Biblical Holistic Missions

Biblical Christian Missionary Society

 

Throughout history, amidst famines, plagues and persecution, the church has been faced with many challenges. Especially when it came to managing two things, the proclamation of the gospel and helping the needy of society. These challenges in missions and ministry are not new. When the door of ministry opened to the gentiles in the book of Acts, things became even more complicated after Paul and Barnabas turned their focus to the gentiles in their mission work. It is generally true that when crossing the cultural divide, there will be challenges in Gospel proclamation and, for some, in identifying the details of the role of the church regarding societal problems and contextualization. There is no shortage of lost or suffering people around us so that certainly has not changed today.

If anything, the problem has only been compounded over the centuries as different cultural contexts continue to be penetrated with the light of the Gospel. It is beautiful and inspiring to know that the Gospel is being taken to the darkest and hardest of places, but these are real challenges to confront, along with ever-growing needs, especially when working with the poor. It can be difficult work, and in some ways it is easier to just preach than to actually get your hands dirty in serving the helpless in society on the front lines and out of your comfort zone. But not everyone’s conscience will allow them to be speakers of the Word alone when coming face to face with such great needs of fellow imagebearers. And questions about what exactly missionaries should or should not be doing have repeatedly come into the arena of debate. Therefore, this is a controversy that certainly sticks out to me. It is the seemingly never-ending debate between what is known as prioritism and holism.

Defining the terms

We must admit that the church has not always done very well at nuancing things in the past. Especially when developing a theology that properly allows for both sides of an issue such as this one. But before delving deeper into the matter at hand, perhaps we should take some time to define the terms a little better. Depending on who you talk to, people have different ideas when using the same words. What exactly is prioritism and what is holism? Are those the only two options? 

In an article from the Judson Center, Jay Flinn summarizes the history of the evangelical holistic mission debate. He writes, “In the ensuing decades, much has been written on the topic of holistic mission. Most of what has been written can be summarized into three primary positions related to the relationship of evangelism and social action in mission. One position retains the emphasis on evangelism and church planting with little regard to social action. A second position follows Stott’s model of evangelism as the primary mission with Christian social action a secondary partner. The third position considers social action as mission equally with evangelism. While there are variants to these positions and different terms may be used to describe them, the variants are ultimately defined by the relative priority and relationship of evangelism and social action to one another.”[1]

Understanding Prioritism

On one side of the issue there are those who say that the Gospel (and some include church planting with it) should always be the main thing. And they are right, it very well should be. A classic statement on prioritism by Donald McGarvan states:

“A multitude of excellent enterprises lie around us. So great is the number and so urgent the calls, that Christians can easily lose their way among them, seeing them all equally as mission. But in doing good, they can fail of the best. In winning the preliminaries, they can lose the main game. They can be treating a troublesome itch, while the patient dies of cholera. The question of priorities cannot be avoided.”[2]

He makes a valid point. Those that hold to prioritism fear that some who hold to a more holistic approach have made the Gospel a secondary matter. Although we must acknowledge this is true of some, we also must beware of overgeneralizing. Much of the confusion is due to the reinventing words to mean things other than what they originally meant. This only muddies the theological waters, causing confusion rather than bringing clarity to the issue. These days, many words like evangelism, gospel and mission can mean different things than they used to. So it is important that we examine these terms biblically, otherwise they have no limits in how they are used and can therefore lose all real meaning.

This most likely is a result, over time, of what is referred to as “mission drift.” The CEO of Edify said,

“It’s the exception that an organization stays true to its mission. The natural course- the unfortunate natural evolution of many originally Christcentered missions– is to drift.”[3]

In an issue of Evangelical Missions Quarterly there was a “symposium” published where five leaders were asked to articulate their views regarding the relationship between proclamation and social action, and only one presented a view approximating the prioritistic position.[4] (2012,264-271) This is quite unfortunate, considering that prior to the first Lausanne Congress in 1974, prioritism was the dominant view among evangelicals. To be sure, eternal matters take priority over temporal matters. The prioritists are correct in emphasizing the Gospel as the main focus of the mission. But for some on the far end of the spectrum (strict prioritists,) it has become pretty much the only thing. This is a gaping hole in their position. Due to a deficit in the theology of some, those who hold to prioritism are often accused of neglecting the commandment to love their neighbor in their attempt to be Gospelcentered. I agree that the Gospel is the priority and should be at the top of the list for all of us. Yet, ironically, many prioritists or of those who claim to be passionate about Christ can isolate themselves from the very communities they are trying to reach by showing little interest in their temporal human condition of suffering. This is interpreted by many as a lack of love, not only by the opposing perspective, but also by the lost community that is always watching. So we should not be so quick to completely dismiss the entire holistic approach to ministry. Some of the accusations toward strict prioritists are fair and should be addressed, always remembering that there do exist other, more balanced views between these two positions. Even John Stott eventually changed his views in favor of a more balanced, holistic approach to the Great Commission.

Understanding Holism

On the other side of the issue are those who do take a more holistic approach in their mission work. They claim to believe and preach the Gospel, too, which can make what they say seem contradictory.  C. Rene Padilla, who was very influential in convincing many to embrace a holistic approach to mission, said the following:

“Holistic mission is mission oriented towards the meeting of basic human needs, including the need of God, but also the need of food, love, housing, clothes, physical and mental health, and a sense of human dignity. Furthermore, this approach takes into account that people are spiritual, social, and bodily beings, made to live in relationship with God, with their neighbors, and with God’s creation. Consequently, it presupposes that it is not enough to take care of the spiritual well being of an individual without any regard for his or her personal relationships and position in society and in the world. As Jesus saw it, love for God is inseparable from love for our neighbor.”[5]

In my opinion, he isn’t wrong in saying that love for God is inseparable from love for our neighbor. Within this camp there are those who are accused of having another Gospel, a “social justice” gospel.  And to be sure, there are some in this camp who are not very Gospelcentered at all. In the worst of cases, they can be almost completely humanistic with little to no Gospel proclamation or sound Bible teaching. Some are distracted and are neglecting real biblical evangelism. However, there are some things that a strict prioritist can learn from them. They are usually very active in serving their communities, feeding the poor, defending the weak and the needy and doing good to their family of faith and their neighbors outside of the church. Although the gospel is an eternal and weightier matter, we must at least admit that these are good and important things that should not be ignored.  And not all who take a holistic approach to mission fit the description of “social justice warriors” or would not completely agree so rigidly on one category or the other. So as the debate goes on, the line continues to seem blurred for some as to how exactly these two things should fit together. 

An alternative?

We must be aware of and willing to admit the dangers of an extreme position on either side. This is simply one of the many areas of our theology, work, mission and ministry where we must learn to live in the tension and find a way to reconcile the two ideas, since both have biblical grounds. We certainly do not want to fall off either side of the horse divide. so to speak. To do so, I believe, would be to fall into one kind of error or another. We must find a more biblical balance, and this is where Carl F. H. Henry is extremely helpful.

His credentials

Carl Henry is most relevant when it comes to this for the following reasons. He himself said he was indeed a prioritist yet held to the necessity of social concern as well. Henry was one of the founding architects of the modern U.S. Evangelical movement, and has probably said and written more about the topic than anyone else, being extremely influential “calling evangelicals to differentiate themselves from separatist fundamentalism and claim a role in influencing the wider American culture. He was involved in the creation of numerous major evangelical organizations, including the National Association of Evangelicals, Fuller Theological Seminary, Evangelical Theological Society, Christianity Today magazine (of which he was the founding editor), and the Institute for Advanced Christian Studies. The Carl F. H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding at Trinity International University seek to carry on his legacy.”[6] His vision of the necessity of theological competence and cultural engagement remains among the more vibrant alternatives in our day. He was known for his commitment to theological rigors, his active engagement with the pressing social issues of our day, but also for having an unwavering commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His book “The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism” (1947) was a response to the separatist fundamentalist movement that inadvertently became a hindrance to its own cause of reaching the lost with the Gospel.

Henry spoke eloquently about what has long been disputed by theologians and missiologists when it comes to  Henry himself had said that “these tensions now vex the church as never before in recent history.”[7]The issue has brought much division among evangelicals, especially since the fundamentalist-modernist controversy of the early twentieth century.

In an essay about Carl Henry and his “regenerational” model of evangelism and social concern, Jerry M. Ireland writes,

“Fundamentalism responded to the human-centered social agenda of liberal theology by mostly withdrawing from cultural engagement and social action, rather than developing a more biblically balanced response to the social issues. Unfortunately, fundamentalism tended to truncate the gospel’s temporal relevance in favor of an exclusive focus on eternal matters.”[8] It is my humble suggestion that we should always do both. 

His regenerational model

There is much to be learned from Henry. As Ireland points out, Henry associates these two tasks of the church in a similar way that C. H. Dodd does, distinguishing the word didache from kerygma. In Dodd’s teachings he points out that “kerygma represents the church’s unique message of salvation”,[9] the proclamation of gospel. While didache, “refers more to the church’s teachings and Scripture’s ethical demands.”[10]

Biblical warrant

The concern is a good one, to make and keep the Gospel as the priority.  However, with a quick look at the imperatives in Scripture, the life of Christ, and  the Apostle Paul’s example, one would have a difficult time presenting the case that concern for the suffering human condition of our neighbor and generosity towards them was optional. Jesus had “compassion on the multitudes.” Paul said he was “eager to help the poor,” and there are many other examples of why we should do good to the family of faith and to our neighbor. Below are just a few from the Old and New Testaments.

Old Testament Evidence

 Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor. (Proverbs 22.9)

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him. (Proverbs 14.31)

 Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered. (Proverbs 21.13)

Proverbs 14.21 Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.

Proverbs 29.7 A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.

Proverbs 31.8-9 Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Ezekiel 16.49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.

(Did you catch that? The guilt of Sodom was not aiding the poor and needy!)

