COVID-19 and Joshua 1:Nine

Help Support this Season of Shortfall: Click Here

**Be sure you read through to the bottom for a new, fun video of the kids!!**

As I’m sure you know by now the DR has not been spared from the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. There is a curfew in place and people are basically not leaving their homes. Baseball and school have been canceled for about a month and will resume no earlier than the middle of May although that will likely be pushed back as the numbers of cases and deaths have continued to rise. As of April 18th there were approximately 4,700 cases and 226 deaths in the country (population of DR is approximately 11 million). Barahona Province has not been hit hard and when I recently spoke with Dr. Cecil (a partner with Joshua 1:Nine through Rotary who is actually heading up the Barahona COVID ward) he said there had only been twelve cases and one death in the area so that is really good news.

The Dominican Republic has put in place a number of measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 including:  

  • A national curfew that prohibits all traffic and movement of people from 5pm to 6am.
  • Roadblocks have been set up at various points throughout the country prohibiting internal travel in the country.
  • Events and public gatherings of all kinds suspended.
  • Public transportation, including buses, shared minibuses (guaguas), metro trains, and cable cars have suspended services, limiting the public’s ability to move freely in urban areas.
  • Cruise arrivals have been suspended at all ports and coasts.
  • Effective at 6 am on March 19, the President of the Dominican Republic suspended the arrival of incoming passengers and has effectively closed the borders of the Dominican Republic for an initial period of 15 days. This suspension continues.  While the President announced that outbound flights will continue to ferry foreigners out of the Dominican Republic to their home countries.

Please pray over safety for our community because there just isn’t the medical care available and our population is vulnerable given lack of nutrition and general well-being.

When the quarantine first started we asked staff to give out our bags of rice to families who needed it, even those families without kids on the team. With jobs stopped and no governmental support like we have for people here, food scarcity is a real problem in the community. The store in town is down to bare minimums and there is no information around when deliveries may be available again. We gave out all of the rice we had and were able to obtain a small amount more. 

Unfortunately, with this new partial delivery we learned we will not be receiving our rice as expected going forward. The organization who provides rice to us for a decreased cost has ceased operations and at this point we do not know when they will open again. Once the new shipment has been given out we will begin to purchase rice locally, if it is available, and that is a bit “if”. Along with availability, the cost is an issue as it will be more expensive and the rice we have been providing is fortified, providing nutrients our underfed kids need. Local rice does not have this advantage which means more is required to provide the same amount of nutrition. If rice is not available locally to our staff we will have to find other ways to get the rice to Fondo Negro. This will have increased costs.

We have also committed to supporting all 5,000 residents of Fondo Negro as best we can, not just the families of the kids on the team. We now have an exponential increase in need which was not foreseen in our budgeting for 2020.

The Kitsap Great Give

Obviously, no one expected this global pandemic to arise and with supporting the kids in a time when we expected them to be in school as well as supporting other families in need in Fondo Negro we now have a shortfall in our projected budget.

This time is very scary. The burden on those of us who know, love and support these families is heavy. However, God is good all the time. We feel very fortunate to be part of The Kitsap Great Give which will take place on Tuesday April 21st. During this event, the Kitsap Community Fund will partially match all donations. The event itself takes place on Tuesday, but early giving is open and you can give now:

Keep in mind, due to the CARES Act, all people can donate up to $300 in 2020 and use it as a tax deduction whether you itemize or not. With this in mind, giving through The Great Give will provide a partial match AND you will receive a tax deduction. This is the best time in the last few years to give, just when the need is at its greatest.

I would like to give through The Kitsap Great Give!

Board member Emily made this video to recount a few of her favorite memories from her November trip. These faces, this place….It’s the reason to give.

She also shared these words:
Humans crave certainty and this is all very uncertain which is why faith is more important now than ever.

Faith that those who have more than enough will give.

Faith that humanity will prevail.

Faith that everyone will stay healthy.

Faith that food, donations and resources will come and children will be provided for.

When I worry about things, I block the answers. I have to surrender. Sometimes we just have to give it all up to Him.


Link to The Great Give. Give through April 21, 2020

As always, we are thankful for our supporters. You are all in our thoughts and prayers as we work through this strange and uncharted experience. We pray you are healthy and know the peace that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. He’s got all of us in his hand right now, here and abroad, and for that we are forever thankful.

