooms are full of hundreds of singing and smiling Kids. All receiving Christ's love with a dose of Fun , Music and VBS drama stories. I have seen the Smiling faces of the many Kids involved each day- they number in the hundreds.

Isaiah 58- Food ministry is in Full swing with teams leaving each day to visit the poorest of the poor here in the DR. I have personally traveled 2 days with teams and I am impacted by the love and humble nature of the people as we get to have fun and do ministry all at the same time.  Where else can you organize a baseball game in 2 minutes, "create bases" out of Rocks and use Sticks to hit out of the park home runs?  Oh and by the Way the Chickens on the playing field are just one of the distractions. Nevertheless, the Americanos  can never seem to win a game against the Dominican teams, and there are no mercy rules either in this league ! After a great game of Baseball the team returns to the village with hot meals and food for families for the days to come. Clothes are distributed and a powerful message of Hope and Love is delivered by pastor Arnold in their language. All this against the backdrop of the beautiful DR countryside.

The team is healthy and energized to continue to serve this week as we prepare for the Teen Challenge program, and visiting our Sponsor children. 

Thank you for your Prayers and support as they are so needed and strengthen this team in supernatural ways, ways that only God can orchestrate. 

Be Blessed - we are  John D.