New Testament Evidence

Acts 20.35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Galatians 2.10  Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

Matthew 5.42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

1 John 3.17-18 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

James 1.27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction…

Luke 14.12-14 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

Luke 12.33-34 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Luke 3.11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

We see the to need to bear the burden of the family of faith AND show love to our neighbor in word and in deed. The list of examples from Scripture can go on and on and on …

Historical Evidence

There is also the evidence from history to consider. The impact of the early church continues to be visible in Western civilization today. Historians note that “by the Middle Ages, Christianity transformed societies for the better and continue to influence culture wherever its teachings spread. The charity encouraged by biblical teachings (Luke 10.30-37) eventually led to the founding of hospitals, orphanages, homes for the elderly and care for the poor, the hungry and the homeless. Even many of the greatest and most prominent universities of our day were originally founded for “Christian” purposes.”[11] 

Throughout history, the tendency of the church to extend compassion to those suffering and in need around them , was simply the fruit of Christians living out a transformed, Spiritfilled life in obedience to the Scriptures. They imitated the example of Christ, motivated by love for the One who loved us first, and who sacrificially gave Himself for us. In what way would this at all be a bad thing? With Scripture and history attesting to the pattern of bold Gospel proclamation AND compassion and generosity to others, why would it be any different for the church today? 

There is no need to debate whether or not the church should be generous to the family of faith. But there are those who think that we should not be distracted by societal problems or invest too much time or money in showing compassion to imagebearers outside the church.  Henry certainly had a unique eloquence when it came to reconciling this issue. At times he spoke the language of both camps. He held to maintaining the Gospel as a priority yet maintaining social concern as something important and necessary.

It is important to note that even though Henry’s model held both views as necessary, it doesn’t mean that both were equal. Henry was critical of liberal and secular fallacies regarding the benevolence of God. In the book Controversies in Missions, Jerry M. Ireland writes that

“Henry finds a cause for concern among liberal and secular tendencies… and warns against confusing evangelism and social concern- or of reducing evangelism to merely attacking social or political evils. To do so is to commit the ultimate act of lovelessness, for it neglects humanity’s greatest need, namely personal redemption and supernatural regeneration.”[12]

Ireland also makes an important distinction when he says it is

“slightly off base to say that evangelism and social concern are two wings of the same bird, or two sides of the same coin. For even Scripture never equates these two things as in such an overtly parallel manner, even though Scripture upholds the necessity and importance of both.”[13] 

We must work out and live in the tension that exists there.

We should want more people to come to Christ. As a result of making disciples, more churches will eventually be planted. And historically, the church has been a means by which good naturally overflows to the world around it. It is a grace of God, a benefit of simply living in proximity to the people of God. Yet what happens in some churches over time is that the focus becomes much more inward, to what happens within the four walls of a building, and less time being salt and light to those around them. The evidence of this is seen in how little is designated for benevolence in the budgets of the average local church.  

Sadly, I personally know of missionaries who have realized the imbalance of the strict prioritist view and actually lost support from some churches, when due to an “uneasy conscience” of their own, as Henry would call it, they became more involved in helping meet the needs of those who they served in addition to the regular evangelism and preaching and teaching of the Word. They were rejected by some supporters who were strict prioritists when taking a more holisitic approach and becoming more involved in their communities. They were penalized for obeying God in loving their neighbor. 

When a missionary decides to obey the Scriptures in both areas in love for their neighbors, but then actually loses support from churches, this is not only tragic, it is madness! The Gospel must always remain the main thing, of course, but we must also learn to walk in the good works that we were prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2.10.) We are told to love, but not only in word, but in deed as well (1 John 3.18), and that our faith without works is dead. (James 2.26) 

Dare I say that when we justify our lack of compassion by saying that the greatest act of love is sharing the Gospel with people (which is indeed true), some may be attempting to hide some real laziness and apathy. May the Lord guard our hearts from such things and give us grace to do that which is most important without neglecting other necessary commands. 

Making evangelism a priority shouldn’t mean neglecting acts of compassion. Neither does a holistic approach have to mean the neglect of evangelism in any way.

Why not both?

The question is, why not both? Carl Henry considered himself a prioritist but clearly believed and taught that both were necessary tasks of the church. It is possible to preach a biblical Gospel, emphasizing evangelism, training leaders and discipleship, while also serving your community, showing compassion to those suffering whenever possible.  It is unfortunate when those who maintain a better balance are accused of a “social Gospel” when Gospel proclamation is not being neglected, but rather a biblical command that was missing in ministry is simply added. We are called to be salt and light, doing good works so that others may glorify our Father in heaven. After all, a genuine faith is not merely intellectual and passive, but an active working faith. And in light of the biblical and historical evidence, this does indeed seem to be a more balanced and accurate way for doing missions, and ministry in general.

Ireland makes a point worth remembering when discussing these issues. He says that

“it is important that we distinguish the Gospel itself from the demands of the Gospel and avoid equivocating the two if we are to be faithful to Scripture. When this is done, then we can advocate for both the priority of evangelism and for a robust Christian social concern.”[14]

He also uses a helpful illustration from everyday life to demonstrate this. He says, 

“Imagine if you had to go to a bank to make a deposit in order to pay your bills. Going to the bank would be the priority. Because if the paycheck is not deposited then the bills cannot be paid. Clearly one thing is a priority and must take place first, yet both remain necessary. I must deposit my check and I must pay my bills. The second thing depends on the first thing having taken place already and the priority of the first does not render the second as optional.”[15]

The same is true with evangelism and social concern, with loving your neighbor. And let us avoid seeking to justify ourselves by asking, “Who is my neighbor?”

Making evangelism a priority shouldn’t mean neglecting acts of compassion. Neither does a holistic approach mean the neglect of evangelism in any way. At this point, the terms prioritism and holism have taken on so much baggage and different meanings that they have almost been rendered useless, especially when it often cannot be agreed upon as to what they even mean. But when it comes to making Christ known through bold evangelism AND showing compassion and love to our neighbor, I say this is biblical New Testament Christianity.  So why not both?

 

ANTONIO SALGADO, JR. 

Perdonado Y Perdonando (En Español)

“Soportándose unos a otros y perdonándose unos a otros si alguno tiene agravio contra otro. Así como el Señor los perdonó, ustedes también deben perdonar ”.
Colosenses 3:13 

El evangelio no es solo para el mundo incrédulo. El Evangelio también es muy importante para los creyentes. Nunca debemos dejar de recordar. Nunca debemos dejar de predicarnos el Evangelio a nosotros mismos primero, porque de hecho somos criaturas olvidadizas. Nunca debemos dejar de mirar a la cruz con asombro, por el hecho de que nosotros mismos podemos ser perdonados.

Fue Charles Spurgeon quien dijo una vez:

“Mientras otros se felicitan a sí mismos, yo tengo que recostarme humildemente al pie de la cruz de Cristo y maravillarme de que soy salvo”.

El perdón que recibimos realmente es muy humillante, pero también muy liberador. ¿Cómo es posible te preguntas? Esta mentalidad evangélica nos libera y nos recuerda el alcance de la gracia de Dios hacia nosotros en la muerte de su Hijo en la cruz. También nos recuerda la profundidad de nuestro propio pecado y la ofensa que es para Dios. Mucho más ofensivo y perverso que cualquier pecado que alguien más haya cometido contra nosotros. Porque nuestro pecado es en, última instancia contra nuestro Creador, un Dios tan Santo, tan absolutamente apartado, y con un valor infinitamente mayor del que nosotros, como meras criaturas.

Pero cuando “captamos” el Evangelio, comprendiendo realmente por qué la muerte de Cristo fue necesaria y sus implicaciones, nos liberamos de pensar en nosotros mismos más alto de lo que deberíamos. También debemos reconocer que la falta de perdón y la amargura es un veneno que es sumamente tóxico para nuestros propios corazones. Y a menudo es nuestro orgullo el origen de todo ello. Definitivamente deberíamos sentirnos humildes por la gracia demostrada en la cruz, pero esta gracia debería permitirnos perdonar verdaderamente a los demás también. Podemos luchar a veces, cuando el dolor es profundo y la persona que nos lastimó es alguien cercano y querido. Podemos hacer las cosas mal y hacer las cosas de manera imperfecta. Pero el Espíritu de Dios en nosotros hará que deseemos perdonar y, finalmente, llegaremos a un lugar de verdadero perdón hacia los demás.

Como cristianos, deberíamos ser personas que perdonan. Predicarnos el Evangelio a nosotros mismos y meditar sobre nuestra propia posición ante Dios es de gran ayuda cuando luchamos por perdonar a los demás, ya que es un recordatorio constante de la gracia de Dios hacia nosotros y de la profundidad de nuestro propio pecado. Un pecado tan perverso y tan profundamente arraigado en nuestros propios corazones, que solo por la muerte del Hijo de Dios se podía pagar.

Y de hecho está pagado. No hay más consecuencias o ira reservadas para nosotros porque Cristo lo tomó todo sobre sí mismo. Todo ello. Por eso “no hay condenación para los que están en Cristo Jesús”. Para los que están en él. Sí, incluso a aquellos a quienes les cuesta perdonar, si son creyentes, su pecado está cubierto. Se nos ha mostrado una gracia tan maravillosa y un amor tan trascendente, tan más allá de nuestro entendimiento, que adoraremos por toda la eternidad absolutamente asombrados de haber sido perdonados.

“Pero Dios, que es rico en misericordia, por el gran amor que nos tenía, nos dio vida con Cristo aunque estábamos muertos en nuestros delitos. ¡Eres salvo por gracia! ”
Efesios 2: 4-5

Así que ora, luego sigue adelante y perdona a esa persona. No pierdas más tiempo sintiéndote amargado y abrigando esos sentimientos. Tus heridas sanarán y crecerás a partir de esta experiencia. Sean “imitadores de Dios”, mostrando gracia y perdonando.

Junto con Spurgeon, yo también debo hacerlo a menudo …

“… tengo que recostarme humildemente al pie de la cruz de Cristo y maravillarme de que soy salvo”.

Si estamos en Cristo, somos perdonados, completamente y perfectamente. Por lo tanto, una de las señales de identidad del cristiano es perdonar a los demás, como también a nosotros se nos ha perdonado.

 

 

Salgado Newsletter BCMS

Dear friends, mission partners, brothers and sisters in Christ,

I would first like to express my gratitude to all the mission partners who have prayed for, supported, and even visited us over the last nine years. We are extremely grateful for each and every one of you that God has used to help us continue the work here, share the Gospel, help us with Yeison’s (and the rest of our family’s) needs and for every encouraging message to let us know that there were always countless people praying for us and those we have been serving. When we were in hard financial times, when one of us were sick, when loneliness and other hardships came and went, I have no doubt that it was through the many prayers of the saints that God continued to help us and provide in every situation.

It is STILL humbling to remember how everything started. Almost nine years ago, my family and I came here to live full time to serve with pastor Jose. We came here by faith and with very little support. We spent almost three years working with him and the three churches that were planted there in and around Esperanza. We visited the country, kept in touch with him and would send financial help during nearly five years prior to the move. Through a series of events, the Lord opened the door for us to serve in Santiago. Eventually, a church was planted in Hato Mayor which is still doing well and has their own Dominican pastor now, by the grace of God.