Diamonds in the Rough – December 2019

Probably the biggest thing that happened during my trip to Fondo Negro was that the Impact Trip I took impacted me more than it impacted the good people of Fondo Negro.

I became involved with Joshua 1 Nine last year when I contributed during a charitable campaign in the community where I live.  As often happens the smallest of things sometimes have the greatest of impact when you open your heart and trust in God which of course is not easy for someone like me who likes to “drive the bus.”

Probably the biggest thing that happened during my trip to Fondo Negro was that the Impact Trip I took impacted me more than it impacted the good people of Fondo Negro.  This was my second trip to the Dominican Republic in this year.  This trip was supposed to be a baseball visioning trip where I was going to get the lay of the land from a baseball perspective by meeting players and coaches.  What I found was a group of people who love the game, coaches who nurture and teach kids in difficult circumstances, a community that supports their team, and most of all the boys who play baseball every afternoon with a uniquely Dominican passion. 

Throughout my visit I was touched on several occasions by the generosity of my Dominican hosts.  Their warm smiles, excellent senses of humor, their sharing of local treats such as candy and cold drinks, and mostly just the relaxed vibe that permeates the community and the people.

I have been home now for about a month and I find myself thinking about my new friends quite often.  This trip resonated with me in ways that are difficult to articulate, but I was moved by the experience.  So for those of you that are thinking about visiting and becoming involved with Joshua 1 Nine be prepared to be moved, to have a life altering experience as you open your heart to something special.  Your time, your prayers, your contributions, and your hearts could find no better place.  There is no doubt that I will be going back and I hope that some of you will consider supporting the most worthy ministry of Joshua 1 Nine.

Have you remembered Joshua 1:Nine in your Year End Giving?

Thanks for the reminder! Click Here to Donate

Year end is a time many of us remember charities and those around us who have greater need. The kids at Joshua 1:Nine would be honored to be part of your year end giving plans. Do you want to help give hope to the futures of the kids in Fondo Negro? Do you want to be the one who puts food in the belly of a kids who otherwise might not eat? We do all of that and more and your donations will go straight to Fondo Negro. We have no paid American Staff and very little overhead. If you want your dollars to go somewhere you know without a doubt it is making a difference this is the place. Give the gift of hope.

Can’t donate at this time? Don’t forget you can still support Joshua 1:Nine while shopping at Amazon through the end of the year and always for no cost to you. Start your shopping at Amazon Smile and designate Joshua 1:Nine beneficiary.

Support Joshua 1:Nine at Amazon Smile

All of us at Joshua 1:Nine pray you had a very Merry Christmas and are looking forward to a new year full of hope and joy. Thank you for your support in 2019 and we look forward to sharing more with you in the coming year. Happy New Year!

Diamonds in the Rough – November 2019

Will you make Joshua 1:Nine part of your year-end giving plans?
The end of the year is a really important time for most nonprofits, but in particular for small ones like Joshua 1:Nine, we count on year end giving to help us plan what can be accomplished in the coming year. Can we feed more kids? Can we pay our coaches and cook a bit more in order to give them more of a living wage? How many teams can we support for the RBI program; improving access to education support and mentoring for our staff? Can we hire an English teacher again this summer? Can we start thinking about purchasing land and moving forward with the big goal/dream of building an academy to improve the lives of the boys and others in Fondo Negro? These questions are partially answered by the end of year fundraising numbers.

Read more below for two ways you can help support all of these efforts.
Food, food and more food! Any of you who have growing boys or who have raised growing boys know the need for food is never ending. Imagine the quantity for a group of 130+ boys from age 6-20 who are perhaps eating their only meal the entire day after playing baseball for 4 or more hours in the hot sun! The food needs for our team is at times overwhelming and it is our number one priority. Before we do anything in any given month we feed the boys. But the amazing thing is, thanks to some incredible partnerships, we are able to do it for a very reasonable cost. On a monthly basis we are able to feed and support each team member for approximately $40! 

We have a different philosophy than many organizations about sponsorship. Child sponsorship is a lovely and effective way of raising funds and connecting people to kids who are being served but when we initially established our main focus for Joshua 1:Nine we realized one of our main goals was to remove the title of commodity from all of the kids we serve. We didn’t want our coaches to look at them that way, hoping they will get a contract so they get paid, their families to look at them that way or for us to ever look at them that way. With that in mind we did not see a way to child sponsorship which basically would pull the kids back into that category.

