Two weeks before Thanksgiving in the USA, I traveled to the Dominican Republic and visited the Texas Rangers Baseball Academy and the Buckner Dominicana Family Hope Center in the Villa Esfuerzo neighborhood. Buckner Trustees James Westbrooks and Watson Moore were with me along with Arnie Adkison, Chris Ruth, Scott Collins, Dexton Shores, Jeff Billinger, and Buckner Dominicana staff led by Maria Alida de Brugal, Executive Director. We attended a graduation ceremony at the Buckner Family Hope Center in Villa Esfuerzo for students completing a certificate in administrative assistant training. Pastor Henry Lopez presented these heartfelt thanksgiving remarks. James Westbrooks suggested I share this moment and the pastor’s message with you:
Greetings and Words of Appreciation
To each of our distinguished board members and teachers that honor us with such an honorable and pleasant visit on such an emotional day that concludes this milestone and new stage of our lives.
Today, we first thank God for giving us the privilege of being a part of this vision and mission of an institution, without any doubt has been used by God to effectively reach the most vulnerable parts of our country, cultivating and strengthening the spiritual, social and academic values, permitting the light to shine where knowledge is lacking, and lost values prevail.
Thank you, Buckner International, for loaning us your house to be converted into our home where we have had the opportunity to learn and grow from the best parents, our teachers. Thank you, Buckner, for reaching out to us beyond your own borders to extend with this friendly hand and show us the road to excellence.
Thank you for having patience and believing in us. Thank you for teaching us the most simple and sincere way to greatness of service. Thank you for your unselfish, detached, and liberal commitment without sparing efforts so that now the light shines not only in our community and families, but also in our hearts that are overflowing with joy and satisfaction.
Thank you for making this a day of smiles and for giving hope to so many people that do not have adequate resources for integral development in their lives.
In closing, I add my most sincere gratitude and benediction as Pastor Henry Lopez, may the Almighty continue to richly bless overabundantly today, tomorrow, and forever.
Buckner is shining hope into places like Villa Esfuerzo. Hope shines bright on the faces of students equipped to advance in their vocational pursuits, which in turn helps to strengthen families and the community. Hope Shines Here in the Dominican Republic.