DR Mission Team: Serving the People of the DR Since 1990
Since 1990, the Dominican Republic Mission Team (DRMT) has been working with local partners in La Romana, DR, to serve the very poor in the bateyes and barrios. Founded initially at First Baptist Church of Wallingford, CT, the DR Mission Team has grown over the years to where they now send four weeks of people to serve (winter, two in the summer, and fall), adding up to 175-200 volunteers annually. The DRMT now supports dozens of partner organizations each year that send volunteers to La Romana on one of these four trips, including over churches, schools, Christian fellowships, businesses, and organizations.
While in La Romana, the DRMT works in conjunction with the Maranatha Church (our hosts and partners since 1990), El Buen Samaritano Hospital, Mission Maranatha, Beracca Church, the Joe Hartman School, and other ministry partners.
Read below for a short history on the founders of this mission in La Romana, Rev. Jean Luc Phanord and Pastor Elza Phanord.
Rev. Jean Luc and Pastor Elza Phanord
Rev. Jean Luc Phanord came from Haiti to La Romana in 1979, at the call of the Haitian Missionary Baptist Church of La Romana. After he returned to Haiti to marry Elza, they both came back to La Romana in 1980 and faced many harsh realities. Rev. Jean Luc was a man of vision and a very hard worker. One of his early goals was to see people get an education so their economic situations would improve.
Rev. Phanord was a man who was moved to meet the needs of human beings with compassion. For this reason, he did not respond only to the spiritual needs, but the physical and emotional needs of the people around him.
Given the diverse needs of the Haitian people in the Dominican Republic, Rev. Phanord worked hard to meet the needs of the people without regard to their race or religious belief.
Beginning in 1985, international missionary groups began undertaking several projects under Rev. Phanord's management. Some of the projects included the restoration of more than 21 churches in the bateyes, the construction of schools in bateyes and barrios around La Romana and the beginnings of mobile medical clinics. A project that is almost finished and marks the dedication and vision of Rev. Jean Luc Phanord is the Good Samaritan Hospital. The hospital has literally been built by the hands of Haitians, Dominicans and North Americans. Rev. Jean Luc Phanord will always be remembered for his vision of a hospital to serve the poor.
On Novemeber 12, 2001, Rev. Jean Luv died tragically when American Airlines Flight 587 from New York City bound for the Dominican Republic crashed. Many of the projects and visions of the Reverend were unfinished, however by the grace of God, they continue today. His widow Elza and their 3 children continued working on his vision in Kilometer 6 of La Romana. They have established Beraca Church, the Joe Hartman School and other programs. It is the desire of Elza to be a source of blessing wherever she is.
Rev. Jean Luc Phanord lived by Ephesians 4:28, "Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need."