With that in mind, we created our Team Sponsorship program. This is an opportunity for people to walk alongside the entire team and get to know each one of the kids and staff as a person with hopes and dreams that the sponsor has an opportunity to support. We suggest $40 a month since that is the cost to feed and support the kids on a monthly basis but anyone can come on board at any amount and become a sponsor. You’ll then receive a quarterly newsletter which will introduce you more completely to one of the kids and their family. You’ll see where they live, what their dreams are for the future and also what their parents hope for them. It’s a special and unique opportunity we share with those who have committed to ongoing support of the program and we have heard it is something our Team Sponsors look forward to.

If you are interested in becoming a Team Sponsor please click the link below. You can make an automatic monthly payment or pay a year’s worth upfront. Either way will equally bless the kids.
I’m in! I want to be a Team Sponsor!
Are you an Amazon shopper? Looking to do some serious shopping this weekend and on Cyber Monday? There’s a free and easy way to support Joshua 1:Nine while you shop! Go to Amazon Smile and select Joshua 1:Nine as your selected charity and Amazon will donate a portion of everything you spend to Joshua 1:Nine! It’s free and it’s easy! Thank you!
Support Joshua 1:Nine at Amazon Smile
Giving Tuesday is December 3rd. You can expect to see a few extra reminders from us on Social Media and in your email as well. Thank you for all you do for us throughout the year. Tomorrow we will be counting each of you while reflecting on what we are thankful for this year.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
I want to see this all first hand! How do I get involved?

Diamonds in the Rough – October 2019

Updates from Fondo Negro

There were a lot of really great things this summer; from camp, to new stoves to English classes this summer was a big one for the Joshua 1:Nine community. We are excited to share some updates we haven’t shared yet.

Originally, the team’s food was cooked over fires. It makes for really tasty food but it takes a long time, is difficult and sometimes impossible when there isn’t enough firewood around. In discussing pressure points with the staff, this kept coming up as a big one. So, Coach Chico, who is also a master welder, was given the resources and built a stove for the team to use. Now food in the evenings is a possibility and meals are far more consistent on the weekends. This was a huge step in the program development and we are glad we were able to have a solution to the problem once we discovered it.

This also means an increasing grocery budget and we need your help! Will you consider walking along side the team as they grow? We need to fill those bellies!

Cooking lunch with fire
Lunch before the completion of the stove.

I would like to help support the physical growth of the Fondo Negro kids by being a Team Sponsor!

We also employed an English teacher for the boys and the coaches this summer. He met with two groups of kids (one older and one younger) twice a week for about 6 weeks. This was completely optional for everyone but the classes were well attended. Miguel, the teacher, is the father of one of our players and does a great job. We are excited to have him as a resource and know he will be part of our bigger picture going forward.

English class summer 2019
Miguel works with Francis on his introductions.

I would like to help employ the people of Fondo Negro like Miguel!

As pictures kept rolling in throughout the summer it became clear the field was looking dead. We discussed weather and the lack of rain but eventually it became clear this was not normal, even with a dry summer. We are still learning how everything functions and what resources are available in the community and through questions and conversation discovered one of the rare (but needed) resources typically available in Fondo Negro is a sprinkler system on the field!

When asked why they weren’t using it, we discovered it was because the pump had failed and there were some problems with a few of the pipes. Thanks to the generosity of our donors throughout the first six months of the year we had enough funds to purchase the pump and fix the system.

The grass is slowly growing back and the community is very thankful we have been able to help in this way. They take great pride in their field. It was actually built and paid for by the people of Fondo Negro a number of years ago. They came together and created a committee that worked together to organize the project and the entire community worked together to build the stadium and put in the field so people would have a place for recreation in town. It says a lot about why we like working in Fondo Negro.

What an exciting way to be able to pour into the community. The boys got to get a lesson on the mechanics of the system so we had a learning opportunity as well. That was a sneaky way to support learning and education!

The sprinklers work!
They work!

I want to see this all first hand! How do I get involved?

