A letter from our founder…
In 1986, I went on a short-term missions trip to the Dominican Republic. God used that time to touch my heart and give me a vision. When I left I knew that I’d return. As my college education began nearing completion, I decided that God had called me to become a missionary doctor. My plan was to graduate and go to medical school. God’s plan was something else. After an unsuccessful attempt and too many rejections to count, I decided to move to Hawaii for the adventure. I wasn’t disappointed.
The very week that I settled in Hawaii I discovered Hope Chapel. I went to a midweek church service where I met my good friend, John Hardin. Often, I’d share my experience in the Dominican Republic with him. Then one day we decided to return.
It was the summer of 1990, four years after my initial trip. I’d not kept in touch with anyone there since I left. All I knew was the name of the town and the first name of the Pastor. We didn’t have a specific plan and we’d no idea what to expect. We just knew that we were supposed to go and represent Jesus. We gathered our things and set out for an uncertain land and an uncertain future.
After we arrived in the capital, Santo Domingo, and figured out where we were going, Paraiso, 5 hours away, we hired a driver to take us (buses didn’t go there). It didn’t matter that I couldn’t speak Spanish well because all I knew anyway was “Paraiso” and “Pastor Luis”. When we arrived in the town, I didn’t recognize it and I had no clue where Pastor Luis lived.
After driving aimlessly, the driver lifted his hands in frustration, pulled the bus over and shouted out the window, “Where does Pastor Luis live?” (in Spanish, of course). And guess who stepped out to the street. Yes, Pastor Luis, surprised, but with a big smile. We were right at his door. I don’t think he remembered me, but he opened his house to us. We stayed for 3 weeks, and the rest of the story is unfolding, even today.