There were ups and downs as always of course. Some of us got sick many times. Most of us have had our share of dengue, chikungunya, parasites and bacterias (including shigella). I was involved in a few motorcycle accidents and fell ill quite a few times myself. But the Lord continued to work through weak and broken vessels. Besides health problems, there were marital issues, family issues, financial issues and other situations (including opposition quite often), that at times, had me in despair. We suffered in silence many times. The kinds of things you don’t read about in newsletters. Most missionary families have real issues but are afraid to speak about them. Between the pressures of living in a foreign context, far away from family and the fear of losing needed support. Only a few trusted people close to us knew all that we had endured and were enduring on a personal level. Most people only saw the pictures and videos in the posts on social media. Mostly the good side. But there was always so much more, that often had us to our limits. The pandemic certainly hit us hard too.

Some children came to live with us for a time over the years, but then would move on. Yeison and Sahira stayed with us. Our own kids grew up. They spent at least half their life here in the DR. But over time, our children began moving out and becoming independent one by one. The family has certainly been through many changes, especially over the last 1-2 years, and our family looks much different today than it used to. Trini left a couple of years ago and is married now. Maya moved a year ago and just graduated high school. She has a car and is working and planning for college. Nito is working and became independent and recently moved out on his own here in the DR. There have been many family issues, and we desire to remove ourselves from the “spotlight” so to speak. Things are much different now than they were a few years ago. But there is still much that can be accomplished, and I will still be in country for Yeison. But the work will hopefully continue, Lord willing, with a few changes.

Therefore, it’s my desire that neither I, nor what’s left of the family, be the focus of anything done as ministry here in the future. Even so, my desire is not to stop the work or cut off potential help that any national partners of ours would or have received through BCMS. The plan is that although the “Salgado DR Mission” will go away, the hope is that BCMS (which started as Salgado DR Mission but grew to start and help other ministries here and even working in Haiti), would continue with the support and prayers of mission partners back home. Support has certainly gone down through these rough seasons and transitions, yet my prayer is that support would continue so that the work and help can continue as well. That the medical clinics, evangelism, help for the poor, food and school supply distribution, providing bibles and supporting nationals who we have worked with for years would continue as we function as necessary  support system, a lifeline of resources for others here, Lord willing. This all depends upon what the Lord provides through our partners back home of course. People like Leonel in Haiti come to mind, who has many needs, serves faithfully and received financial help through us for his family so that he would be able to continue ministry there.

My decision to remain in the DR, apart from overseeing the work here,  is mainly because of Yeison. After God, then our spouses, comes our children. In the case of , my next priority must be to my children, mainly Yeison since the rest are older and independent now. Just as God never abandons His children, I could never come to terms with leaving him behind for something so superficial as a better life temporarily for me. Of course, I would do better off in the States financially. Some think I should come home. Work is easier to find, there is easier access to resources and I would be closer to family. But what about Yeison? What would happen to Yeison? How would he feel? What would that do to his emotional state and his future? How could I even live with myself? He’s been with us since he was barely three months old. I just can’t come to terms with leaving him behind. My other children feel the same way. They have expressed to me how there is no way I can leave their brother. They love him very much and so do I.

This entire process has been very stressful and painful. Since the letter I wrote about the furlough and break from ministry, giving has gone down significantly. On top of that, the school I have been teaching at for a couple of years has decided that they are trying a different kind of English program that partners with another institution. Which means they are bringing their own teachers. Which also means another loss of income for me. Thankfully, the school decided to give Yeison a scholarship for next year, because everyone that meets him loves him, and wanted to somehow help me. This was purely the grace of God since right now, I cannot afford that on my own.

So, I now find myself at a very difficult transition in life, praying for God’s guidance and relying on His provision. Ironically, after years of helping and serving others, now I find myself in need of much help myself. This letter is not only an update to our crisis, but also a very real cry for help at the same time. I did not expect to lose my job at the school and work is not easy to come by here. I admit, I worry quite a bit. I worry about Yeison and what will happen to us. I worry about how we’ll survive if support no longer came in. I worry about others who have depended on the help that came through BCMS/ Salgado DR Mission. Even with the changes, there is still much good that can be done and plenty of work to do through BCMS and the nationals here. But that takes resources and willing mission partners.

I ask all of our supporters to pray for all of this and help if you can. I have faithfully served the Lord here for almost nine years, and several years before that in our local church back home too. Please bring these requests before the Lord in prayer and consider helping, supporting and praying if you can. Thank you and God bless.

In Service to Him,

Antonio Salgado Jr,

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”

– Philippians 1:3-5

 

We do not use a sending agency that gets a percentage of the money donated, so you can be sure that your gift goes directly to the mission field.

If the Lord so lays on your heart to give back to Him by supporting this ministry,  you can send your tax deductible gift to:

CENTRAL MISSIONARY CLEARINGHOUSE
P.O. Box 219228
Houston, Texas 77218-9228
1-800-CMC-PRAY (1-800-262-7729)
Office: 281-599-7411
Fax: 281-599-7511

The ministry of (CMC) serves hundreds of missionaries, but they ONLY receive the funds for us and in no way have control over how the funds are to be spent or what we are to do as a ministry, which gives room to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and the liberty in making needed adjustments.

You may begin sending your support to the BCMS (Antonio Salgado) at any time at the address above. (Checks should be made payable to Central Missionary Clearinghouse or C.M.C.)

You can also now give to the ministry here in the DR online through the new giving solution called “click and give” at the CMC website.

To get started you just need to click on the link below and register the first time. Just a simple click on the donate button on their page (see link below), and then click the “click and give icon/button”.

https://www.cmcmissions.org/donate

You will then have a private giving solution that comes with many benefits to you the donor. If you have any questions please call the office (tel:1-800-262-7729 or 281-599-7411), and they very kindly will walk you through what you need to do.

You can also donate to this ministry online with Paypal. Click the donate button below and you can send support of any amount directly to the ministry. You can choose the option of doing a one-time donation and this is the fastest option to get funds to us.

Unfortunately through Paypal we are not set up for receiving recurring donations at this time. But the other online giving option above does the recurring monthly donation option. Simply register one time and that’s it.

For tax exemption, you must send your donation through Central Missionary Clearinghouse (CMC) at the address above. 

We do not use a sending agency that gets a percentage of the money donated, so you can be sure that your gift goes directly to the mission field.

Whatever you decide, thank you so much for praying for us and helping this ministry. God Bless You!

Salgado DR Mission Newsletter

Dear friends, mission partners, brothers and sisters in Christ,

It is most appropriate that we begin by expressing our gratitude to God for all of you who have prayed for and supported us over the years. The Lord has been faithful to provide for us, and for others through times of celebration and times of difficulty. To God be the glory.

Yeison had another evaluation last week. The doctor decided that since he has progressed so well, that he can now continue his therapies at home with us. This is great news and we are so happy for our little guy. He is very excited and already talking about wanting to start playing sports, something he couldn’t do before since he used to easily trip and fall often. It took a long time to get his surgery done, with lots of battling with the insurance company who was not wanting to cover things, but even so, we are thankful for all the progress that has been made. His life has changed in many ways since his surgery, and he is really excited about possibly playing sports. Thank you to everyone who prayed for us and even helped us pay for that surgery and the therapy sessions that were not covered either.

This past year has really been a difficult one, for everyone really. I personally know of many churches that are struggling, some have even had to close their doors. I know of lots of missionaries that are struggling  since the pandemic started. Some got blocked from going back into the countries they were serving in. Some have lost portions of their funding due to supporters losing their jobs. Some missionaries are ill and recovering, unsure if or when they can return to the field. Some have had bouts of depression or other mental health issues due to the overwhelming increase of stress due to the needs in the people they serve. The loss of employment in an already poor and unstable place causes desperation among the people. There is a thick tension and there is a burden to help. But with an obvious burn out on the horizon, many missionary families have had their share of difficulties. The wife, the children, all of them.

We are one of those families. Many of our supporters know about our situation with Yeison. Until he gets approved for a visa and can travel with us, we are pretty much stuck between two worlds. We have been here for over 8 years now. We have never had a furlough. We (usually separately, so one of us can stay with Yeison) have gone back to the States for a month here and there when I have spoken at different churches, or Christen would visit with the kids to see family. Rarely have we all traveled together in the last six years since Yeison came into the picture. The couple of times we did, on short trips, he was left with very trusted friends here that are like family. But it affected him. He thought we weren’t coming back or felt abandoned. He asks why he can’t get on a plane with us or if he is going to have to live with another family. It was heart breaking to think that he felt that way or even thought such things on his own.

About three years ago I attempted an “in country” break from ministry when we were on the verge of burnout, but it didn’t work out so well. I still ended up very involved in many things. And in a short time I was doing even more than before and I ended up even more exhausted afterwards. But it’s been eight years now. Yes, we have done a lot by the grace of God. But humanly speaking, it all has taken quite a toll on us. The pressure to perform, for fear of losing the few supporters we have. The overwhelming amount of needs. It was always in the back of my mind how we were so easily forgotten. Not to the mention the other issues that just arise out of the nature of ministry dealing with everyone’s sins and mistakes, including our own. Don’t get me wrong, we have always trusted the Lord and always will. We know for a fact He has provided and sustained us here for this long, Especially, since we came to the field with practically nothing. The Lord has always been very good to us. And it has been very helpful to remember all of those answered prayers and God’s faithfulness through dark times over the years.

But it is wise to know your limitations. As much as we want to do, we can’t do everything. I have not been good at discerning that and saying no to things. I have been pushing the limit for too long and unfortunately it has hurt us. All of us. We always have hoped to get the visa and then take the furlough for at least a year back home, only entering and exiting the country when necessary to keep his visa active. That hasn’t happened yet.

So I write this update to announce that we will be taking a furlough. Due to the circumstances, it will have to be an in country furlough from all ministry. On our break we still be working and praying to get another appointment in hopes of getting a visa approval. It is is possible, but we realize it is not guaranteed. But, in the mean time we will be resting from most of our ministry labors, almost everything. I will be only working as an “administrator” of sorts to keep things going. We are a small ministry, and to keep costs down we have always had to do almost everything ourselves. But there are areas of ministry that should go on and people that depend on us to keep it going. We do not want the support others receive through us and their respective ministries to stop or be affected at all if possible. Thankfully, I do have a few faithful men I can count on to make things happen in my absence who are trustworthy and can get it done. Praise God for that.