What an exciting summer! These seemingly little things are not so little when you consider the long term effect of feeding into the kids and the community. The kids are receiving additional nutritious meals, their brains are being challenged and expanded, their spirits were filled and fed at camp and daily at devotionals during practice and the entire community can see the support we provide by loving them and caring about what is important to them as well. God is good! What a summer!

Praises and Prayer Requests

1) We’ve shifted away from hurricane season and feel so thankful it was a very quiet one. This is a huge praise as concern increases every July when the danger from the weather becomes very real.
2) We are praising God for a large gift of a grant from Rotary International! The grant will be used to build/install a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system in Fondo Negro. This will provide clean water for the first time ever to the community. Our mission is to love all of the people of Fondo Negro, not just the baseball kids, and this falls into that mission. Stay tuned for updates.
3) November means Impact Trips! We have two groups heading down in November; one to work on expanding the American side of our baseball program and one to start the build for the water filtration system which will go in over the winter. Prayers for safe travels and good health would be much appreciated.

Diamonds in the Rough – September 2019

The Impact of an Impact Trip

Hi! Sarah Mixdorf, Joshua 1: Nine Board Vice-Chair here to fill you in on my fifth trip to the Dominican Republic. Like each trip before, it was IMPACTFUL. I made this trip to assist in bringing Joshua 1:Nine children from beautiful Fondo Negro to Tierra Alta summer camp near the capitol. You might be thinking, that’s so ordinary. And how was it impactful? Well, let me set the record straight. Summer camp is extraordinary for children from Fondo Negro; possibly once in a lifetime.

After the children turned in their proper forms and received their wristbands, the adventure began. Side note: If you’re a child lover, you will appreciate my near panic during the wristband process. I wanted every child possible to experience the trip and between language barriers, parent – child communication and typical life chaos, I thought certain at least one little love wouldn’t have his or her proper forms. I am a mother of three boys and I rarely meet this expectation. Well, we did it! 150 kids and no hiccups. We traveled as a group by coach bus for three hours to Tierra Alta. Some of our children had never left Fondo Negro. For them, the bus ride alone was an adventure! They saw parts of their island they might never see again.  

When we arrived at camp, they were provided sleeping accommodations; a bed and bathroom with shower and toilet. Running water!? That seems like no big deal for those of us from the US but if running water isn’t available in your community it is a real gift. For those of you yet to visit Fondo Negro, let me assure you, the children were in awe of their surroundings. To them summer camp was extraordinary. During our visit, the children mostly played and again it was extraordinary. The baseball fields have grass or turf! The dugouts keep you cool! There are major league baseball facilities in sight that provide life motivations that can’t necessarily be taught through word and story. The food was delicious and plentiful and they were assured three meals a day. The children dressed for dinner like they were attending an American prom. DR fashion is fancy but some were thinking once in a lifetime. We worshiped, of course, and guess what – extraordinary; hundreds of children in prayer and song. It was beautiful.

One evening during worship a child gave me a gift. Five trips in and it still takes my breath away when a child gives me a gift in the DR. They have so little. This gift was four bracelets. Well, rubber bands but I’m sticking with bracelets. Here is the best part: When he put the bracelets on my wrist, the one that holds my newest tattoo “James” (My father passed away two years ago. He is James.) I thought, I should switch wrists because I don’t want to hide “James”. And then it hit me. The reminder that amidst the toughest journeys: me losing dad; this little guy who is not sure when his next meal might come, is happy – stop searching; gratitude – wake up, check. It’s a blurry mess sometimes but it all comes together perfectly if you choose to let that happen for yourself. So I’m keeping the bracelets where they belong.

Finally and in keeping with the theme of extraordinary, I must mention the butterflies (yes, off topic but worth the mention). It was literally raining butterflies our entire trip. Perfect, little, yellow butterflies. At one point, I turned to my fellow travelers and said, “Who needs a butterfly exhibit in a zoo, when this happens?”.  I sent a video of the butterflies to my twelve year old, Jacob. His response was, “That’s so cool.” This level of cool was a first for me and yet another reason, trip #6 won’t be far off. Thank you Joshua 1:Nine for another pile of happy, a heap of gratitude and a dash of cool.

I want to experience this! Send me more information please!

Hours were spent just hanging out together at camp. It was not unusual for a “rap-off” to break out often throughout those times together. (shown here) Kids are kids everywhere!

