User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

31° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options



 Winter Storm for November 30, 2015

Snow Outlook

Severe Weather

State Radar

Click here for local closings & delays

Send photos to

Storm Center Update



[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Families Face Challenges In Dominican Republic

February 3, 2012, 5:54 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Families Face Challenges In Dominican Republic
BENERITO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - If you've been watching the stories of a mission team made up of South Dakota business people serving in the Dominican Republic, you've probably noticed how different things are there compared to South Dakota.

The streets of Benerito in the Dominican Republic are different enough from those in South Dakota. The houses lining them too. Same story if you step inside one of them.

"I would like a car, but for economic reasons I can't do that," Rafael Javier said.

Rafael Javier and his wife, Mayalis, live in a house made up of two rooms total. And they have six children.

"When you buy a bag of rice, it doesn't last very long," Rafael said.

In addition to training for pastoring, he works in the sugar cane industry and like many others in this community, he doesn't bring home a lot of money.

"This varies a lot from one person to the other. Some of them will make 500 pesos, some of them 400 pesos, some less. But whatever they make, they have to pay for their transportation to get where they go," Rafael said.

500 Dominican pesos would fall between $12 and $13 and he says that's the daily wage for many. He says it can be very difficult to provide for a family. His wife, who is busy caring for the six children and doing housekeeping work for others as side work, can feel the stress too.

One of the main purposes of this trip was to give people from South Dakota with plenty some perspective. And it's been doing that.

"Multiple bedrooms for just my wife and I. And you feel a little guilt, but having that much resources right at your fingertips can create its own problems as well," Jeff Veltkamp said.

As he's been working on the project, Veltkamp has noticed how content many of the families are and how much joy and faith they exhibit as well.

"It's been a great experience to see how other Christians around the world are living and worshiping. And it's just a pleasure to be a part of that," Veltkamp said.

But his hope, and others going home to America as well, is not to forget the life those they've been working along side this week are living and will continue to live here.

"Yes, sometimes it's very difficult because the things are very expensive," Rafael said.

The South Dakota group returns to the U.S. this weekend.

Previous Story

Next Story





View news

You may also like

Ronald Neels Sentenced To 75 Years In Prison

11/23/2015 5:59 PM

For more than a decade, nobody knew Ronald Neels was sexually abusing a victim inside his home near Garretson. The victim never said anything about th...

Full Story | Watch
Tyrese Ruffin's Mother Speaks Publicly For First Time

11/25/2015 6:18 AM

In her first and only television interview, Doohen talked about her son, who she called the joy of her life.

Full Story
LHS Student Charged With Making Bomb Threat

11/23/2015 10:53 AM

Sioux Falls Police said a 16-year-old student wrote a message on a bathroom mirror.

Full Story
Sioux Falls Police Investigate Multiple Stabbings

11/23/2015 12:12 AM

Sioux Falls Police are investigating two stabbings late Sunday night.

Full Story
Police Arrest Man In Indianapolis Woman's Slaying

11/23/2015 6:36 AM

18-year-old Larry Taylor of Indianapolis has been arrested on a preliminary charge of murder in the death of 28-year-old Amanda Blackburn.

Full Story