We will continue to support the church of Hato Mayor, though we may not be present for a time as we plan to go elsewhere for counseling and to disconnect a bit. We will continue providing for Pastor Victor’s seminary training. We will be continue supporting Leonel and the work in Haiti, hoping to get a few more men involved to support and join him in the work with a few groups there as well. We will continue to provide help and food and medicine for the several people in and around the community as we have always done, it will just not be us personally doing it. We will provide (Lord willing of course) the means to allow this type of ministry to continue by others who work closely with us. We pray that the funds continue to come in so that these and other projects can continue as usual. These are all done with funds that come in above and beyond what our own family’s needs are. So please consider praying for us and continuing to support us through this season.

There will be costs like that of our counseling sessions, a possible relocation to disconnect from things for a while in order to avoid another failure like our last attempt at some rest and healing. This was not an easy announcement for us to make. But it is necessary.

Some may ask, “why don’t you just come home?” As in leave Yeison behind for our family’s sake. Implying that somehow Yeison is not really part of our family. Well that is easier said than done. Not even easily said for me.  Most people tell us “you’re wife and kids and your number one priority. Yes, we agree. Christ loves His bride and we should do anything for ours. Except that our situation is bit unique and multifaceted. We have a Dominican child, he is our son. He’s been with us since he was only three months old. So although the argument that Christ would never abandon His bride is true, and although we should do anything for ours, it is also true of our God that He never abandons or forsakes any of His children. So what are we supposed to do? Leave Yeison behind in the name of being Christlike in one sense, while at the same time going against the character of God by abandoning one of our own children?? God forbid. We don’t see that as an option. We have also known of cases where people with good intentions took on children only later to give them back or abandon them altogether at an orphanage, causing more harm than good to both parties, but especially to the children. We hope and pray that we can get a visa soon. But that is really out of our control. Please pray that God would graciously allow for that to happen.

So this break while being here is the best possible solution we can come up with for now. I am still teaching at the school for now, but am seriously considering if I should stop for a while. I will no longer be involved in the magazine project, the Bible Institute (which was put on hold due to COVID anyway) or food and medicine distribution, at least not personally during this break. But we are still willing and feel led to raise and receive funds for those things entrusting their execution to a few faithful brothers, especially Leonel in Haiti and Pastor Victor in Hato Mayor. But I will be protecting my time to be intentionally focused towards God, myself, my marriage and my family as much as possible.

This will come with a cost and a risk. Counseling sessions aren’t cheap, catching up on doctor visits that have been put on the back burner as usual due to work have their cost, and some cash to just get away and rest with the family are all extra expenses we will need help with. We have received a few private messages or caring brothers urging us to slow down or happy to hear that we will be taking some time for ourselves. That has been encouraging. But the pattern in the past has been that the less active we seem on social media or in reporting, the less funds we receive. Even though there are times that I seemed to report little, but we actually remained quite busy. But I have come to the point that I just cannot worry about this and allow that fear to hinder me from doing what I think is best and necessary for myself and my family.

I often am surprised that people forget we are just regular people with our own issues, struggles and sins just like you. Perhaps because of the kind of work we do, others may tend to see us as more spiritual or somehow above certain things. That is certainly not the case and there are no superheroes in the Kingdom. Don’t let others fool you or tell you otherwise.  If anything, our problems and struggles and multiplied by our complicated situation here in another context and an immense load of responsibility. It really puts a strain on everything over time. I am weary and tired and need some time to rest and to pour into my family and refocus. I pray that our supporters will continue to be there for us financially and pray for us more than ever. We really do need your prayers and support during this time. May God give us the rest we need and the wisdom to use this time wisely for healing, personal and spiritual growth, and increased unity in our family and marriage for God’s glory. Pray for us.

In Service to our God and King,

Antonio Salgado Jr.

Salgado DR Mission Newsletter

Dear mission partners, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ,

A few update and prayer requests:

Just a few weeks ago, our second daughter Maya went back to Florida to finish school there. It was hard for us considering that it feels like just yesterday Trinity was leaving. Now our two oldest daughters will be in Florida. Those of you that follow us on Facebook may have noticed that a fews ago I went silent for a short time on social media. We were ok, but it was mostly for security reasons. Tonito traveled along with Maya and I. But that left only Christen, Sahira and Yeison at home. A short time before our trip, there was man that had been killed just a few houses away from ours. Crime is on the rise around here, and even though I usually post frequently on social media, I intentionally did not post during that time since I was not going to be home. We really felt better if most people here in the DR that follow us didn’t know I was gone, especially since it was only a short trip anyway. I personally only told Pastor Victor that I’d be gone. He offered to help with anything Christen and the kids needed, even though she handles herself well around here and is a pretty tough cookie.

Unfortunately, since the pandemic began and things got financially rough for most people, the crime here has increased. So, just in case, I tried to slip in and out of the country unnoticed for the most part. Thankfully everyone is safe and no one has gotten sick. People around here seem unsure around foreigners and those who have traveled recently anyway with COVID on the rise again. So it was just best that way all around.

Yeison has been going to therapy since his surgery and is progressing quite well. He couldn’t walk at first. Then he walked with a bit of a limp and rather uncomfortably. But he is doing better these last couple of weeks and he actually loves going to therapy now. All the workers there love him and he calls it his “gym” because of all the exercises they make him do. Please pray that he continues to make progress and can finally walk with a more natural posture.

You may have seen in the news how the hurricane came through here and did some damage. Pray for Pastor Kendar who we have partnered with to take relief to the flood victims in Hato Mayor on the East Coast. He is originally from that area and has expressed a burden to help. They got hit pretty hard with the storm that came through. There were care packages with staple food items and toiletries prepared several days ago and have been distributed. Thanks to your donations we were able to extend some help to the people there. You can contact us if you wish to help more with that, just attach a note that states “Hurricane relief” and it will be designated to provide either, food shoes or clothes for those impacted by the flooding.

Please also pray for the several pastors who are struggling financially to eat and sustain their families right now. Some were full time, some are bi-vocational. But even those who work usually do not make much, and the average churches in most areas here don’t bring in much to begin with. There are countless churches that haven’t met in months. We began doing what we can to provide some financial help for a few we know of personally. But we would need help in order to continue to do so. Thankfully, Pastor Victor and his wife have not been hurt too bad at their places of employment.  The church in Hato Mayor began to meet for a couple of weeks, but had to stop again for a time since things were tightening up around here. We are even back under a curfew, but we hope to start meeting again at the end of the month, Lord willing.

Pray for Leonel in Haiti who, despite many difficulties, has continued to do an amazing work with very little. The Gospel continues to go out and he is regularly meeting with new believers for discipleship. I haven’t been able to get back there yet, but we remain in contact and receive updates from him regularly. His children and parents are all still healthy and doing well for the most part. By Gods grace, and thanks to your donations, we were able to send a love offering to help provide for his children’s school supplies, clothes and shoes, apart from his regular support this month.

All of these things that go above and beyond our own families needs are only possible thanks to your generosity and prayers. We know that God provides through His people, and we are extremely thankful for those who support us. When we receive much, we are able to do much more. When we receive little, we do what we have always done. But we are always in need of new mission partners to help us keep up with the ministry commitments we have here like: needs in the church, medical help for the sick, Pastor Victor’s studies (which is a blessing for him and the church), Leonel’s work and family in Haiti, regular mercy ministry for the poor, the recent disaster relief, etc. Our family will always have our own bills and needs too. The Lord has continued to provide through the pandemic so far. Please pray that He would continue to show us such kindness. To Him be all the glory and honor.

We believe that your role in missions is just as important as ours. There are no “all stars” in the Kingdom. None of us even deserve to be on the team to begin with. But we can only do what we do because of your help. Those who pray for and support missionaries play a role just as important as those on the field. Consider partnering with us so that the work here may continue. Thank you if you are already a mission partner and are praying for this ministry. We will always need others to hold the rope for us on the other side, and thankful for those who have done so faithfully over the years. Thank you and God bless. To God be the glory.

In service to our King,

Antonio and Christen Salgado and family

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”

– Philippians 1:3-5

 

We do not use a sending agency that gets a percentage of the money donated, so you can be sure that your gift goes directly to the mission field.

If the Lord so lays on your heart to give back to Him by supporting this ministry,  you can send your tax deductible gift to:

CENTRAL MISSIONARY CLEARINGHOUSE
P.O. Box 219228
Houston, Texas 77218-9228
1-800-CMC-PRAY (1-800-262-7729)
Office: 281-599-7411
Fax: 281-599-7511

The ministry of (CMC) serves hundreds of missionaries, but they ONLY receive the funds for us and in no way have control over how the funds are to be spent or what we are to do as a ministry, which gives room to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and the liberty in making needed adjustments. This is one of the reasons why we went with CMC. There are also three trusted pastors which sit as our mission board.

You may begin sending your support to the Salgado DR Mission at any time at the address above. (Checks should be made payable to Central Missionary Clearinghouse or C.M.C.)

You can also now give to the ministry here in the DR online through the new giving solution called “click and give” at the CMC website.

To get started you just need to click on the link below and register the first time. Just a simple click on the donate button on their page (see link below), and then click the “click and give icon/button”.

https://www.cmcmissions.org/donate

You will then have a private giving solution that comes with many benefits to you the donor. If you have any questions please call the office (tel:1-800-262-7729 or 281-599-7411), and they very kindly will walk you through what you need to do.

You can also donate to this ministry online with Paypal. Click the donate button below and you can send support of any amount directly to the ministry. You can choose the option of doing a one-time donation and this is the fastest option to get funds to us.

Unfortunately through Paypal we are not set up for receiving recurring donations at this time. But the other online giving option above does the recurring monthly donation option. Simply register one time and that’s it.

For tax exemption, you must send your donation through Central Missionary Clearinghouse (CMC) at the address above. 

We do not use a sending agency that gets a percentage of the money donated, so you can be sure that your gift goes directly to the mission field.

Whatever you decide, thank you so much for praying for us and helping this ministry. God Bless You!

