I recently visited the Dominican Republic with a group of builders from around the country to see the work of Esperanza International, HOPE International’s partner in the Dominican Republic. Our first day, we visited an Esperanza client named Henry in Santo Domingo. When we arrived at Henry’s business, I was surprised to learn that he was also a pastor, and his business was also a church.
After welcoming us into the sanctuary, Henry shared his personal testimony – Like the woman at the well in scripture, he was living an unfulfilled life, so he prayed to a God that he didn’t know to ask for help. Little did he know, God would answer his prayer, and within 24 hours he would lose everything he had. Three month later, Henry would give his life to Christ.
While facing the challenge of starting over, God revealed to Henry that the love of money was the root of all evil. During this time, he was hoping to start a new business, and he asked God for wisdom to build his business for His Kingdom and not himself. God would answer his prayer by giving him a vision for a water purification company that also acted as a church. Also, it was at this time that the Esperanza Loan officer Maximo was touched by God to enter Henry’s business and to seek him out, leading to Henry his first loan.
Today, Henry now runs and owns a water company that houses a church where he serves as the pastor. His business now employs 16 people from his community and provides affordable access to clean drinking water, selling his water at half of the price of his big brand competitors. With the sales from his business, he is able to provide for his family’s needs, enabling the church’s tithes to be used for other purposes. So he is essentially, he is a pastor who works for free.
Looking forward, Henry has ambitious plans to grow his business to 50 delivery trucks and open 5 more churches that house water purification businesses.
As our day came to a close, we asked Henry how we could pray for his business and his church. He responded with, “Ask God to send me five men of vision to open five water station churches in the surrounding communities.” Before we parted ways, Lance Wright of CastleRock Communities led the group in prayer for his specific request.
We also invite you (the reader) to join us in praying for Henry’s request.