I met Chris Tanton during the summer after my Freshman year in high school on a baseball specific mission trip to the Domincan Republic. I went on to see him again in the Dominican after my Sophomore year and then coached a summer baseball team with him. During this time and since he has become a mentor to me. Chris was a teach and baseball coach at Mt. Paran Christian School and them become a full time missionary, with his wife, Abbey, in the Dominican Republic where they head Holt’s House of Hope. This past May after I graduated from Georgia Southern I went to the Dominican again to work and help Chris with Holt’s House of Hope.
What exactly does Holt’s House of Hope do… They provide
Holt’s House of Hope is a place in Boca Chica that serves young men in the community ages 11 to 18. The boys can come almost every day to be invested in by our staff, to receive a hot meal, and to experience community with other boys. Because many are living in poverty, we have a system in place where the boys can earn points for attending school, memorizing verses of scripture, and other avenues. They can use these points in an onsite ‘store’ to get things such as hygiene products, clothing, shoes, sports equipment, school supplies, and toys. We also provide required school uniforms and supplies to the boys who otherwise would not be able to attend.
Education is an undervalued area of life in the Dominican Republic, especially in rural areas and smaller cities such as Boca Chica. We provide educational and vocational training to help the boys have a better chance at a career in the future. We teach English classes because there are significantly better opportunities for those that are bilingual. We offer help outside of school with reading, writing skills, homework and school projects. We also teach vocational courses on topics such as bicycle repair, food service skills, woodworking, and hair cutting. In the future, we hope to partner with local businesses to provide internship opportunities for our youth to further develop their skills and trades.
While we believe in the work we are doing to prepare them for a job in the future, we strongly believe that real hope comes from knowing Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Savior. Without making the gospel central to our day to day activities, we are not accomplishing anything of eternal significance. We have weekly bible studies with the boys, breakout small group sessions, and 1-on-1 discipleship with the older boys. Our hope is to create community leaders with a strong biblical foundation and a desire to disciple others in the future.
Holt’s House Library
One of their current projects is developing a learning center that would provide access to learning materials, books, technology resources, language learning software, and other opportunities that do not currently exist in this area. Needs in this area include adding hopefully 2 laptops to the learning center (approx. $400 each), purchasing books from their Amazon wish list (ranging from approx. $5 to $20 each), as well as Rosetta Stone language software (approx $150).
My hope is that I can raise money to fund their Library by bringing attention to my current Appalachian Trail hike. I want to raise $2,189 dollars for this incredible ministry. That’s $1.00 for every mile I will walk. I have been personally impacted by this ministry and I believe completely in the vision and the direction of the 2 people on the ground in the Dominican. Chris and his wife Abby have been hands on with this ministry for almost 2 years now. I hope that we can help them facilitate life change in the boys that they minister to by providing them with access to these resources.
Are you ready to flood Holt’s House of Hope with donations, I am. Here is the link to donate directly to the library.
Scroll down and find the Appalachian Trail logo and my little shout out and select the yellow donate button. Then follow the process – select the donation type, enter payment info and you are all set.
Chris and Abby will be able to track donations so I can give you updates on how close we are to our goal of raising $2,189.00
I am so excited to use my hike to provide for their needs and blessed you would consider helping me do this.