Salgado DR Mission Newsletter

Dear mission partners, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ,

We thank you for your ongoing prayers and support. May God bless you for your faithful and sacrificial giving so that we may continue to labor for the Lord here, reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our daughter Maya just turned 18 years old last weekend. We have been trying to send her and Nito to Florida for at least part of the Summer. But with all the travel restrictions, it’s not looking promising for their trip as of now.  Tickets have proven very hard to find and are more expensive than the regular cost if you can get them. They go quick. We are still hoping to find something, so they can at least see the family, even if it is just for a short time. Our daughter Trinity in Tampa is also turning 20 years old tomorrow! So that has us feeling a little old, haha. The years continue to just fly by. When we first arrived here we had three young children, now we have two adult children and Nito will be 17 and passed me in height some time ago. May the Lord give us wisdom and teach us to number our days and redeem the time we have left. It is fleeting.

We finished out the month of doing lots of food distribution and evangelism. Throughout April and May we spent over $7,000 for relief funds that was used to buy food for 500 families in the DR and in Haiti. At least $1,500 more was spent for some extra things we did for a few heartbreaking special cases, and the love offerings for some beloved pastors who really needed help.  We are thankful for God’s provision in all of this since the quarantine has left many people unable to work and in great desperation.

We love serving people and getting out there preaching the Gospel, but we did have to take periodic breaks. We were still in the school year and had commitments teaching and planning during those months. It was not easy balancing those two things plus making sure our kids were where they needed to be with their school work too. Each distribution alone was about three days worth of work including purchasing, packaging, preaching and driving time while distributing. It did put us behind on some other things. But seeing the needs, it quickly became a priority for to us to help as much as we could. But by God’s grace, we got it done.

Pastor Victor was active in helping us often. He was very helpful and it was an incredible experience overall and Christ was glorified through the expressions of love for the suffering and the preaching of the Gospel. In a lot of cases we were able to preach to entire families, their neighbors and other groups near where we were working. If the people were very receptive, we spent a lot of extra time with them.

When we didn’t work in our area near the church in Hato Mayor, we were intentional about working through another local church helping them help the communities they are in. Praise God for everyone who donated to make this possible. We could not have done any of that without your help through financial support and prayers. Thank you

We have a little break from teaching English now that it’s Summer. We may need tocontinue to do it next school year though. The extra money helps, especially during the tight months and when unexpected expenses pop up.  We have other plans that need funding too, including possible ministry in another part of the island. But for right now we must focus on Yeison for a little while.

He just had a tendon extension surgery to fix his extreme toe walking condition. If not corrected, it can affect not only his gait, but also his hips, spine and the bone structure of his feet (it already has a little). Those who have followed us over the years may remember when we started this process when he was much smaller. The braces on his legs, special boots, a second pair of braces, LOTS of therapy, all in hopes of not having to operate. In the end the doctors said there was little improvement and the surgery was definitely needed anyway. We are hoping that by doing it now, he will be in good shape when the new school year starts, Lord willing.

The surgery itself was postponed twice. Once because we finally got insurance (after not having it for about seven years), but they said we had to wait a six-month period before they would cover any surgeries. Then, the pandemic put it on hold the second time. Then, as we were getting the ball rolling the third time, and having almost every single test done again, the insurance company informed us that they would not cover it. First they said due to us being foreigners we didn’t have all the coverage a Dominican could have. Then they said because it is a preexisting condition and wasn’t covered. I admit this left us very frustrated after being so close time and time again and not having some of this information sooner. We were led to believe earlier in the process that it would be covered, but oh well. We understood it would be done eventually in God’s timing. And that time finally came, shortly after we received bad news the last time.

Thankfully, some generous supporters are now covering the cost of his surgery and in the healing and therapy process. I was able to make the payment for the surgery yesterday, and he was operated this morning. God has been so gracious once again.

Most of our time on the mission field has been like this, depending on God and seeing His faithfulness and provision time and time again. Ever since the beginning. We were sent out of a tiny country church, no sending agency, with very little support,  just hoping that the Lord would confirm that this was His will for us. By God’s grace, that was almost 8 years ago now. I pray that our children never forget how much the Lord has done for us over the years, and I hope to set apart time some day to write down some of the stories, so that we can remember, give thanks to God anew and perhaps encourage others in some way by sharing them.

We still aren’t sure exactly when the church here can meet again. But it’s supposed to be very soon, and we are very much looking forward to it. In the meanwhile, we have still been communicating through messages, sharing and  watching the  sermons online as well. It will be interesting to see how this quarantine has effected people. For sure, some are eager to meet again. Others may be afraid to meet yet, probably for good reasons if they have serious health issues already. I fear that sadly, some have grown used to being at home and may have no desire to return. Time will tell and this may very well reveal more about the spiritual state of many “churchgoers” from all over.

Please pray for the church,  pray for our family, our marriage and our needs as a family. Pray for Yeison’s recovery and that the Lord would have everything turn out even better than expected.

Pray for the many people who have recently heard the Gospel and that Pastor Victor and/or I can follow up with them.

Pray also for the many people who are still in great need, having been home for so long without work or any income. We hope to be able to help more people soon. We are still humbled by the fact that God uses us at all. It is a great privilege to serve the Lord in this way, He is definitely worthy. To God be the glory!

Thank you for your love, prayers and support and God bless.

In Service to our Lord and King,

Antonio and Christen Salgado and family

 

If the Lord so lays on your heart to support this ministry in any way,  you can send your tax deductible gift to:

CENTRAL MISSIONARY CLEARINGHOUSE
P.O. Box 219228
Houston, Texas 77218-9228
1-800-CMC-PRAY (1-800-262-7729)
Office: 281-599-7411
Fax: 281-599-7511

The ministry of (CMC) serves hundreds of missionaries, but they ONLY receive the funds for us and in no way have control over how the funds are to be spent or what we are to do as a ministry, which gives room to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and the liberty in making needed adjustments. This is one of the reasons why we went with CMC. There are also three trusted pastors which sit as our mission board.

You may begin sending your support to the Salgado DR Mission at any time at the address above. (Checks should be made payable to Central Missionary Clearinghouse or C.M.C.)

You can also now give to the ministry here in the DR online through the new giving solution called “click and give” at the CMC website.

To get started you just need to click on the link below and register the first time. Just a simple click on the donate button on their page (see link below), and then click the “click and give icon/button”. Look for Antonio Salgado on the list of missionaries there.

https://www.cmcmissions.org/donate

You will then have a private giving solution that comes with many benefits to you the donor. If you have any questions please call the office (tel:1-800-262-7729 or 281-599-7411), and they very kindly will walk you through what you need to do.

You can also donate to this ministry online with Paypal. Click the donate button below and you can send support of any amount directly to the ministry. You can choose the option of doing a one-time donation and this is the fastest option to get funds to us.

Unfortunately through Paypal we are not set up for receiving recurring donations at this time. But the other online giving option above (CMC) does have the recurring monthly donation option. Simply register one time and that’s it.

For tax exemption, you must send your donation through Central Missionary Clearinghouse (CMC) at the address above or online. 

We do not use a sending agency that gets a percentage of the money donated. Apart from the 2% that CMC charges for processing fees, you can be sure that almost your entire gift goes directly to the mission field.

Whatever you decide, thank you so much for praying for us and helping this ministry. God Bless You!

 

 

Salgado DR Mission Newsletter

Dear mission partners, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ,

We would first like to give thanks to God for our mission partners. Especially during these difficult times. We trust the Lord completely, but humanly speaking, we have had moments when we have been a bit concerned with the hit that the economy is taking in the US, and how that would affect the ministry here. Especially with so many people losing their jobs. But the Lord has graciously continued to provide so far. He has done so in a such a way that since April 6th, we have been able to provide food to 445 families.  We have been amazed at God’s provision in a time when we actually expected funding to go down. And though we don’t know what the future holds, our hope is to be able to continue ministry as usual if the Lord wills.

The prayers and generosity of our mission partners have allowed us to continue the Lord’s work here, and are the means that the Lord uses to provide for our family, the local church here and much more. Thank you again, for supporting and praying for our family and ministry over the years. Those who pray and give to missions play a role just as important as the missionary on the field.

I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer,  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. – Philippians 1:3-5 CSB

We are still on quarantine here. The children are all doing virtual school for now and will be finishing the year this way. Christen and I are teaching English from home this way too. Sometimes it’s a challenge with two teachers and three students all online at the same time and keeping up with everything. But it’s nice being more involved with their schooling at home again, especially with Yeison. He is learning how to read now and all kinds of new things, so it has been a blessing. They are all doing good in school and seemed to have transitioned well. It was pretty easy for Maya and Nito, since they have done plenty of virtual and homeschooling in the past, even before we moved here.

We have been waiting to see if the Senate of this country approved the President’s petition for 25 more days of a state of emergency. Today 15 more days were approved. This is not good at all. The percentage of people here who depend on tiny daily wages is high. There are already families everywhere with no income or food as it is. I have seen several desperate families, some with children who have special needs,  widows or widowers who are just pleading for someone to help them, anyone. If it seems that we have been posting a lot about the situation here, food purchases and distribution trips, it is because the needs are very urgent. We are trying to help as many as we can.

The borders are still closed, so I haven’t been able to get to Haiti in a while. But we are able to send funds to Leonel for purchase and distribution there. A couple of brothers that he is discipling are helping him with that, and his children help out too. Here on the DR side, Christen has been doing most of the organizing and packing along with the kids. Usually Pastor Victor or another brother comes to help me distribute and share the Gospel with people when we go out. Sadly, it seems like just a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of people who need help. We hope to continue to help as much as we can as for as long as the Lord continues to provide. What’s the alternative, do nothing? We don’t think that is really even an option. It would be hard for us to sleep at night having food in our refrigerator, while ignoring the fact that others nearby that we know, or know of, have families and are in dire need. Of course, we are aware that we can’t help everyone, but we can certainly pray, share the needs and do our best to help some of them.

