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How It All Began ...

The year was 1992. Randa (my wife) and I were vacationing on the beautiful beaches of Playa Dorado, near the city of Puerta Plata in the Dominican Republic. One day while running on the beach, I stopped at a small restaurant for a glass of water. A Dominican woman, the proprietor of the establishment, came to the little table where I was sitting, ostensibly to ask for my order, and she asked me, “Are you an American?”, speaking fluent English, and I said, “I am an American” and she asked, “Do you know the Bible?”

The reality that this woman, a total stranger, had asked me such a question struck me with such astonishment that the hairs on the back of my arms stood on end. I was already thirsty, but my mouth became even drier and my pulse increased. At the same time I was talking to myself and saying, “My wife will never believe this happened this way!” I said to the woman, “Yes, I am in fact a Bible teacher. Why did you ask that?” She said, “Because I asked God to send someone to help my people. I’m closing my restaurant, come with me to meet my family. It’s 1.5 kilometers to my village.” I told her I couldn’t go because my wife was expecting me back. She said, “Maybe tomorrow you will visit my family and the village of Boca Nueva.”

Each day when I ran past that little restaurant, the same woman begged me to come meet her family. After about a week of persistence, I recanted and walked the 1.5 kilometers to the small village – where about 450 families lived and where I observed poverty greater than I had ever seen or even imagined. Although the woman’s first question was captivating to me, I still refused to help. But once I saw the village and encountered the people, I made the decision that I cannot walk away pretending that I have not been apprehended by the Spirit of God, and ignore these people. So from 1992 to 1997 I made 15 extensive trips to the Dominican Republic, intent on establishing a full-fledged Christian mission – to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, teach the untaught, and ultimately, “Refine the Potential of a Nation, One Village at a Time.”

We moved from Boca Nueva in 2006 to MonteIlano where we built our new fully accredited school campus for (Grades K-6 ) and where we continue to operate our other mission programs. Watch the video to the left for more information on this move.

What makes our mission different? I guess it's best expressed in an old saying “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for life." My son has an expression, “It’s so difficult to do a good thing.” Nowhere is this expression more aptly illustrated than in frontline missionary work. There are several characteristics commonly evident in third-world cultures. The resident rich in the country needing help say, "It wouldn’t do any good to help. We’ve tried that and they didn’t change." They’re clueless. The small struggling middle class say, "It isn’t doing any good to struggle." They’re visionless. Then the poor say, "It won’t do any good to try." They are hopeless. The missionaries have done good things. They have fed the hungry, clothed the naked and taught the untaught (classic missionary emphasis).

Yet, a 125 year inspection of their efforts reveals that while citizens of the third-world have received survival help, that same inspection/reflection exposes a staggering reality. The culture where all this caring intent has been spent, remains discouragingly unchanged. Were they a business, what would the Board of Directors say of their results, however well intended having spent billions, received from supporters, however well meaning? View the Potential of a Nation video

Board of Directors

Founders: Pastor Ernie & Randa Frye
Directors: Marc & Laura DiPilato, Charlie Legassey, Bob & Leslie Schleis, Ernie & Rebecca Hart, Jason & Lilia Gosselin