Living the Call Together in Punta Cana

By Zac and Julie Stutler, serving in Dominican Republic

The following is adapted from Zac and Julie’s Web site.

wp-imagesWe minister in Punta Cana, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean. During the past 10 years, the population in this area has grown dramatically as families have moved there to work in the tourism industry and the corresponding infrastructure. In 2009, God opened a door for us to move to Punta Cana Village, a growing residential community for professional people and their families. This community has the busiest international airport in the Dominican Republic, a bilingual school, shops, restaurants, medical and dental offices, and other businesses. Cap Cana, another high-end neighborhood just three miles away, also has shops, offices, a bilingual school, and even a university. Yet neither of these areas had an evangelical church.

In July 2010, Jeff and Deborah Climie joined our ministry team. Through a variety of creative outreaches—including baking classes, movies, and more—God has allowed us to build many great relationships in the area, and doors have been opened to present practical seminars in local schools and the university.

From the start of this project, we dreamed of having a ministry center in Punta Cana—a place to offer meaningful services and activities to the families such as classes, seminars, and pastoral counseling as well as worship times and Bible studies. By using innovative methods to serve the community, we desire to bring enrichment and hope aimed at meeting specific felt needs of the people, thus connecting them to Christ.

Last fall, we began the process of finding a location in order to establish an identity and have a visible presence in the community. In December, we signed a contract to rent a commercial location to serve as a center for community outreach. God provided in wonderful ways, and today the dream of having a ministry center in Punta Cana is a reality.

The name of this ministry is “Alianza” (Alliance)—which implies unity and working together for a common goal. The mission of Alianza is to motivate and equip the families of Punta Cana to live in an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ and to reflect His love toward others. Our prayer is that from the very beginning, Alianza would be a source of great blessing to the families of these beautiful communities that make up the Punta Cana area. On April 2, 2011, Alianza officially opened its doors.

An Amazing Day

On Sunday, July 10, under the bright Punta Cana sun, Alianza celebrated its first baptismal service. Four people enthusiastically declared their heartfelt desire to love and serve the Lord all their lives.

After a wonderful Sunday morning service, we headed over to a pool belonging to one of the women of the church, who happens to live near our ministry center. Before being baptized, the believers briefly shared about the difference Christ had made in their lives. There were four very different but wonderful testimonies of God’s work in these lives.

One of the women baptized—a young professional who is also a wife and mother—had found Jesus as a teen but never had an opportunity to grow in her faith. She had prayed for seven years for a church in Punta Cana. In her testimony, she shared that being able to follow Jesus in baptism had long been a deep desire of her heart.

Another woman shared how the Lord had filled her life with such joy and peace. It was a delight for her to have her son and daughter-in-law present to hear her testimony.

For one young couple, it was a day of double blessing and celebration. They were celebrating their second wedding anniversary and were baptized together. The wife had known the Lord for a time but never had the opportunity to grow. When Alianza opened, she and her husband began to attend faithfully. She was very excited about an opportunity to grow in Christ. Her husband was seeking the Lord and on May 12 prayed to receive Christ. He shared how knowing Jesus had brought new meaning to his life and how Jesus is now his best friend.

It was truly an amazing day. Those who attended the service were blessed and challenged to follow Jesus in a new way. Some, who are just beginning in their relationship with Christ, told us that they want to be baptized soon. Even some who are not yet followers of Jesus were touched and want to know more about this wonderful Savior who transforms lives and fills us with joy.

God is doing many amazing things in Alianza! The Sunday attendance has averaged around 50. New people are visiting all the time. In addition to the young husband who was baptized, another couple gave their lives to Christ in early May and is beginning discipleship. We have started some new discipleship classes and will start more in the coming days as there are various people desiring to follow Jesus with all their hearts. These are only a few of the great blessings that are happening in Punta Cana.

Your partnership with us in this ministry makes all this possible. Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and giving to the Great Commission Fund, the Punta Cana Church Plant Approved Special, and our Work Special Funds. God has exciting plans for the days to come here in Punta Cana, and He is using you to change lives and bring joy here in Punta Cana.

Thank you for living the call together with us.

You are an important and an amazing part of the Alianza team!

What You Can Do

Give to Alliance Great Commission Ministries. Partner with Alliance workers, like the Stutlers, to introduce families around the world to the joy and peace of Jesus.


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