Q: How did God lead you into becoming a missionary?
A: God’s ways are so special…while being a youth leader with the Puerto Rico Baptist Churches Youth Ministry (UJBPR) I traveled every summer with short-term mission teams to different countries in Central America. Then, in 1990, I went to my first International Ministries World Mission Conference. What an experience! I loved it. I learned a lot about missions, about missionaries. For the next ten years, God kept guiding me. Then in 2000, I went again to the World Mission Conference at Green Lake, Wisconsin, and it was there that my final decision to be a missionary took place. I decided I wanted to be a missionary full time—no more short term trips. I wanted to live like one. I resigned from my 13 years of work with Johnson & Johnson as a Sales Administrator. All that experience would be used with God’s people in this new opportunity as an International Ministries Global Servant who coordinates short-term mission volunteers as they serve in the Dominican Republic and Cuba. Living as a missionary gives me the opportunity to understand the needs of the people, feel their frustrations, be there for them and help. Being a full-time missionary is the most rewarding experience of my life. I wish I could have done this earlier in my life.
Q: How long have you served as a missionary?
A: In August 2023 I started my 21st year of service here in the Dominican Republic. I am here because this is the country where God put me to serve 21 years ago. It is where God needed me, my skills and gifts. It is where I am God’s feet and hands, and I love it.
Q: What are your primary ministries?
A: All year round, I receive short-term mission teams from the US and Puerto Rico, who come to serve the people and needs in the Dominican Republic and Cuba through Vacation Bible School, construction work, evangelism, providing medical care, and many other things. God also uses me in ongoing relationships with the communities, families, schools, and churches around me. I am working to help with water filters for those with no water and only contaminated rivers, food for the poor, medicine for the elderly, baby layettes for young girls having babies, backpacks and uniforms for children about to start the school year, and many other ways. I lead an “Aprendamos” project for after-school support for those who are a little behind in school. I am here Lord, use me!
Q: What is one of the best moments you experience as a missionary?
A: Being a missionary gives us the opportunity for many kind moments. Moments like feeling part of a family, being loved by children who are not yours, having grandparents bring you fruits and vegetables from their homes to say thank you for what you do for them.
Q: What has God been teaching you about himself as you serve others?
A: God teaches me that even though he is the owner and creator of all, he is humble and cares for all. We are not more than him, we need to every day be God’s hands and feet here on earth. We need to have the mind of Christ and his heart.
Madeline serves as mission coordinator for volunteers from the U.S. and Puerto Rico. She identifies teams’ strengths and matches them with service opportunities that empower, educate, and help them grow in their own faith. Much of Madeline’s mission work takes place in the severely impoverished bateyes communities in the Dominican Republic, which are villages of sugar workers. You can learn more about Madeline or support her ministry through our website.