Working With Our Friends
In the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic:
Two different countries, the same Episcopal Church.
In 2016, 38 missioners from the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia worked alongside fellow Episcopalians and others in the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic.
The Diocese of Georgia has an ongoing companion relationship with the Diocese of the Dominican Republic. This relationship began in 2001, and is strengthened year after year by frequent trips by mission teams from the Diocese of Georgia to the Dominican Republic. Although some churches and individuals in the Diocese of Georgia sponsor mission trips to other international locations, most of the international mission trips from the Diocese each year are to the Dominican Republic. During 2016, there were four such mission trips, and descriptions and reports of those trips are available here. Four mission trips are currently anticipated for 2017, and others may be planned later and will be added below at that time.
For the 2016 Annual Report from the Companion Diocese Commission with photographs (PDF file), click here.
For the 2015 Annual Report without photographs (PDF file), click here.
Mission trips, exploration trips and other events planned for the remainder of 2016 and 2017 are listed below. As additional trips are planned, they will be added to the this list.
PLEASE NOTE: THE CDC HAS ISSUED A TRAVEL ALERT ABOUT THE PRESENCE OF THE MOSQUITO-BORNE ZIKA VIRUS IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AS WELL AS MANY OTHER AREAS OF THE CARIBBEAN AND CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ZIKA FROM THE CDC, CLICK HERE.
Mission Trip to San Pedro de Macorís, January 21-28, 2017 [TRIP COMPLETED]
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The Outreach Committee of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (Savannah) sponsored a mission trip to conduct an optical clinic in the city of San Pedro de Macorís from January 21-28, 2017. Twenty missioners departed from Orlando and landed at the international airport east of Santo Domingo. The group included one ophthalmologist, three optometrists, and three opticians. Here’s a final report from Dr. Alan Peaslee, one of the optometrists on the team: “We admitted 964 patients. We dispensed 382 Pairs of prescription glasses, 610 pairs of readers, nearly 500 pairs of sunglasses,and ordered 50 pairs of prescription glasses from home to be mailed back to the clinic to distribute. This week we referred a total of 137 for surgical care, 59 for surgical cataracts, 38 for uncontrolled glaucoma, 14 for surgical pterygia and 9 for severe or proliferative diabetic Retinopathy, and the remainder for a variety of other treatable problems.” This trip marks this team’s fourth year at this location, and each year the vision clinic has grown. They are considering a second, smaller clinic at another location in 2018. For more information, contact Dave Sweeterman at St. Peter’s.
Mission Trip to El Carretón, January 31-February 8, 2017 [TRIP COMPLETED]
CLICK HERE FOR MAP LOCATION OF EL CARRETÓN | JALONGA
The Southeastern Convocation of the Diocese of Georgia is sponsoring a team of nine missioners working in the villages of El Carretón and Jalonga from January 31-February 8, 2017. In El Carretón they will continue their previous work on a water system for the local Episcopal school, and in Jalonga they will inspect a set of bakery equipment in a building owned by the local Episcopal church that could be used to bake bread to sell to a nearby public school. This trip will mark the sixth consecutive year this team has worked in the Dominican Republic. For more information, contact the Rev. Dee Shaffer. To see an album of photographs coming in from this team, click here.
Mission Trip to Las Carreras, March 18-25, 2017
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St. Anne’s Episcopal Church (Tifton) will sponsor a trip to Las Carreras during March 18-27, 2017. This will be the sixth consecutive year that this team has worked in this community. They plan to work on light construction projects for villagers, including pouring concrete floors and installing bathroom/shower facilities. To see an album of photos of this team taken by the local Dominican Episcopal priest as they were working, click here. For more information, contact Stacey Beckham or the Rev. Lonnie Lacy.
Exploration Trip, April 27-May 3, 2017
The Dominican Development Group, a coordinating agency of the Episcopal dioceses with companion relationships with the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic, will conduct an exploration trip to visit many potential work sites in the Dominican Republic during the week of April 27-May 3, 2017. This trip is intended for mission team leaders and other individuals interested in an overview of the locations and facilities of the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic. The cost of the trip will be US$800 (not including airfare to and from Santo Domingo). Deadline to sign up for this trip: April 1. For more information, contact Julius Ariail or DDG Executive Director Bill Kunkle.
Mission Trip to El Pedregal, June 12-19, 2017
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Christ Episcopal Church (Valdosta) will sponsor a trip to the Dominican Episcopal camp and conference center in El Pedregal from June 12-19, 2017. This team has worked in this community since 2001. The main projects for 2017 will be to build a house in the village for a local family, restore the backboards and goals on a basketball court, conduct a veterinary clinic, and to hold VBS sessions for the village children. For a planning webpage for this trip, click here. Deadline to sign up: December 6, 2016. For more information, contact Julia Ariail or Julius Ariail.
The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of the Dominican Republic
The Diocese of the Dominican Republic is a member of The Episcopal Church’s Province IX along with the Diocese of Puerto Rico and six other dioceses in Central and South America. Assisted by the work of the Dominican Development Group in funding an endowment to augment the diocesan budget, the Diocese of the Dominican Republic is approaching financial self-sustainability after many years of being dependent on annual supplements from the budget of The Episcopal Church. The 55 mission teams that came from the United States in 2016 to work alongside Episcopal congregations in the Dominican Republic help to fund many of the ongoing construction projects, social welfare centers, and school programs of the Dominican diocese.
The Companion Diocese Commission
The Companion Diocese Commission of the Diocese of Georgia coordinates the work of our diocesan mission teams and publicizes the work of those teams. The members of the Commission are the leaders of the mission teams within the diocese, and its co-chairs are Julia and Julius Ariail (Christ Church Valdosta).
The Commission and the mission team leaders work in close cooperation with the Mission Team Support Office of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic and with the Dominican Development Group, a 501(c)(3) foundation within the Episcopal Church that coordinates the work of all of the companion dioceses to help the Diocese of the Dominican Republic strengthen its programs and achieve financial self-sufficiency. Contributions made to the Diocese of the Dominican Republic through the DDG are currently deductible as charitable contributions under IRS regulations. Contributions made directly to the Diocese of the Dominican Republic are not deductible because that diocese is considered a foreign organization for tax deduction purposes even though it is one of the dioceses that make up The Episcopal Church.
To contact the Commission, send an email message to either of these two addresses: Julia (email@example.com); Julius (firstname.lastname@example.org). To contact the Dominican Development Group, send an email message to this address: email@example.com
Funding Mission Work in the Dominican Republic
The Diocese of Georgia allocated $8,000 in its 2017 budget to support the work of the Dominican Development Group (DDG), and Bishop Benhase (or his designated representative) is a member of the DDG Board. The DDG is a consortium of the dioceses with companion relationships with the Diocese of the Dominican Republic, and works to coordinate the 50+ mission teams that come from the US each year and raises funds for the DR diocesan endowment, the proceeds from which will eventually lead to the financial self-sustainability of that diocese. Additional GA diocesan funds are budgeted to support travel expenses to attend DDG board meetings in the United States and in the Dominican Republic. Beyond that, all costs of our dynamic relationship with our Dominican Episcopal partners are borne by parishes and individuals that choose to contribute their time and labor and/or their financial resources to projects chosen for mission teams.