David, Shala, & John Hughes
Breaking the chains of poverty on Dominican Republic's North Coas through high-quality education and ministry of the Gospel.
Romans 10:9 - "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
Our mission is to teach the word of God, minister to the lost, and lead them to salvation. It is through the belief in Jesus Christ that lives are changed. In Matthew 19:26, Jesus said, "with man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible."
The teaching of the Gospel provides the foundation for people to change their lives and equips them with the fundamental Christian values to positively influence their community.
God has called us to "go unto all the world and make disciples." He has placed a vision and call upon us to influence the lives of poverty-striken families in the Dominican Republic, particularly those who have been victims of human trafficking. By meeting physical needs, such as food, clothing, and clean water, we will build a relationship of trust. Through the ministry of the Gospel, we will offer hope, healing and restoration; bringing souls into His Kingdom. Through education, we will equip them with the skills necessary to lead productive and purposeful lives; thus allowing them to have positive impacts in their country.
The education system in the Dominican Republic ranks next to last in the world. A poor educational system leads to high unemployment, poverty, illiteracy, physical abuse, drug & alcohol use, and gang membership. These factors are all individual causes of rising human trafficking within the Caribbean, particularly the Dominican Republic. There are external and global factors as well, some of which include the global demand for domestic servants, agricultural workers, and factory labor; political, social, or economic crises; natural disasters, public corruption, lack of government interest, and the limited economic opportunities.
OceanSide Christian Fellowship is a church that serves primarily missionaries and other "expats," giving them a place of refreshing. It also seeks to draw in the rest of the English-speaking community, particularly those who engage in the exploitation of the Dominican people.
Led by Pastor David Hughes, the church seeks out "expats" in hopes to convert them to Christ, and diminish the sex tourism many of them visit the island seeking.
David is using his lifelong skills as a master upholster to teach adults a valuable trade skill. They meet 2x a week. Students learn how to upholster simple furniture and motorcycle seats. These skills help break the trend of the “streets” (prostitution, drug dealing, pimping, theft) that so many young adults find themselves in.
More importantly, they are learning about God through conversations, prayer, and devotions.
The country relies heavily on tourism for economic stability. With a large number of English-speaking tourists, the ability to speak English opens many more job opportunities for the local people. Being able to read and write English almost guarantees higher pay as well. With this in mind, Shala (working with another organization) helps ensure that anyone who wants to learn, has the opportunity to do so - free of charge.
Currently English classes are being offered 4 days a week in 2 different locations. Our goal is to obtain teachers so that we can offer the classes in more locations.
Since secondary education in the country is not free, many parents cannot afford to send their children to school. This causes a huge dropout rate, which continues the cycle of poverty. On top of that, those who do find ways to pay for school, find the educational standards very low, particularly in science and mathematics - thus limiting job opportunities for graduates. To help combat this, Shala works diligently with a network of schools to revamp their STEM curriculum. She also teaches more effective classroom and instructional techniques and offers administrative support.
Our long-term goal is to open a 6-12 school that will allow any student to attend, no matter their socioeconomic background.
The word "barrio" here is given to extremely impoverished neighborhoods. These homes generally have no running water or power. Some do not have floors or roofs.
Children (and adults) love coming to Saturday programs. They learn about the Gospel and get to see it demonstrated through sports, crafts, and other activities. Johnnie is especially popular with the younger children. They just love that someone cares enough to spend with them.
Partnering with other organizations and mission teams, we are offer food, clothing, and medical care throughout the year.
Our most important calling, however, is teaching our own children in the ways of the Lord. This young man has been given a heart full of love and compassion. He openly shares his faith, serves others, and loves on people.
Johnnie has started a boys youth group that meet once a week. He also works at various youth camps, with mission teams, and local ministries.
We may be the ones on the field, but we cannot do it alone. We need YOU! You can support us through:
1. YOUR PRAYER - “The most valuable gift you can give someone.”
2. MAIL YOUR FINANCIAL GIFTS TO:
World Outreach Ministries
PO Box B
Marietta, GA 30061
(designate for "David & Shala Hughes")
3. YOUR ONLINE DONATION– Simply click on the “Donate Online” button and select “David & Shala Hughes”
Through your support, YOU influence lives in the Dominican Republic and help further God's Kingdom.
Exposing child sex tourism in our local area.