 If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food  and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, stay warm, and be well fed,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? – James 2: 15-16

This has not been easy in one sense, and it brings its own tension as we are always facing the question on how much to share or not share. But the needs are real, and if people don’t know about them, how can they help? The Lord uses ordinary means to provide for His people. And because we have made the needs known and share stories of them being met, more people have been moved to give. We should probably consider the fact that taking up offerings to help the poor brothers and sisters in another part of the world is a practice almost as old as the church itself. Paul shared needs on the behalf of others, knowing that the Lord would use His church to provide for them. And they did. This has been our experience time and time again. To ease the tension we feel there, we are intentional about doing good to others in two different ways:

  1. One way is found in Matthew chapter seven,  “being salt and light” and  “doing good works before everyone so that they may glorify our Father in heaven.” These are things that we share with our supporters and followers on social media who donate to the ministry. And let’s just be honest, many people don’t read newsletters that come to them in emails anymore, but on social media more do. Most people tend to keep up with us that way.  Even then, we share very few pics considering how many are taken for our own records. If a donor wishes to see more, they can be shared with them privately. We do not seek to “sound a trumpet” or “the applause of men,” but sincerely seek to help the church and love our neighbor. If brothers and sisters back home are willing to join us in helping others, praise the Lord! It is also just a good and responsible habit to frequently communicate things with supporters back home. Of course, some will always criticize missionaries for sharing too much or not sharing enough. It’s not such an easy thing to navigate, you get criticized and compared to others often. So we try to do the best we can to honor the Lord, seek resources to help the church here and communicate with our mission partners, sharing some things we do, and keeping other things private. Which leads me to the second way of doing good to others.
  2.  There are other things that we keep between us and the Lord as it says in Matthew chapter six,  so that our giving “may be done in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” I don’t think Jesus is contradicting Himself with what He says in chapter seven. There is a time to do things before others and give God glory so that the world may know Who we serve. There is also a time to do things in secret, when our “left hand does not know what our right hand is doing”  so that we may be humble and not seek glory and applause from men. This is pleasing to the Lord. Pray that the Lord would continue to provide for us and give us the wisdom that we need in all of this.

The church in Hato Mayor continues to meet online for a Sunday message, but we communicate and exchange prayer requests daily. Everyone seems pretty anxious to gather again for worship, but we have many people with health problems in the church. I imagine that some may not come back right away out of fear of becoming sick. With the health issues that some older members have, it’s hard to blame them.

Please remember to take a moment to pray for us. Our marriage, our children, provision and our health.

Pray for the churches here, those who have no way to provide for their families, and the many people who are suffering from more than just hunger during this quarantine.

Pray for the women and children who are stuck at home with an abuser. There has been an increase in cases of abuse since the quarantine started.

Pray for those with special needs or mental illnesses who are suffering.

Pray that the church would rise up during this time and be a bold messenger of truth and hope in the midst of falsehood, anxiety and fear.

Pray that we would all seek to help the brethren in need and love our neighbor in the name of Christ for the glory of Christ

Thank you for your love, prayers and support and God bless.

In Service to our Lord and King,

Antonio and Christen Salgado and family

 

If the Lord so lays on your heart to support this ministry,  you can send your tax deductible gift to:

CENTRAL MISSIONARY CLEARINGHOUSE
P.O. Box 219228
Houston, Texas 77218-9228
1-800-CMC-PRAY (1-800-262-7729)
Office: 281-599-7411
Fax: 281-599-7511

The ministry of (CMC) serves hundreds of missionaries, but they ONLY receive the funds for us and in no way have control over how the funds are to be spent or what we are to do as a ministry, which gives room to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and the liberty in making needed adjustments. This is one of the reasons why we went with CMC. There are also three trusted pastors which sit as our mission board.

You may begin sending your support to the Salgado DR Mission at any time at the address above. (Checks should be made payable to Central Missionary Clearinghouse or C.M.C.)

You can also now give to the ministry here in the DR online through the new giving solution called “click and give” at the CMC website.

To get started you just need to click on the link below and register the first time. Just a simple click on the donate button on their page (see link below), and then click the “click and give icon/button”. Look for Antonio Salgado on the list of missionaries there.

https://www.cmcmissions.org/donate

You will then have a private giving solution that comes with many benefits to you the donor. If you have any questions please call the office (tel:1-800-262-7729 or 281-599-7411), and they very kindly will walk you through what you need to do.

You can also donate to this ministry online with Paypal. Click the donate button below and you can send support of any amount directly to the ministry. You can choose the option of doing a one-time donation and this is the fastest option to get funds to us.

Unfortunately through Paypal we are not set up for receiving recurring donations at this time. But the other online giving option above does have the recurring monthly donation option. Simply register one time and that’s it.

For tax exemption, you must send your donation through Central Missionary Clearinghouse (CMC) at the address above or online. 

We do not use a sending agency that gets a percentage of the money donated. Apart from the 2% that CMC charges for processing fees, you can be sure that almost your entire gift goes directly to the mission field.

Whatever you decide, thank you so much for praying for us and helping this ministry. God Bless You!

Salgado DR Mission Newsletter

Dear mission partners, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ,

Here we are, just like most of the world right now under quarantine. This is week four for us. Christen and I have had to go out several times, but the children have not gone much further than the yard. But we praise God that everyone in our family is pretty healthy right now, besides the underlying issues we already know of. God has been very kind and gracious to us.

The church here has also been forced to communicate online (those that can)as many others are,  or through a phone call. But the situation here is getting urgent pretty quickly. Although there have been deaths due to Covid-19 and cases near us, what has been worse than the virus itself has been the mandatory lockdown. The curfew here begins early, at 5pm, and many of even the essential places of business are closing early. That is causing all kinds of serious problems.

Seeing what was happening all around us, and speaking to brothers from other parts of the island, we realized how many people were already out of food and in need. Since we are plugged into a network of churches here, we are joining their efforts to help some poor and struggling Dominican and Haitian churches, many that are in difficult and isolated places. But we are also doing our part on the local level in the two communities (Hato Mayor, San Jose Las Minas) that we are working in. We hope to help other local churches we know of in and around Santiago, and in the next few days be able to send some help towards the national effort. Pray that the Lord would provide for us to do so and help as much as possible.

We are seeing many opportunities that the Lord is giving us through this difficult situation. Just a few days ago, I was able to purchase a large amount of basic food items. We also had a few boxes of soaps and shampoo that was donated to give away. So our family was able to put together some decent care packages for 40 families.

Pastor Victor and I loaded up the mission van the next morning to begin distribution. We covered a lot of ground and still were able to make it home before curfew. I went out again near our home, and again with Christen yesterday to some people who were a little farther away. Everyone received eggs, rice, beans, sugar, milk, oil, tomato paste, sardines, salami, corn flour, seasonings, soap, shampoo and a very good Gospel tract. We had several opportunities to share the Gospel with unbelievers. Please pray for those who heard the Gospel, and for those who read the tracts they received.

We definitely heard some heartbreaking stories along the way from several people who have families but don’t have anything to eat during this time and are stuck home unable to work. Many of these people live hand to mouth as it is, so this lockdown has been the hardest on them. Their homes are tiny, many in bad conditions, and it would be impossible for them to go out and stock up like many of us can. 

We are thankful for the opportunity to serve the Lord and fellow image bearers, and pray that the Lord would bring life through the seeds that were sown along the way. We are thankful for God’s provision through our mission partners that made this possible. We have seen people come to Christ in the past through difficulties such as this. It was through the preaching of the Gospel of course, but God worked through the difficult circumstances to humble people, which created an opportunity to help them and share the Gospel with them. We pray that many more would learn to number their days, seeing their sin, and the frailty of their existence and turn to Christ for forgiveness during these times. Pray for us and those we come in contact with.

A supporting church recently helped us to purchase some new equipment we have been needing for our open air preaching ministry. I am currently working on a message for that but prefer to memorize the general message and do that kind of preaching without notes and be prepared to engage with onlookers. People are just sitting in their homes, their front porches and some even still gather on the street corners in the barrios. Pray for me, that the Lord would use those efforts despite my weaknesses, and that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel. Pray for those who will hear, that they may turn and be saved and that we can follow up with them as well.

We can already see how God is using the quarantine in our personal lives too, as we spend more time together as a family. We have time to think and reflect on many things as we do some self-examination and refocusing. We are reminded of God’s grace, the work of the church to proclaim the Good News and to help the needy and all that we have to be thankful for.

In spite of all the bad news and suffering, we do see God being glorified. Some churches that do have some resources are reaching out to help smaller churches. Some are already are working together and seeking to help bring relief to their own people. A few Christians have taken to the streets, others the internet, proclaiming the Gospel and more involved in their communities than before. Others are being humbled as their worlds are now crumbling before their eyes, and they are forced to reconsider their priorities. This is making some people seemingly more receptive to the things of God.

Although we are distanced from each other for a time, we still  have opportunities to teach, encourage and bring comfort to the church here. I recently recorded message in Spanish that was shared to many people, and we have done bible studies with those able to connect. We stay updated daily as to how the church is doing, especially those who are at high risk and poor brothers and sisters.

Recently I had the privilege of sharing a message and update of the ministry with a church via video call. Lord willing, we will do the same with another church this coming Sunday. We’d be more than happy to take advantage of this time to do the same with other churches, families and friends who support us. Just email us at salgadodrmission@gmail.com, and we can arrange a date that works for both sides. We would love to connect and be able to update friends and mission partners this way.

We are still teaching English, although virtually now. Our kids are all finishing their school year online too. Many other plans have sadly been put on hold fro now, and I have also had difficulty communicating with Leonel in Haiti. This has us pretty concerned, although this has happened before when his phone broke or has had issues. But with the border closed, and now being unable to reach him at all, we ask that you please pray for Leonel, his family and the churches there. I hope to be able to speak with him soon.

Other prayer requests:

Pray that we would stay healthy. We aren’t good to anyone if we get sick. But we can’t just sit home when we are able to help people who really need it. We are taking all the necessary safety precautions possible.

Pray for Christen and Tonito and Yeison. Since the quarantine, their follow-up doctor appointments have been cancelled until further notice. They are fine for now, but we are a bit anxious to see if the medication have helped to shrink a growth on Christen’s thyroid. If not, she was supposed to get it biopsied. That has been put on hold for now.

Pray for Christen’s father (Ed) and a visa for Yeison. Christen’s father has end stage coronary heart disease and Lewy Body Dementia among other things. He also became sick recently with fever, and though he tested negative for Covid-19, he does has E. Coli, sepsis and some other infection. Back in February they gave him 3-6 months to live. Now we are concerned he may have less than that. Only God knows. But we made another appointment and requested an emergency visa for Yeison to travel with us. Pray that he will get approved this time.

Pray for me as I continue teaching and preaching online and in the streets. Pray that lost souls would turn from their sin and throw themselves upon the mercy of God in Christ and be saved. Pray for the saints to be edified, challenged, comforted and encouraged. Pray that this situation would cause others to rise up to serve as never before. The harvest is ripe and plentiful but the laborers are still few.

Pray that we will continue to be able to continue working as we have been. With the negative economic impact that the quarantine has had on so many, there is a real concern as to what our ministry may look like in the coming months. We live and work through the generous giving of the saints back home. We trust in the Lord and continue to work as much as possible, but we do ask that you pray.

