For the fourth time since the founding of the United Church of God, a minister visited a group of members and prospective members in the Dominican Republic. From Dec. 5 to 12, 2007, Ralph Levy, an elder who teaches at Ambassador Bible Center and who speaks Spanish, was in this Caribbean island nation to visit.
The Dominican Republic is the Spanish-speaking southern and eastern part of Hispaniola, an island shared with French-speaking Haiti. In comparison with poverty-stricken Haiti, the Dominican Republic is doing well, with its tourism-dominated economy and productive farms.
Dr. Levy held Bible studies in Santo Domingo, the capital, on Thursday (Dec. 6), Friday and Sabbath. The first two studies covered the subject of the law and its applicability to New Testament Christians, and some of the writings of the apostle Paul on the law, justification and salvation. The Sabbath study was on the third and fourth of the Ten Commandments and their application. Included in the group was member Zoraya Diaz de Gabriel, as well as several others. Numbers ranged from six to 11 present.
Sunday, Dec. 9, the group invited Dr. Levy to join them in a visit to Isla Catalina, a lovely uninhabited island off the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, where they swam, enjoyed the warm sun and a barbecue lunch.
On Monday, Dec. 10, Dr. Levy traveled northward by bus to Puerto Plata to visit Reynaldo Enrique Roman, a young Dominican-American man who has just returned from Florida to the Dominican Republic.
Mr. Roman pulled out a thick, impressive binder carefully loaded with all of the Church's literature (in English). He had read it all and was left with one big question: "When can I be baptized?" He was encouraged to continue to study, with a view to preparation for baptism.
Dr. Levy returned to Cincinnati on Wednesday, Dec.12, leaving the Dominican Republic as the nation suffered some very heavy rains and storms. Plans call for another visit some time in 2008. UN