Look closely…..those are all butterflies!

Diamonds in the Rough – June 2019

School’s out! More time for baseball!

Food is of greater need in the summer because there is no school to supplement what is provided by the family. Click here to help make sure these kiddos get fed for the summer.

Summer opens the opportunity for us to spend even more time pouring into the lives of the kids in the community. There isn’t much to do in Fondo Negro other than swimming at the river during the hot afternoons and rather than allow the kids to have too much time to get bored and then likely in trouble (those of you with kids understand this balance) we increase the hours spent being disciplined by working out and playing at the field.
 This summer we also are adding some much requested time with an English teacher. A few days a week the boys who are interested in learning English will work with Miguel before practice. We are also encouraging our coaches to get involved and hopefully learn more English as well. Increased English fluency opens a lot of doors. It is the language of many international business opportunities but also, in a country where tourism is one of the pillars of the economy, translation services for individuals and jobs where English is a requirement create some of the more robust opportunities. English is not a requirement or necessarily always offered in schools so if we can help supplement this needed skill during the summer we are happy to do so!

The Missing Link: When discussing plans for the summer with Coach Chico last year we addressed the issue of the increased need for food during the summer months. Typically, our cook, Bella Nira, cooks for the kids over two large fires. It makes for very tasty food but it is difficult to always find enough wood. Everyday when the kids eat she goes out early and finds wood and then starts the process of cooking, which includes butchering the chickens. It’s a long day and one that would be made significantly easier if fire was not part of the equation.

Thanks to some successful fundraising, we are in the process of purchasing a stove, similar to the one seen above, for the team. This way, we will be able to provide food on a daily basis for the team during the summer and it will increase the ability to provide food when school is in session as well. Being nimble is important when fulfilling needs and this will increase our ability to act when needed.

Thank you donors!

Prayer Request: This summer, 250 youth and 25 adults, male and female will attend camp at Tierra Alta in Boca Chica near the capital.This is thanks to a very generous gift from the Rawlings Foundation. The kids will eat to their hearts’ content and just truly be kids without the worries poverty often brings. They will play in mud pits, swim in the pool, play tennis, baseball and basketball and will also, most importantly be told about the love of God. The adults attending camp will serve as servant leaders and will be there to assure all goes well for the kids. It’s a really exciting opportunity and is one we hope to replicate for years to come. The kids have been talking about it for months and the excitement is really starting to build.

Camp is this time next month! Please remember the group in your prayers as we gear up to get the kids there and for safety in travel and during the time of extreme fun. This newsletter next month will likely come from camp and we look forward to sharing the goings on. It’s going to be a blast!!

Diamonds in the Rough – March 2019

Happy Opening Day!

If you would like to help pay for transportation, support summer camp and feed the kids during Spring Break, click here and give today!

Today is Opening Day for Major League Baseball in the United States. With a new season and all of the fans’ eyes locked on their teams it seems like a good time for a quick update on what’s going on with our team as well.
1) The team recently traveled to a nearby community for a game against one of their rivals. At stake were bragging rights. The good guys came out on top and Fondo Negro won 11-3. The boys don’t often travel to other communities for games. Typically, other communities come to them because of lack of transportation (a goal for this year) so it was a big deal to play on the road and then to win on top of that was the icing on the cake!
2) Plans for summer camp are underway. 250 boys and girls from Fondo Negro will attend camp at Tierra Alta on July 30-31. We need adults to help with camp! If you are interested in this opportunity let us know. Camp is free so expenses are minimal. Come be part of a really amazing experience with these kids! Click the link below if you are interested.
3) Holy Week is just around the corner and it is one of the most important weeks of the year in the Dominican Republic. The boys are looking forward to a week off from school where they will spend hours at the river and additional time at the field. And you can’t forget the sweet beans that will be consumed in record quantities! Please pray for opportunities for our pastors, and the boys as well, to share the gospel during the week leading up to Easter.
4) Giving opportunity: Next month on April 23rd we are excited to be part of the Kitsap Great Give once again. It is a chance for you to give to the kids and have your gift multiplied! We will send out more information as the date draws near but if you are interested in taking a look now feel free to take a look at their website.

Thank you for the prayers and keeping up with our kids each month. Look for more information on the Great Give coming up. Opportunity abounds!

