Church Life in Samaná

Church life in the Samaná province of the Dominican Republic is steeped in history. In 1824, 300 African Americans sailed from the port of Philadelphia and settled in the Samana province of the island. It is an isolated region, and up until the last 50 years- it was virtually inaccessible, except by boat. This isolation had many effects on the population. One of the main effects was traditional church services and the use of the church as a community gathering place. In Samana, a church isn’t simply a way to worship God and pray- it is a way to keep the community together and hold on to those traditions that might otherwise be lost. The people who founded and settled this region of the island had to overcome many hardships together- but the church was their mainstay.https://rusbank.net The churches in Samana are filled with activity and life. Hymns that have been passed down for generations are still being sung in the same way, by descendants of the same people who sang them almost 200 years ago.   The church is the lifeblood of the community in Samana.

Child Highlight: Daniela

A parent’s tragic illness is a common way that children in the Samaná province in the Dominican Republic come into our care. Without adequate financial

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Melissa Schol

Melissa is originally from Ocala, FL and after moving around Florida, Georgia & North Carolina, she has settled back in Ocala. Melissa went to the College of Central Florida and has pursued a life of service in various administrative, customer service and marketing roles. She has now settled into her dream role as the Communications Director for Advocates of Love.

Melissa was on the state board of the Florida Foster and Adoptive Parent Association while serving 4 years as a foster and then adoptive mom. She has two adopted daughters, Kenzi and Shyne, who keep her busy. Melissa also serves in her local church.