Pray for the Lord to bring on new mission partners too. Pray that  He will move others to walk alongside of us in prayer and giving during this time. We will continue to do what we can for as long as we can, but we will need help and ask you to pray for us, and about partnering with us.

There is much more we could share, but to avoid this update from being too long, we will leave it at that for now. You can see more frequent updates and prayer requests for the ministry and our family at Salgado DR Mission on Facebook.  Thank you again for your faithful prayers and giving towards this ministry that allow us to do what we do, preach the Gospel and make disciples, to the glory of God. Those who pray for and give to missions, play a part just as important as the missionary on the field. Thank you and God bless.

In service to our Lord and King,

Antonio Salgado Jr.

 

 

 

 

SALGADO DR MISSION NEWSLETTER

Dear mission partners, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ,

Thank you all for your ongoing prayers and support. Without your sacrificial giving and prayers we would not be able to do what we do. To God be the glory.

We have committed to a few other things in this new year. One of which  includes another church plant, Lord willing of course. It is a very new endeavor. We are assisting another couple working in the community where they live, a community we are familiar with.  Right now we are with them two days a week doing evangelism and a bible study on Fridays and a meeting on Sunday evenings. It’s in the community of the school we worked with the last two years. Please pray for this.

 

People praying for us back home play a very important role in this ministry and are very important to our family and the work we do.  Here are some other areas that you can help us with by bringing these petitions before the Lord in prayer.

Some prayer requests for our family:

– Pray for Christen that the nodules on her thyroids would shrink with the meds she is on before her next appointment in a couple of months. She is feeling better, praise God. Hopefully her blood work will get back in normal range soon. She is exercising and eating better now. Actually the whole family is now after the health problems we have had between us. So we all exercise several times a week now and have changed many eating habits. This is important for our health in general, but also for our longevity and effectiveness on the field.

– Pray for Nito. He has been well and active and eating healthy for the most part. But we still worry about him since discovering his condition. The cardiologists say he can lead a normal life and should even exercise and should not limit himself, but he may need a procedure in his fifties or sixties.  The fact that we never knew about this since his birth still kind of shocks us, but we are thankful it isn’t worse. He should see a doctor every few months to keep an eye on it. He has another appointment in a couple of months.

 

 

Prayer requests for the ministry:

– Pray for the hearers of a series in Ezra that I am teaching through in Sunday School at the church in Hato Mayor. I am moving fast and trying to cover several books of the Bible throughout the year looking at the main themes of the chapters of each book. It’s been a blessing for me studying and going through these books I haven’t taught before.

– Pray for me as I hope to get my bachelors in May. I still have a few things to turn in. My final work will be a paper about 40 pages long, but Lord willing, I can finish everything in time. I am hoping to continue my studies after that.

– Pray for a project I am a part of with several others who are working on a Theological Magazine available in Latin America and the U.S., where I am the editor of the missions section of the project. By God’s grace, my first article got published in the new issue. It was on the topic of the church in Latin America having the potential to send the next big wave of missionaries out to the nations in the coming years, but there is still a need for local churches to teach on and focus on the task. I’m pretty sure I am the only guy on the team without a masters degree, most have their doctorates. I don’t even know what I’m doing there really, but they approached me about helping. Apparently the Lord does use the foolish things of this world!

– Pray for the plans this year at the church of Hato Mayor. We have some outreach activities, conferences and medical clinics planned. Pray for the Bible studies in different homes every Wednesday night, and for more neighbors and family members to begin attending these meetings.

– Pray for me as I begin teaching in a Bible institute here based out of a good local church. I will be teaching homiletics and missions on Tuesdays nights over the course of the next two years. It’s a great two-year program and very organized. It’s a privilege to join the team of Dominican  pastors and professors working together in this labor of love.

– Pray for a conference we are having on the 7th and 8th of February on early church practice in the New Testament with a visiting speaker from Atlanta. Stephen Atkerson is a great Bible teacher and brother. This will be his second time coming to teach for us.

– Pray for the students and teachers of the school we teach English at as we have had many opportunities to share the Gospel with them. One teacher is already attending Bible studies with us. Pray for Jailin’s salvation.

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive and has chosen to continue partnering with us in prayer and giving in this new year. We have a lot more going on than we have in a long time, so we certainly need your help now more than ever. May God bless you for your prayers and sacrificial giving. Pray.

I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you,always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.’ Philippians 1:3-5

If the Lord so lays on your heart to give back to Him by supporting this ministry,  you can send your tax deductible gift to:

CENTRAL MISSIONARY CLEARINGHOUSE
P.O. Box 219228
Houston, Texas 77218-9228
1-800-CMC-PRAY (1-800-262-7729)
Office: 281-599-7411
Fax: 281-599-7511

CMC (who receives funds for us) serves hundreds of missionaries, but they ONLY receive the funds for us and in no way have control over how the funds are to be spent or what we are to do as a ministry, which gives room to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and the liberty in making needed adjustments for emergencies and priorities. This is one of the reasons why we went with CMC. There are also three trusted pastors which sit as our mission board.

You may begin sending your support to the Salgado DR Mission at any time at the address above. (Checks should be made payable to Central Missionary Clearinghouse or C.M.C.) But please include a note on a separate piece of paper that says Antonio and Christen Salgado / Dominican Republic.

You can also  give to the ministry here in the DR online through “click and give” at the CMC website.

You can also donate to this ministry online with Paypal. Click the donate button below and you can send support of any amount directly to the ministry. You can choose the option of doing a one-time donation and this is the fastest option to get funds to us.

Unfortunately through Paypal we are not set up for receiving recurring donations at this time. But the other online giving option above does the recurring monthly donation option. Simply register one time and that’s it.

For tax exemption, you must send your donation through Central Missionary Clearinghouse (CMC) at the address above.

We do not use a sending agency that gets a percentage of the money donated, so you can be sure that your gift goes directly to the mission field.

Whatever you decide, thank you so much for praying for us and helping this ministry. God bless you!

Salgado DR Mission Newsletter

Dear friends, mision partners, brothers and sisters in Christ,

Forgive the lengthiness of this month’s update. As we draw to the end of one year and enter another, we reflect on everything that we have experienced, the good and the bad and we feel compelled to take the time to express our gratitude to those who the Lord has used to provide for our family and every ministry need met. We are extremely grateful for each and every person who has taken time out to pray for this ministry, for the church, for our family. Especially those who take the time to personally reach out to us on occasion for much needed encouragement.  For every person who has donated any amount throughout the year. Thank you, we love and appreciate your love for the Lord and the desire to be involved in mission work.

Anyone who has followed us for any length of time has probably read in a newsletter, or a post on social media, or maybe has heard me in person speaking somewhere say that, “Those who pray for and give to missions play a role just as important as the missionary on the field.”  I say it often, especially when doing some speaking back home or talking missions with anyone. I say it a lot because we really believe that. The church or person who gives any amout faithfully over time, or the grandmother who wakes up early every morning to pray for the missionaries that she has pictures of or names of on her fridge. Both play a crucial role in this long term partnership in the Gospel we call mission work.

When it comes to funding a missionary, some would say very simply that if it’s God’s will He will provide, and they take the position of not seeking to share needs or raise money. They firmly believe that in this way they are truly trusting the Lord. That’s fine, if it is their conviction, and I believe that if it’s God’s will then He will provide too. But to leave it so simplistic would really be to miss something important on the other side of the same coin. Something clearly revealed in the Scriptures that should not be avoided. We understand and believe that God has ordained all things, absolutely. But He has also ordained the means by which to reach those ends. One confession puts it well when speaking on the decree of God. It says that: 

“God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein; nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established; in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree.   

And it wouldn’t take long reading through the epistles before you would start to notice a couple of things:

First, Paul absolutely depended on God and prayed expecting God to answer, and God often did. 

At the same time we see other examples of Paul making his needs known to the churches. He also expected the brethren to help him with his needs and the needs of others. Both are true and they go together.

Yes, at times he worked with his hands out of a conviction and even necessity. In Philippians he writes that at one time “in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving except you alone.” (Philippians 4:15) This is incredibly astounding. Consider the great Apostle Paul, the Apostle to the gentiles, the great missionary. Now consider churches that he himself and perhaps others had planted, unwilling to give or help Paul so that the Gospel may go forth in other places?! If we lost all of our support, and only one (fairly young) church supported us, we would have to do the same. We too have had to do a little tent making  as of late until we acquire some new mission partners to help ease the burden of new needs and to prepare for future plans we have. But that hasn´t always been the case.

One realistic downside of bivocational missionaries to consider, is that it is easy to become overloaded and overwhelmed, and hence comes the possibility of becoming less effective and their longevity on the field may then soon be in play. Unless somehow, they had established in the past a business, or a high paying career before they moved to a foreign mission field, and they were able to somehow keep it going and make money for their family and ministry without sacrificing all of their time. But those are exceptions, and often bivocational missionaries usually end up spending less time working for the Lord (of course everything we do is unto the Lord, but I mean specifically mission work and ministry here) and more time working just to survive and make ends meet. 

And as the Lord opens more doors, it also comes with more expenses and needs. In the past we taught English at another school free of charge for almost two years. We still even recently have helped that school. But there are seasons of life and ministry when you just do what you gotta do. So we are teaching at another school now. We are willing to do it and even enjoy it in many ways. Sure it is a blessing and the opportunities to share the Gospel are many. But, add a wife and children in that mix of a very demanding work load, both in ministry and secular work, and you will eventually have a recipe for burnout. Especially on the field where the needs are often much greater when working with the poor, and people aren´t so individualistic and private, but need and desire much more attention and time spent together with them. Often needing more time and resources than you have available, and need more than most Americansdo. It is this way with ministry in many other cultures, it’s just different. And if we are honest, most people culturally as Americans just like thier privacy and in general are better off financially. And that’s ok. I say this to mean that just because something is common and or easily done in the States, it doesn’t mean it will be so in a different setting. And though bivocational ministry is always difficult, it proves to be even moreso where the people are poor, often sick and less educated. In those situations, things usually take much more time, energy and money.

