Posted by: dominicanoutreach | September 8, 2009

Biography of Hope

The month of August was long and hot. Not many tourists or volunteers come to the DR during this time. For me it is a time of reflection and preparing for the coming school years and the projects we have planned. I have found that reading biographies prepare me in several ways. First, they inspire me with examples of people who have persevered over obstacles we battle every day. Second, biographies often serve as case studies on how to model success. For example I have been reading about Augustus Franke who was a German pietist who founded several schools, an orphanage, and vocational projects for the poor at the end of the 17th century in Germany. The way he did it seems to follow a pattern that Dominican Outreach has been pioneering in the Puerto Plata area. Third, there is a comfort in knowing that one is not alone and there have been others who have travelled this path. It is humbling as well knowing that one is part of a vast army of missionaries who have served others as part of a higher calling. Finally, biography offers hope. Andreas Masius is another person I have been studying. He was born in Belgium in 1514. He became a Roman Catholic priest who was both a scholar and humanist. He fought against the abuses of his own church and the oppression of the poor. At the same time he pioneered scholarly advances in book printing, the publication of the Aramaic New Testament and forgotten genius’ such as Moshe Bar Kepha. His battles with his own church led him to leave the priesthood and marry. But even in his domestic life he continued his two pronged contributions to the relief of suffering and the advances in the scholarship of his day.

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