From Ashes to Life

Fully Funded!

From Ashes to Life – Fully Funded!

Thank You for Providing Clean Water & Safe Homes in the Dominican Republic

In 1992, Bishop Jose Grullón Estrella founded FUNDASEP, the social outreach of the Catholic Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana. Since then, Bishop Grullón and his team have transformed thousands of lives by working hand in hand with locals to build roads, bridges, schools, homes and clean water systems.

Last spring, Cross Catholic Outreach partnered with Bishop Grullón to continue God’s work by building six clean water systems — benefiting 813 families — and constructing 24 new homes. Continue reading to discover how your generosity helped make a profound difference.

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The Backpack Bishop

Dominican by birth, Bishop Grullón struggled as a boy to gather water for his family. As a bishop, he would often tour the countryside while riding on a mule, which earned him the nickname “the backpack bishop.”

He visits poor families on missions of mercy, often sleeping on the dirt floors of their shanty homes. Bishop Grullón has made himself a living sacrifice to the poor, drawing on his humble upbringing to make meaningful relationships with the poor. He is truly a nurturing mentor, teaching his flock to love and serve each other.

Last spring, we collaborated with Bishop Grullón to achieve a specific goal: Build six clean water systems, benefiting 813 families – and construct 24 new homes. As of November 2019, all 24 homes were constructed and three of the six water systems were finished.

The clean water systems will supply fresh water to 15 different communities, while the new homes will provide much-needed protection from hurricanes.

The Project

Clean Water

A total of six new clean water systems will be built by local work brigades as part of our shovel-ready empowerment strategy. Two have already been finished. The systems will use a combination of gravity, electric and solar power to collect water from a spring or well. Pumps, tanks, miles of PVC pipes and filters will then distribute the clean water to local homes. The impact of clean water is immediate – reducing waterborne illness, easing the labor burden on women and children, and helping farmers irrigate their land to improve the volume and variety of their crops.

” I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “ – John 10:10b

Safe Shelter

FUNDASEP uses a low-cost, durable design that has proven effective in sheltering poor Dominican families and withstanding powerful storms. All of the 24 new homes are:

  • Two or three bedrooms.
  • Constructed from a prefabricated aluminum frame into which concrete plates are set.
  • Designed to survive earthquakes and 120 mph winds.
  • Sealed against water leaks.
  • 60% less expensive than concrete and rebar models.

“If I have things such as clothes, the sacraments, the Bible, and the ability to read and write, it is my responsibility to share them with the poor.”

Bishop Jose Grullón Estrella

The Impact

Angel Salvador

On a hilltop in the dusty outskirts of Azua, Angel Salvador, his wife and their four children live in a home that doesn’t stand up well to rainstorms.

Concerned for his family, Angel saved what he could and bought rebar and concrete blocks to build a better house. When emergencies arose, Angel found himself having to sell the materials to cover other expenses. Angel will receive one of the new homes through our partnership with FUNDASEP. When he heard the news, he was deeply moved and began to make room for construction and the new blessing.

Before

Yeidi Paula

Yeidi Paula and her son, Francel, lived in a rundown shack with a dirt floor and walls made of splintering wood and rusty tin sheets. Yeidi was born mute and has special needs, but her father prayed that his daughter and grandson would be able to have a proper home someday. Now, thanks to your generosity, Yeidi and little Francel have a beautiful new house.

Yeidi lets us know that she is so thankful to God and considers it a dream come true. Receiving a new home has deepened Yeidi’s faith. In fact, Yeidi’s mom, Vitalia, says her daughter rises each morning, opens the front door and thanks the Lord for her beautiful new house. “We are so happy to have this house,” says Vitalia. “It is such a blessing!”

After

Catalina Montera Monero

In the tiny community of Palo Blanco, people are praising God for the water system that was recently completed. Thanks to your support, this mountain community on the border with Haiti now has access to clean, plentiful water! After years of their relying on contaminated water sources just to survive, God has answered their prayers and accomplished what once seemed impossible!

“I am so happy!” cries Catalina Montera Monero, who used to fetch water two or three times a day. “Now life is so easy. The water is right here! I am so thankful to FUNDASEP and to the Church. I prayed so much for this day. I wake up early every day to make my daily prayer to Our Lady.”

When you select an aid project, your donation to that project will be used to cover any expenditures for the project incurred through June 30, 2020, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.