Children Inspire Resurrection Celebration

By Zac and Julie Stutler, serving in the Dominican Republic

The Stutlers minister in Alianza, a church plant that opened its doors in April 2011 in Punta Cana, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean. The following was adapted from their blog, which describes a family-friendly Easter celebration.

The “Super Afternoon of Bible Adventures” on Tuesday, March 26, was a precursor to our church’s Easter event.

More than 50 children experienced several stories from the first Holy Week in a variety of ways.  We encouraged new families as well as regular attendees of Alianza to return on Easter Sunday for “the rest (and best part) of the story.”

As we planned these events, we didn’t know what to expect. In the Dominican Republic, church attendance is low during Holy Week because it is spring break, and many families visit relatives in other parts of the country. As we prayed about it and consulted with church members, we believed that God had a plan and wanted Alianza to proclaim the Resurrection in a special way.

During the children’s outreach, we made several crafts using the colors from the “Wordless Book.” Each color represents a different element of the gospel, explaining in simple terms God’s love, our need for forgiveness, and how we can receive eternal life through faith in Christ.

One little boy went home and shared the gospel message with his mother, using the good news colors. She was so thrilled that she made a video of him telling the story and sent it to relatives and friends in various countries.

“Tia Julie!”

Among the first people to arrive on Easter Sunday were a dear friend and her two daughters, who have attended all of our children’s outreaches. It was the mom’s first time at a church service. She greeted me with a hug as her smiling girls shouted, “Tia Julia, Tia Julia!” (Auntie Julie, Auntie Julie!). She told me that her girls loved the “Super Afternoon of Bible Adventures” and wanted to come back as a family.

Another family that had attended the children’s outreach also came to the church for the first time. The mother told me that when she asked her son that morning if he wanted to go to Alianza, he literally jumped out of bed and said “Let’s go!” She said she had never seen anything like it. It was amazing how fast he got ready.

Standing Room Only

People kept coming; we had to get more chairs, as it became standing room only with 92 people in attendance. But no one seemed to mind.  Though the service was all in Spanish, it was also an international celebration with people of nine nationalities (residents of Punta Cana) representing four language groups.

In addition to singing praises together as a congregation, we were transported to Jerusalem at the time of Christ through a beautiful rendition of “La Vía Dolorosa” by a member of Alianza. Various Bible characters—including Mary Magdalene and the donkey that carried Jesus on Palm Sunday—shared their stories about the first Easter through puppets and drama. Even the littlest ones were involved as they gathered around the empty tomb to listen to one of Alianza’s young mothers read a children’s book about the first Easter.

Zac shared a profound meditation on the power of the cross and the Resurrection.  He challenged those present to come forward and, using push pins, “nail” a paper heart with their name on it to the cross as a reminder that the risen Christ loves each of us and died for our sins.

The service concluded with families gathered to make an Easter wreath—a special craft with pictures representing the significant events of the first Holy Week. The craft was a big hit. It was fun to watch parents working with their children in reviewing the events of the story. Even the adults without children enjoyed the craft. After all, we have to be like children to enter the Kingdom of God.

Because You Give . . .

Two years ago Alianza was only a dream. We officially opened on April 1, 2011. By Easter of 2013, 92 people from many cultures and backgrounds gathered to hear about and celebrate the greatest event in all human history—the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Alianza ministers in Punta Cana because of your faithful partnership. Because of your prayers and gifts to the Great Commission Fund, many families were touched by the love of Christ. Thank you for being a part of this amazing adventure of faith in Punta Cana!

What You Can Do


Join the Alliance family in praying for our international workers in Dominican Republic and worldwide, who are building Christ’s Church through cutting-edge ministries. Use the Alliance Weekly Prayer Requests to assist you.


  • Give to the Great Commission Fund (GCF) and support Alliance workers like the Stutlers who are pushing back the darkness as they introduce lost people to the light of Jesus.
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