Summer Camp you say? I’d like to go!

Prayer Request – Update on Robert: Robert has been home for about a month now and has returned to practice and coaching the team. He has developed a problem with one of his knees which may require future surgery but for now he’s hanging in and putting in his all with the kids.

Prayer Request – Pastor Sandy: Pastor Sandy (pictured here leading a devotional before practice) is a favorite among the kids. He is a math teacher at the high school and also leads a church some of the kids attend on the weekends. His church is active and vibrant. We feel blessed to have him as a leader in our organization. Like Robert he was in a vehicle accident recently. He was ejected from a motorcycle taxi and broke his collarbone. The doctors have said surgery might be necessary so we are waiting word and praying for a quick recovery. Please pray with us.

Diamonds in the Rough – February 2019

Needs of the Community

First and foremost for anyone just joining us a word of explanation: J1Nine is fundamentally and at its core different than any other program in the Dominican Republic in a big way. We as part of our philosophy, don’t take only the kids who look to have the potential to be players in the major leagues on our team and into our program. There is no tryout process. If you want to play and do not create a negative environment on the team you are welcomed and will be given all of the benefits (and love) given to any other player on the team as though you are the star.

With that said a few weeks ago Coach Chico reached out to Joshua 1:Nine leadership with a request. Vianyel, a seven year old (seen above), had recently started coming to practice. He has a huge heart and passion for baseball and wants to the bottoms of his toes to play. But when Vianyel was younger he broke his arm. Quality healthcare is lacking in Fondo Negro and unfortunately his arm was set poorly and resulted in an arm that is always at the wrong angel. But Chico wanted him to play and he wanted him to get help to fix his disability. He said we had been the conduits of miracles in the past and wondered if we could be a conduit for a miracle for Vianyel.

So we come to you, our supporters, and ask if you can be, or know of someone who can be, the conduit of a prayed for miracle for Vianyel. We know God has someone out there who can help fix this boys arm. Are you that person?

This leads to a very important prayed for Impact Trip for 2019. One of our goals is to have a medical team in Fondo Negro for a week in the fall. There has been expressed interest from dentists and hygienists as well as doctors, nurses and sports therapists. There is great need in the community for health care and we want to put a team together that would help start the process of healing bodies. Can you be part of that team? Please let Kristin know of any interest or of anyone we should reach out to who might be interested.

And those of you who maybe can’t go, or who think you don’t have a skill that can help, pray for those people who do; that they are moved to go and for details to fall into place to be able to move into the community and make a difference in this way.

At Joshua 1:Nine our goal isn’t to only have the best players on our team. Everyone gets to play, hear about Jesus, receive educational opportunities, feel loved and accepted and get fed. Just because Vianyel has a disability doesn’t mean he gets excluded by our coaches. Can we help him with his disability to give him an even better chance? Possibly! Are you the one to help?

Are you interested in a 2019 Medical Impact Trip or know someone who might be? Let us know!

Prayer Request: Coach Robert (middle) was in a car accident a few weeks ago. After spending over a week in the hospital due to risk of bleeding in his brain he is home now but continues to need to mend. Please remember him and his family in your prayers for quick and full healing.

Diamonds in the Rough – January 2019

The Impact of an Impact Trip

Our family went on its first service trip in November. People keep asking how it went and my answer is: It was good. And hard. But good. There are so many things to think about when it comes to serving far from home, but there are a few points that have really stuck in my mind as I talk to people about our experience. 

1) God shows up where you show up. Obviously, God is there even when you’re not there, but when you make the effort and put yourself out there for Kingdom work, God honors that. Our son is 7, and he’s a wily creature of willful energy. We weren’t sure how this trip was going to go for him since we generally are taking “down time” trips, and this was anything but. I put out prayer requests specifically for our son’s experience. Boy do I wish I had asked for the same kind of prayers for myself because our son was the life of the party the whole time. He had a good attitude, was energetic, never whined, didn’t worry about what was coming next, wasn’t hesitant to dive right in…He was engaged and a joy to be with. Even all our other team members were enthusiastically interactive with him the.whole.time. God showed up in this big time. Our little boy, who can be shy and selfish was outgoing, loving, and open with everyone he met, in every place we went. 

