Sending You Hope and a Dream from the Dominican Republic…

I met a God-sized dreamer in the most unlikely of places today. Her name is Carla and she lives in a tin roof house with curtains for doors in the Dominican Republic. At the end of our time together, she apologized for not having a grander place to share with us. Through the Compassion International translator I told her, “This is a house of love. And that is worth more than anything else.”

Compassion Bloggers Dominican Republic 2015

When I asked Carla about her dreams she talked of her children. Getting them out of the dangerous neighborhood where they live. Seeing them grow up to pursue their passions. One of her sons is in the Compassion program. He has two brothers and a sister. Carla is studying to finish her high school degree. Her oldest son, who has learned to read and write through the program, helps her with homework.

Behind Carla’s house is a river that rises whenever it rains too much. It washes away everything they have. The family survives because they have two things: land that belongs to them that they can come back to and a way to get to higher ground. Something in her story resonated deeply with me because I know what it’s like to try your best and do battle when life’s storms come anyway. Don’t you?

Compassion Bloggers Dominican Republic 2015

Carla’s story also brought to mind these words:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matt. 7:24-25

Here’s what’s true: All believers have land that belongs to us–the firm foundation of Jesus. And we all need help getting to higher ground. I imagine someone, somewhere has done that for you…

Maybe a teacher who saw your potential.

A mentor who challenged you to be your best.

A boss who gave you an unexpected opportunity.

A family member who just wouldn’t stop believing in you.

A friend who whispered when the clouds gathered, “You’re going to get through this.”

One of the best ways to show appreciation for what we’ve received is to pay it forward. Not out of guilt but out of full-heart gratitude. We are all poor. We are all rich. And we all need each other. {click to tweet}

Where would we be if no one had come for us when life started raining and the waters started rising?

I saw that question in a new way today through a woman named Carla.

A mama.

A doer.

A fighter.

Someone who has hopes, dreams and fears for her family. Someone who hears the thunder of life and still keeps believing. Someone who has weathered her share of storms and come out stronger. Someone a lot like me. Someone a lot like you.

Dominican Blog Trip DR-707 188

I hope we can all meet one day–you, me, Carla and her children. Whether here or in heaven. I picture us joining hands, grinning with joy at God’s goodness and grace, maybe whispering, “Can you believe we’re really here?!”

I’m trusting this will be part of the scene too: the skies will finally be the most brilliant blue and we’ll be standing strong and tall together on higher ground.


Holley Gerth


Will you sponsor a child through Compassion International today? When you do, you’ll not only impact the life of one child but an entire family and community, too. To choose your child, just click here.

If you can’t afford to sponsor a child on your own right now, you can ask others to join you: family, friends, a group at church, coworkers. That’s how Mark and I started sponsoring kids over a decade ago. If you want to do this, God will make a way–and you don’t have to do it alone. Ask Him to show you who can partner with you. {And if you sponsor a child today you’ll get a limited edition You’re So Very Loved necklace by Lisa Leonard.}

Necklace and Compassion

As I’m writing this, there have been 29 children sponsored through the Dominican Republic Compassion bloggers! Picture a parade of 29 happy little faces climbing the hill of hope to higher ground. You can see them all here. Thank you!

p.s. Will you take just a few seconds and share this post on facebook?

About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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