To give each child the love and security of a Christ-centered family and teach them values founded on the Word of God. We offer these often overlooked boys a quality, Christian education and critical life skills that will carry them through adulthood and point them solely to Jesus Christ, their Savior and Redeemer.
Throughout the cities and impoverished sugar cane villages of the Dominican Republic, homeless and abandoned children have become permanent fixtures. Economics, cultural traditions, and unsanitary conditions force them to scavenge and beg for scraps daily. Violence and loss have siphoned all hope.
In 2007, SCORE International, a Chattanooga-based sports and evangelism ministry operating in the Dominican Republic for 30+ years, began to search for ways to minister to orphaned boys, often found homeless and destitute. At the same time, Pastor Steve Berger was invited by Grace Chapel member Reese Smith to spend a few days in the DR participating in SCORE’s baseball ministry. The mornings were spent in baseball camps and ministry, while orphanages were visited in the afternoons.
Orphanages were established more often for girls only, and when Pastor Steve and Reese, who also serves on the board of SCORE, visited an orphanage where boys and girls had been housed together the previous years, they saw only girls. Reese then asked the question, “Where are the boys?” This led to the discovery of very poor living conditions for the boys who had been separated and moved to another location. Several Grace Chapel members were in the group who saw these boys, including Sarah Berger, as well as SCORE officials, and an immediate decision was made to join hands and prayerfully commit to making a long-term commitment to provide a loving home environment where young boys could grow up knowing the love of God, receive an education, and become leaders of the future for their families and their country.
SCORE had property in the Villa Espana section of San Pedro de Marcoris which they offered for this project. The drawings for the homes were designed, but there was no name for this complex. During this time, the sudden and unexpected accident that took our very much loved Josiah Berger to Heaven on August 14, 2009, changed everything. The Lord, our Comforter, whispered gently to us, “Josiah’s House.” The loving and gracious response of the entire Berger family was “YES!”
With hearts full of gratitude for God’s provisions and appointments, we now see the fruit of the many prayers and love of those who followed God’s call to care for the orphans.
WHO WE REACH
Jose Luis, 13, joined Josiah’s House in March 2015. Jose Luis’ younger brother, Eliander, also lives at Josiah’s House. His twin sisters Josefa and Josefina live next door at Giovanna’s House. It is wonderful to have this sibling set all living together.
Eliander, 9, joined Josiah’s House in September 2015. Eliander is able to live at Josiah’s House with his older brother Jose Luis. His twin sisters Josefa and Josefina live next door at Giovanna’s House.
Noel is 12 years old, when he arrived at Josiah’s House it was just a few days before Christmas! Noel is a very special young man with a lot of energy and loves to be around people. Some of Noel’s favorite things are good food and Baseball. Noel came to us with many challenges but is excelling in many areas as we work with him.
Ismael, 12, has a sweet disposition and an eagerness to learn. He joined us in January 2017 and we love working with this kindhearted little boy.
Eury is 16 years old and, is the older brother of Eddy Jr. who already lives at Josiah’s House. He joined us in the summer of 2017 what a thrill it was to see him united with his brother!
Pedro and Teresa have been working at Josiah’s House since 2017 as parents in Mercy House (better known as the Terra Cotta house). Their children are Jose Luis, Eliander, Euri, Eddy, and Ishmael. What they love most about working at Josiah’s House is seeing how God restores the life of every child that comes to live here. They love how God is using them to to touch these children with the love of Christ.
Wander Javier, 13, enjoys playing with the other boys at Josiah’s House who have literally taken him under their wing. He sleeps peacefully and soundly in his own bed each night and enjoys building things with the toy blocks in his room. Many times during the day he’ll say, “Que Buena Vida!”, which means “This is a good life!” We thank God for rescuing this little boy and installing him as a son of the Kingdom of God and of Josiah’s House!
Carlos, is 18 years old and was the first boy to join the Josiah’s House family. He loves to sing “Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord” in Spanish and English. When he came to Josiah’s House, he didn’t know his vowels. He has now developed a love for reading! Carlos now lives outside of Josiah’s House and is a young man who loves the Lord with all his heart and his actions prove it. He has a quiet and gentle spirit and a heart of worship. Carlos is continuing his education and hopes to go on to the local University.
Argenis, is 14 years old, he is a happy-go-lucky boy, eats to his heart’s content, and is in sixth grade at a local Christian school. He has portrayed Emilio Prud’homme, the man who wrote the Dominican National Anthem, in the Wax Museum’s National Celebration Day Parade at school. He loves to cook as well as eat and he loves to serve with us in our neighboring communities. If you are around Argenis very long you will realize he loves to play practical jokes and has a great sense of humor.