2) It’s God’s work, not mine. Here’s the thing – the work we did in Fondo Negro while we were there could have been done faster and more efficiently by the in-country workers. They were teaching us how to mix concrete, build walls, etc. We brought nothing to that except willingness (and lots of sweat). The ball players – they don’t need us either. In fact, there is nothing any of us could offer that their coaches and pastor can’t offer them. Some people might ask what the point is – and that misses the point. God is at work in this place, and we get to be a part of that! It’s God’s work that’s being mostly funded by our contributions. Our presence isn’t strictly necessary. And this frees us to be who and what God wants us to be while we’re there. For my son – it was being the first red-headed little boy most of those kids had played with. For my husband – it was being the red-headed hard working man who helped mix and move lots of concrete and cement. For me it was pushing my bounds of comfort with children I don’t know – and I also was guaranteed the first blue- and green-haired woman they had met. God is at work in this place regardless of my presence. And that is so freeing. We have the incredible opportunity to participate – we don’t have to create any work, God has already begun it, and he will carry it to completion. My job was to be there, to be a part of another of God’s communities of children, to listen, and to learn (and to sweat a whole lot). 

If you get the chance to go visit our people in Fondo Negro – go. God is there, working, and healing, and waiting for you to visit. 

Are you interested in a 2019 Impact Trip? Let us know!

“Many hands make light work, as Duncan figured out. He never once was afraid of the challenge. I’d go on another trip with him in a heartbeat!” – Kristin

I can’t go myself but I’d like to help someone else go on a trip of a lifetime. Donate here.

Diamonds in the Rough – May 2017

x8unrdvow_nqr3epnur5jscyngzb2tcbdgyierh8hgwzvwxhbyhtn0e6btkqjb5ac7g9inhfnbnyyvzutqlal_y8vvvwiopwgzxrjbrm0i6fdhaq6j48etdmziyliz2aythinhghkxw6sb2iko2kgsdu3_i4_u8g8llc53gs0-d-e1-ftWe are heading to Fondo Negro in only three weeks and couldn’t be more excited to be back in the country and see the team. For Todd, this will be the first trip where he gets to know the new team, and for Kristin, it will be a chance to be that continual presence which has made such an impact in the work that is already being done. Next month and in the future, the newsletter will be full of pictures, stories, and videos as we introduce you to the kids we are serving with your generous support. Stay tuned and click the link below to donate and become a monthly partner if you would like a more personalized introduction to the team in the months to come.

Donate Today!

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When we first reached out to the coaches in Fondo Negro to ask about partnership opportunities, the team consisted of 55 kids. After learning about the opportunities that will be given to them once Joshua 1:Nine is funded, the team has doubled in size! This is because of the desire for what we will provide, but it’s also because the coaches now have resources to help kids where they didn’t before. We rest easy that God will provide for these kids just as Jesus did with loaves and fishes.

mt0fkocpgmwns5wjrvkk-zdfibvow91foxuvdnocmobebn83pcjwr0h23lq9v3qhdrbptkbna4nzp3p4zn6l1xqen3coh0qox2fz33ezkph8gacjg12b0lkwzgmqncrdh07uydtvjtj4daxcwnsoyjdslcjiw-n4n9cdb0ss0-d-e1-ftAll God’s People in Fondo Negro

One of the great things about working in a community like Fondo Negro is that it is a community that supports the baseball team completely. On game days and even some practices, the stands are filled with men, women, girls and boys who want to be part of the action. This gives Joshua 1:Nine a chance to impact the lives of the girls in the community as well and to keep adults involved in what their sons/nephews/brothers/cousins are doing. The program is about changing the lives of the boys on the team, but it is also about impacting an entire community.

Did you know you can help feed a boy on the team for only $30 a month?

We need people to join in as monthly partners to help feed the team. The boys will receive two meals a day, six days a week provided by a local cook. This time of sharing a meal builds camaraderie within the team and also helps with the boys’ health. Furthermore, this benefits families where there is little to go around by alleviating some of the stress on providers. A monthly contribution of $30 or more is a significant impact on an entire family.

Prayer Requests

1) Safe travel for Todd and Kristin to the Dominican Republic June 14-18.
2) Growth in partnerships.


1) Successful gear drives and partnerships with equipment providers which have provided all of the gear the team has requested and then some.