Workers help kids in Dominican Republic stay healthy physically and spiritually

By September 24, 2009

Dominican Republic (MNN) — The H1N1 virus, also called the
swine flu, is still rearing its ugly head. Just recently, Kids Alive International
closed one of their schools for several days because of the threat of the

"We had one school in particular where we had a number of
students and teachers who started having severe headaches and high fevers,
which are symptoms that concerned us. So we reported it to public health, who
recommended that we close the school for several days and quarantine the students,
which is what we've done," said Vic Trautwein, the country's co-director for Kids

It has not been confirmed whether the H1N1 virus caused the
sickness. However, Trautwein said they needed to exercise caution because of
the potential harm the virus could cause.

Kids Alive's role in the Dominican Republic is crucial,
Trautwein said. Without their help, many of the "at risk" children they
help would not receive any assistance.

Trautwein said Kids Alive helps over 1,000 kids throughout
the country, caring for them in nine individual projects. One hundred and thirty
of these kids are also cared for in one of Kids Alive's three residential
ministries. These children receive education through day programs or schools, and
nutrition through meals provided by Kids Alive. Their health is also a high priority,
and the ministry ensures their vaccinations and other health needs are addressed.

However, Trautwein said they do more than take care of the
children's physical needs.

"Discipleship is one of the main things we do. Kids come to
us because of their needs, but we focus on the spiritual needs more than
anything," he said.

Whether in a residential program, school or day program,
Trautwein said, "Every Kids Alive kid has some exposure to the Bible every day."

As Kids Alive missionaries in the Dominican Republic seek to
prevent the spread of H1N1 and effectively communicate God's love to the
children, the leaders need pray. Trautwein asks for prayer that they will remain faithful to their call and that their ministry will bear much fruit.

Also, pray for the health of the children and workers, that they will "avoid any serious health crisis," Trautwein asks.

To donate to or learn more about Kids Alive ministries in
the Dominican Republic, click here.

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