Serving in: La Vega, Dominican Republic
Program name: Associated Worker
- Serving since:
Diomedes and his wife Victoria are experienced church planters. Originally from the Dominican Republic, they moved to the US in 1993 and lived in the US for 18 years.
They served first as youth pastors and later as pastors and church planters. They planted eight churches in the north of Illinois among a multicultural community. Diomedes has a counseling degree and his wife is a medical doctor. They were bi-vocational workers. Diomedes worked in a hospital as a counselor and his wife worked as an elementary teacher.
In 2011 they felt called to go back to the Dominican Republic to work in La Vega, a city with high rates of poverty and family disintegration and a very low penetration of the gospel. They founded a non-profit called “Construyendo Familia Sana” (Building Healthy Families) and have been working with at-risk youth, minors with criminal records, children on the street and marriages in crisis by providing counseling services, food and other basic needs, sharing the gospel and forming discipleship groups.
They have found it hard to integrate these youth to local churches due to the inability of the congregations to navigate the stigma of these youth which hindered their inclusion into their youth groups. This need prompted Diomedes and Victoria to feel the call to plant a church that is welcoming and well prepared for nurturing and affirming these new believers.
Diomedes’ vision is two-fold: first, his desire is to plant a church that can be contextualized to be welcoming to at-risk youth and equipped to reach out to marginalized youth and minors who have been released from jail or who have been helped through their programs. His dream is that this church will be the greenhouse of young leaders who will emerge from this church who can be trained and launched into reaching out to more youth for Christ. Secondly, his vision is to continue to be an agent of change in the community through their non-profit, developing self-sustainable programs for the benefit of the community, prioritizing the creation of work opportunities and vocational training for young people at risk
The church plant initiative will be the primary place of assignment for Diomedes, and his wife Victoria will take the leadership of the non-profit work.