Dominican Republic

A New Generation of Caribbean Leaders

By Alan Ch’ng

Joe Maschhoff (right) and Anthony in Santo Domingo.

Joe Maschhoff (right) and Anthony in Santo Domingo.

On the outskirts of Santo Domingo, the bustling capital of the Dominican Republic, a young man born into dire poverty is now leading people within his network of family and friends to Christ.

Anthony’s life hasn’t been easy. From the time he was born, he has faced every economic obstacle imaginable: a broken family, scarce transportation to reach schools, little money for books and meals. It’s remarkable that Anthony survived his childhood.

Today, despite his country’s high unemployment rate, Anthony has a job as a computer programmer in a bank. He recently married Gleni. Thanks to God’s faithfulness, they have been able to purchase a small starter house in a middle-class neighborhood of Santo Domingo. People around him admire his wisdom, character, and godly lifestyle. In fact, two of his bosses say that Anthony mentors them.

Anthony’s story also demonstrates the power of God to multiply the lives of His followers, to produce spiritual generations through life-to-life outreach and discipleship.

Joe Maschhoff, a pioneering Navigator missionary in the Caribbean, first met Anthony about four years ago at a men’s conference and later invited him out for lunch. During the meal, Anthony agreed to read the Scriptures with Joe, something that Anthony had never done before. They studied regularly over several months and developed a close friendship.

As Anthony learned more about the Gospel of God’s grace, he enthusiastically started his own Bible studies with friends and colleagues. Some have been living on the edge of poverty. More and more people are getting to know about Christ through Anthony’s initiatives.

Joe has also helped Anthony strengthen his connections to Navigators in the region, giving Anthony more opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of biblical leadership, and to participate in regional missions efforts.

Anthony is just one example of how God is producing spiritual generations throughout the Caribbean. The Navigator work in the region started only four years ago. And yet, in January, more than 40 men and women from five Caribbean nations attended a Navigator forum designed to encourage and equip a new generation of Christ-followers.

I believe this first generation of Caribbean Navigators will go on to reach many people who will in turn produce a second generation of believers. That is how God works. We pass on our knowledge about God from one generation to another (Psalm 78:1–8). As Paul said in 2 Tim 2:2, we hand the good deposit of the Gospel to faithful men who are able to teach others. Jesus, envisioning the next generation, prayed that many would believe in Him through the message of His disciples (John 17:20).

Through Joe and his pioneering team, God is establishing a foundation for the Gospel to flow into the Caribbean cultures and to establish spiritual generations. God is transforming families and marriages, which is crucial to reaching the highly relational Caribbean culture.

Please pray that God would continue to protect this generation of believers in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico—and use them to advance the Gospel in the region and around the world.

Alan is a member of the International Executive Team. After serving as country leader for Malaysia, Alan was selected as the regional director of the Asia-Pacific work. Alan is married to Connie and they are blessed with three adult sons.