Dominican Republic (MNN) — Steve Bostian with CURE
International is heading to the Dominican Republic next week to
head up the ministry facilities there as executive
Established in 2003,
the Center for Orthopedic Specialties in the Dominican Republic was CURE's
first presence in Latin America.
Says Bostian, "About 80-85 percent of the children that are gripped in poverty just don't have the
resources to get a permanent cure for their disability like kids in the United
According to CURE, the Pan
American Health Organization estimates that about 7% of the general population
of the Dominican Republic is disabled, meaning that there are more than 400,000
Dominicans with disabilities, many of them children and most of them coming from
the lower socio-economic classes.
Less than 15% of the disabled in
the Dominican Republic have access to any sort of rehabilitation services. Only the wealthy can afford to pay for these services.
Most public hospitals are in
extremely poor condition and must deal with crisis situations rather than a
disability which is not always viewed as something worth treating.
That's why CURE began work in the
region. Today, the hospital serves more
than 700 outpatients each month and maintains a very active spiritual
Bostian says, "We use the
medical ministry as a platform for evangelism and spiritual ministry. The Gospel is shared with every child that
comes into the hospital or clinic and his or her family. Even afterwards, every
child is visited in his or her home."
The scope of their work is not
limited to the Dominican Republic. The
small country is on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean, between Cuba and
Puerta Rico. The Dominican Republic occupies 2/3 of Hispaniola, while Haiti
occupies the remaining third.
Haiti is widely seen as the
poorest country in the western hemisphere and has only a fraction of the
physicians seen in other Latin American countries. CURE expanded their DR work into Haiti and
now makes regular trips every 3 months to Haiti from the hospital in the
No newcomer to developing
self-sustaining indigenous programs, Bostian has served as assistant U.S.
director for Hope Unlimited for Children. In this role, he was responsible
for the organization's marketing and development efforts, volunteer
relations and special events. He also previously held positions with
Samaritan's Purse and World Relief.
The end goal: seeing CURE as a
self-supporting ministry in the Dominican Republic. Aside from weaning off U.S. funds, Bostian says, "A long term goal that I
have is to work with Dominicans that have the means to give and work with the
church in that country to raise the level of indigenous support," which
includes not only the economics of it but also the discipleship investment in
praying for Bostian, along with his wife, April, and their three children: Jason,
Alex and Ashley. He notes that the transition
will be difficult for his children, now teenagers, so pray for his family as
they adjust to life in the Dominican Republic.
Pray, too, that the Lord would give him wisdom as he leads the ministry.