Dear U.S. partners,
“Ernesto” is a teacher being treated by Nick and his students. He had shoulder surgery after years of chronic shoulder pain and no access to therapy. After surgery, he was unfortunately not referred to rehab for 5 months. He then had to move 2 hours from home to find treatment, and is now clocking 8 months of recovery time during which he hasn’t been able to teach. By the time Nick’s students took over his care 2wks ago, he could once again hardly move his shoulder. Lack of regulation in education and no licensure or continuing education requirements for physical therapists means that the quality of the care he receives has varied widely between therapists. Just this week, Nick and his students were approached by a coach requesting that only they provide therapy for his baseball player, after seeing improvements following just a few days under their care. Real changes in the quality of therapy are needed.
In many developing countries, rehabilitation is the last leg of health care services to appear. Perhaps survival of an accident or illness is now possible, but without adequate rehab, some individuals may never walk, return to work or provide for their families as they previously could. Countries that have been able to develop rehab programs may find that professionals leave for better lives elsewhere after graduation. This reality boils down to Ernesto’s real life challenge of accessing quality care, and a real financial loss for his family. Pray that God’s kingdom would come on earth as it is in heaven, in our tiny segment of it promoting health and healing in the DR.
Support health development in the Dominican Republic here
What started 4 years ago with an exploratory needs and assets study turned into a commitment to the local University’s physical therapy department. God provided a willing team of Dominican therapists to revise the program’s curriculum during our first two years here, obtain approval from the deans last year, and go live this coming school term. We are so excited to see this implemented, after 10+ years of stagnant curriculum with some very important topics missing! Thanks be to God for opening hearts to change and growth, and allowing for the amazing local partnerships that are so important for development to endure. Positive relationships have also allowed us to provide faculty continuing education, teach student courses and support growth of a professional organization during the last 3 years. Please pray specifically that PT professors will continue to have time and energy to acquire the new knowledge necessary to put the changes into practice, and that they would see the love of God in our labors.
Finally, pray for discernment in our continued support of the local and regional Nazarene church. Over the years this has included projects like weekly teaching at a local child sponsorship program, treating church and community members, and writing a discernment tool for where to plant churches.
Thinking of you
This December marks 4.5 years of health development work here in the Dominican Republic! In May we were asked to give our testimony at a Nazarene church in the capital, and realized that our testimony is bound up in yours.That’s right- we talked about you! You are pastors, health care servants, missionaries, international peace-keepers, prayer warriors, protesters and sacrificial givers of all kinds who have taught us what it means to love and serve the Lord. Thanks for your witness to us! And thanks for continuing to support us with your friendship, finances and prayers.
Money as Blessing: 2016
As you may be aware, we are funded almost completely by your gifts as families and individuals. In case you are wondering, part-time teaching activities brought in $3,500 this year. We are full of gratitude for your sustaining support!
Given ongoing donations from a faithful team of monthly supporters, we need to raise an additional $14,000 of tax deductible support for 2016. Will you partner with us? 5 donors at $25/mo, 7 donors at $50/mo, plus 7 donors at $100/mo could cover the need. Any level of support is welcome, as 1/3 of our budget still comes from single gifts from old and new partners throughout the year. While raising support is challenging at times, it allows us to continue serving, teaches us openness and trust, and concretely connects us to you. Thanks be to God!
The Home Front
We are close to having a 2 year old in our family, and the mix of exhaustion and joy that Daniel brings has doubled our laughter. Raising Daniel is indeed the most prolonged, intense lesson in patience and being present in the moment that we have yet to experience.Thanks so very much for journeying with our family with your multi-faceted support!
What a good God we serve, and what good company we have serving with you. Love,
Nick, Laurie & Daniel Kietzman-Greer