In October 2014 Dr. Jonathan Carey was invited to the Dominican Republic on a vision trip. After that trip he decided to expand his CTC Network to include the Dominican Republic. In March 2015 Dr. Carey invited a group from his church, Glad Tidings Tabernacle Key West Florida, to join him on a mission trip to La Florida, Dominican Republic. Those fortunate enough to accompany Dr. Carey saw the area firsthand and Project Ruth was born. Property was donated to Pastor Carey by a local resident, Ramon A. Ramirez, the property had been in his family for many generations. Construction began in May 2015 on a community center and medical clinic, the initial construction was completed in August 2015. An expansion project is nearing completion for a dental wing and short-term living quarters for visiting teams as well as modest living quarters to be made available for medical staff. The medical clinic is staffed and administrated by the Dominican government as part of a cooperative effort.
Dr. Carey decided to expand the CTC Network in Bajos de Haina and has since made that the Dominican based headquarters for CTC Network RD. The CTC Network RD is a Dominican registered non-profit organization. From the onset Dr. Carey has worked hand in hand with local and national government officials to address the needs of the communities.
At the core of Dr. Carey’s approach and principles is to form a partnership with government and Christian community leaders to:
•Provide holistic services to the families of La Florida and Bajos de Haina
•Distribute food, clothing, toiletries, and school supplies
•Develop and facilitate character development programs in local schools and churches
•Provide community leadership seminars and workshops
•Provide consistent healthcare services in the community
These principles are in line with the CTC Network and Project Ruth mission objectives:
•Undergird the local educational system
•Provide health care and humanitarian services on a weekly basis
•Provide ministry in the area schools and communities
•Teach the love of Jesus Christ and biblical based social values
•Develop youth entrepreneurship
•Provide transitional and crisis coaching
•Assist in developing transformational leaders
In June 2021 Amtrak offered a reduced price on the USA Rail Pass. My wife and I booked a train trip that would take us around the United States in 15 days. Miami to New York City, then to Chicago where we would stay overnight at a hotel. The next day we would travel to Seattle for another overnight stay, then to Los Angeles for a night, New Orleans for two nights, before returning to Miami via Washington DC.
After an early September construction trip to the Project Ruth facilities in La Florida Dominican Republic, and seeing how close we are to completing this phase of construction I started to reconsider our train trip. With funding lagging behind our goal the money for the train trip, hotel rooms and meals would go a long way towards seeing our facility upgrades being finished by the upcoming November mission team visit. My wife and I talked about this and we prayed for clarity on this issue. The next day we cancelled our train trip and took a shorter trip by car to visit family in Illinois and Indiana, we left Miami on the same day our train trip would have begun, Tuesday September 21st.
It was good to visit family but the thought of being on that train was on my mind. Where would we be today? What sights would we be seeing? I decided to put those thoughts aside and not dwell on it. On Saturday September 25th, a day we would be travelling between Chicago and Seattle with the train in Joplin Montana, getting close to Glacier National Park, a park I really want to visit, the train derailed. My sister sent me a link to the story and at first I didn't think too much about it. The next morning the reality of the situation became more apparent. Lives were lost, several people were injured, travel plans disrupted, and we could have been on that train. We would have been on that train.
Construction will continue at the Project Ruth facilities, (funding would be greatly appreciated), we will be travelling to the Dominican Republic in November, we will be hosting teams to serve the community in La Florida.
God's saving grace, coincidence or just a stroke of luck? What do you think?
Please pray for those affected by the derailment.
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