But why do some missionaries seem to always need money? Well, first we would certainly agree that the most loving thing we can do for a person is to share the Gospel with them and point them to Christ. To this we say yes and amen. Yet at the same time, it would very unloving to preach the Gospel and ignore someones obvious urgent, basic needs, especially if we were in any position to help them. Of course we cannot help everyone, and the “poor will always be with us.” But this is no excuse for not being as generous as possible and we must remember that we were saved not just from something, but also for somethings, 

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Time and time again we see in Scripture the duty of the believer to compassionate, merciful and generous as we saw exemplified in the life of our Lord and the Apostles and the early church. When the other Apsotles extended the right hand of fellowship to Paul and Barnabas as they were getting ready to go off to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples of the gentiles, they reminded Paul of something that was important to them beacuse it was important to God..

“Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.”  Galatians 2:10 

In the book “Controversies in Missions,” a compilation of essays written on various controversial topics in missions, a chapter on Carl F. H. Henry’s regenerational model puts it this way:

“The particular eloquence of Henry’s position is this: one need not deny the important biblical commands regarding social justice in order to arrive at prioritism (the Gospel proclamation is the priority), and the way one does this is by understanding the full weight of the doctrine of revelation within Christian theology. When this is done, it becomes clear that there is a direct correlation between the doctrine of revelation and the priority of proclamation. However, such a prioritist position by no means renders what the Bible says about social justice as irrelevant or unimportant. In fact, the opposite is true. A high view of the doctrine of revelation, especially concerning Scripture, also gives rise to a robust social concern because the moral imperatives for God’s people are divinely revealed.”

This is in no way a “social gospel” as some understand it. But rather biblical ministry centered on God’s revelation and the ethical demmands put on those who are transformed by the very same Gospel proclamation. The latter (compassionate generosity) actually gives evidence to and establishes that the first and main thing, (Gospel proclamation and salvation) actually took place to begin with. One is a priority, yet both are necessary and biblical. The author offers a very helpful illustration from every day life to help us understand how both are necessary, while rightly keeping the main thing, namely Gospel proclamation, the main thing. 

“I might say that I am going to go to the bank to make a deposit and then to the post office to mail some bills. I furthermore declare that the bank is my top priority because if I do not deposit my paycheck, then the bills cannot be paid. Clearly, one has here a case of priority in which both things remain necessary. I still must deposit my check and I still must pay my bills. Yet one of these takes priority because the second thing depends on the first thing having taken place. It is the same with evangelism and social concern. The gospel must first be preached before converts can be discipled and, indeed, the content of Christian discipleship remains mired in obscurity apart from the proclamational foundations of the apostles and prophets, which is divine revelation. Thus, the logical priority of evangelism does not render compassion as optional. It simply affirms the ultimate place of Scripture and the unequivocal role given to proclamation in the life of the church.”

Consider this text in James:

“If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, stay warm, and be well fed,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.” James 2:15-17

But now back to my first point on the funding necessary in order to do both of these things:

So we have the Apostle Paul, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write and explain the mysteries of God being revealed, praying to the Sovereign Lord, and at the same time He makes his needs known to the churches and seemingly expected them to meet those needs. We see true dependence on God through prayer, AND communicating to the churches his own needs and the needs of others. Why? Because He understood that the means to reach the goal of the church, IS the church. Specifically, the emphasis in the NT is overwhelmingly on the local churches. 

God´s people have a mission, to go and make disciples of all nations, baptize and to teach all that Christ has commanded. God´s people also have the real responsibility to be intentional in going, sending, praying for and providing for that mission and showing mercy and compassion to others in the process. There are ethical demmands that are put upon the beliver through the commands in the NT. It´s not rocket science, but for some at least, its hard to stay balanced. Many people error and fall off of one side of the horse or the other. It just isn’t as black and white as some would like. We live in a tension in this area. Consider the beautiful mystery of God’s Sovereignty and the will and responsibility that man has. His decrees and His means to reach His intended purpose.

Who´s mission is it?   God´s. 

Who has He commanded to fulfill the mission?   God´s people. 

Who´s doing the calling?   God. 

Who´s Word are we preaching and teaching?   God´s. 

Who did He choose and inspire to write and preserve it? God´s people.

Who is the one preaching and teaching?   God´s pèople. 

Who is forgiving sins and doing the saving?   God. 

Who is being saved and who is He using to proclaim the Gospel?   God´s people.

Who is opening the minds of people, illuminating them to understand the Scriptures? God is. 

Who does He use to do this?   God´s people. 

To Whom belongs the cattle on a thousand hills (and everything else in the universe)?   To God. 

Who is doing the praying and who is doing the providing?   God´s people.

Who has He entrusted precious resources to, to be used for His glory?   God´s people.

At the same time, who is really doing the providing and Sovereignly answering specific individual prayers of provision for His people who are doing His will on His mission? God is.

I could go on and on, but hopefully you get the point by now. His plans will be accomplished and cannot be thwarted, no doubt about that. But He has revealed and commanded how it is to be done as well. And we are very much responsible for being about the will of God in the work of the church. He will do it, and He will do it through His people. Paul knew this. But many who lean too much in either direction fall into error and become unbalanced, inconsistent or worse, unbiblical.

To deny the real responsibility we have before Him would be somewhat foolish and would require the systematic focusing on some particular texts of Scripture, while at the same time ignoring of a lot of other texts. Or putting Scripture against Scripture versus putting the two things together. It would be akin to an error as in saying, God will provide for me but I refuse to work. Or that God will cause me grow in knowledge but I refuse to read or study. For the above mentioned reasons, we have come to the understanding that it is ok to ask for help and make needs known for us and for others. We simply say “these are the needs, pray about helping.” If the Lord puts in someone the desire to help, then praise the Lord! We have examples of it in the Scriptures and we simply accept it and live in the tension between the Sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. There is no need to even try to reconcile the two, we see both in the Bible and they do not oppose eachother in any way.

Why even address this? I feel the need to expalian this mainly because of our critics, who themselves are of an extreme position and choose not to communicate or share needs out of their conviction. Unfortunately, the same often suffer need more frequently and unnecessarily. God has blessed and given the specific gift of helping/giving to some. (1 Cor. 12:28)  People who desire to see the Gospel taken forth and to help the poor and others. There are people and churches somwhere, right now praying about which mission to give to. We could testify time and time again about how the Lord in His providence would bring such people across our path through their own prayers in seeking who to help, while at the same time answering our specific prayers for provision. Many of who we have never even met or had any prior contact or relationship with! The Lord really has provided and answered an innumerable amount of prayers like these. And He always did so through His people, whether a church as a whole or through individual brothers and sisters.

Having said all of that, we are extremely grateful to God and to our mission partners who pray for us and support us. Especially those who have done so faithfully over time. Without your prayers and donations we just wouldn’t be able to do what we do for as long as we have done it. That’s a fact. Thank you and God bless you.

There really is so much more I can say on the topic, but I will leave it there for now. 

But in other news:

Nito seems to be better and is much more active now, but still experiences ocasional headaches and dizziness. The doctor has been unavailable for a few days but the results of the holter are ready and we should have another appointment very soon. We will update soon after we have that apppointment and know more. Pray for Nito.

Since we were unable to have the surgery done for Yeison’s legs over the Christmas break, the surgery has been pushed back to the Summer because of school. He will need casts on both legs for a little while and need more therapy afterwards. The summer is the best time to take care of that. We have already done all the tests that the doctor who will perform the surgery requested. Perhaps one or two may have to be done again due to the time that will pass from now until then, but this should not be a problem. Everything else is in order. Pray for Yeison.

We brought in the new year as we usually do here, with a fellowship meal with the church in Hato Mayor followed by worship and a message. It was a wonderful time.

Pray for me as I have several things on my plate these days. Lord willing, I will be in Haiti again in the next couple of days. I will be meeting with Leonel and others, do some teaching and to take some food and clothes to some of the brethren from the market there on the border. The plans to help teach and prepare men from a few local churches we are partnering with there continue. 

At the end of the month we have a brother coming (Pastor Stephen Atkerson) to teach for a conference on early church practice. He has come in the past and has taught all over the world, literally. and the teaching on early church practice are a tremendous blessing to the church. I have slowly been translating his book on the topic with another brother helping in the editing process. Lord willing the first chapter will be done and printed to distribute during the conference as a small introduction on the topic. 

A few months ago I was approached by a theological magazine that is now available all over Latin America to be the editor of the missions section of the work. This month my first article on the need for Latin American countries to train and send out more missionaries was published in the magazine. I am the only editor that doesn’t have a doctorate on the team and have no idea why they sought me out, but a brother who is a seminary president, a pastor, author and the general editor of the work contacted me himself and well, here we are.  They like my Spanish to English translations as well. To God be the glory.

I was also recently approached by a small Bible institue ran out of a local church that we fellowship with to begin teaching as one of the professors. I like the idea that it is a ministry of the local church and the pastor and I are good friends as well. It looks like I will be teaching hermeneutics beginning in March. Please pray for me. These projects mentioned that we collaborate with others on are completely labors of love. To God be the glory.

Please keep all of these things in prayer. Our family, the needs, the church and for the strength and grace to persevere through the many difficult moments of life and ministry, and above all for God to be glorified in this new year. Thank you and God bless.

If the Lord so lays on your heart to give back to Him by supporting this ministry,  you can send your tax deductible gift to:

CENTRAL MISSIONARY CLEARINGHOUSE
P.O. Box 219228
Houston, Texas 77218-9228
1-800-CMC-PRAY (1-800-262-7729)
Office: 281-599-7411
Fax: 281-599-7511

CMC (who receives funds for us) serves hundreds of missionaries, but they ONLY receive the funds for us and in no way have control over how the funds are to be spent or what we are to do as a ministry, which gives room to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and the liberty in making needed adjustments for emergencies and priorities. This is one of the reasons why we went with CMC. There are also three trusted pastors which sit as our mission board.

You may begin sending your support to the Salgado DR Mission at any time at the address above. (Checks should be made payable to Central Missionary Clearinghouse or C.M.C.) But please include a note on a separate piece of paper that says Antonio and Christen Salgado / Dominican Republic.

You can also  give to the ministry here in the DR online through “click and give” at the CMC website.

You can also donate to this ministry online with Paypal. Click the donate button below and you can send support of any amount directly to the ministry. You can choose the option of doing a one-time donation and this is the fastest option to get funds to us.

Unfortunately through Paypal we are not set up for receiving recurring donations at this time. But the other online giving option above does the recurring monthly donation option. Simply register one time and that’s it.

For tax exemption, you must send your donation through Central Missionary Clearinghouse (CMC) at the address above.

We do not use a sending agency that gets a percentage of the money donated, so you can be sure that your gift goes directly to the mission field.

Whatever you decide, thank you so much for praying for us and helping this ministry. God Bless You!