Darlin is 15 years old. He has a gentle, quiet spirit and merged easily and quickly into the Josiah’s House family. He was already a good reader when he joined us, and quickly started school. He now attends a private christian school here in San Pedro. He was baptized in February 2015. He battled retinal blastoma as a child and today wears glasses and a prosthetic eye. Today Darlin is cancer free, happy and healthy! He is also quite the artist and gives the best hugs and loves to run!
Victor, 17, lived on the streets most of his life. He stayed at Josiah’s House over a weekend in the Spring of 2012 and then we reconnected with him in the Conani office that summer. He immediately came to live with us and he has been a delight. Victor is a deep thinker and is a gentleman. He is a star basketball player at his school and our resident barber at Josiah’s House. He joins Fernando in the summers as a translator for groups that come to JH and occasionally for Score International mission teams.
Fernando is 16, and is currently an 10th grader at the local private Christian school where he is in the top of his class in many areas. He has a contagious smile and a gentle spirit. Fernando is fluent in English and during the summers works as a translator for groups that come to JH and occasionally with Score International. He loves all sports but baseball is his favorite.
Fran nd Aris Perez
Aris and Fran have been parents in the Love House (Blue House) since 2012. They were our first set of house parents and in the last 7 years they have poured into the lives of many children. They are now parenting 4 teenage boys Victor, Fernando, Alejandro and Darling. Carlos their first boy just turned 18 and is now living outside of Josiah’s House. Aris is in charge of the kitchen, lodging, cleaning and is a member of the entrance committee for children being considered to enter Josiah’s House. Fran is in charge of maintenance and cares for the beautiful property at Josiah’s House. What they love the most about their work is being able to show the love of Christ to children who come with their hearts broken and see God transform their lives. Fran and Aris are a perfect example of a healthy marriage and home for all the children here.
Teo is 17 years old, he came to Josiah’s House when we found him in a local Village with no family and no place to live. Teo has some special needs including hearing loss, and he is unable to speak, which made it even more difficult for him to survive on his own. Teo has learned quickly to be a part of the Josiah’s House family. Two is now happy, safe and healthy, he attends a school for special needs children and is learning sign language and ways to communicate. Teo loves to play soccer and can make a kite out of almost anything!
Rosanna has been working at Josiah’s House since 2014 as Finances and Human Resources Manager. Her favorite thing about Josiah’s House is the peace and joy that comes from serving in the work of God through her profession, gifts and talents. She loves being a part of the beautiful vision with which JH was created, to give hope and bring restoration to the life of the children and adolescents from the Dominican Republic. Rosanna is married to her wonderful husband Smaily and they have a beautiful daughter Rosmaily and another baby on the way.
Julio (Tio Julio) has been working at Josiah’s House since 2013 he started as and English teacher and a Spanish tutor for Bob and Diane Spencer. He is now in the roll of Administrator at Josiah’s House. Julio does everything with excellence and has a big heart for all the children. Julio’s passion is to create opportunities for the children to be able to develop fully and above all things to know Christ in a personal way.
Maria Todd has been working at Josiah´s House for 3 years as social worker and parent assistant What she loves the most about working at JH is being able to touch the hearts of children through her personal relationship with them. Maria has 2 sons Francisco, Victor and her grandson Julio.
Marcia Alejandra Ortiz García.
Maria Alejandra has been working at Josiah´s House for 6 years as teacher of the children who come to Josiah’s House, she is responsible for reinforcing their learning and help to them in everything they need about school. What she loves most about her work at Josiah´s House is to be able to contribute, with the help of the Lord, a grain of sand in the lives of children in need that God places in our hands, and to have the opportunity to see them grow and heal gradually in body, heart, soul and intellect to help them with the power of God to have a better quality life in Christ.
Dan and Shana Gower Director’s of Josiah’s House
Daniel and Shana Gower have been serving the Lord on the foreign mission field for 27 years. They have been ministering in the Dominican Republic since 1999 and live there with their three children, Joshua, Gabriel, and Mikaela Joy.
Children have always held a special place in the Gowers’ hearts, and they began working with children centers and children and youth in their church in San Pedro de Macoris. Soon, God began placing on their hearts the desire to work with orphaned and abandoned children. The Lord drew the Gower family to Josiah’s House where they began serving in 2014. They now serve as the director of Josiah’s House and continue to live out their love for children and families. It is their heart’s desire that God will use them to bring healing and restoration to those children and their families through knowing Jesus as their Savior and growing in an intimate relationship with Him.
STAY CONNECTED WITH JOSIAH’S HOUSE
Josiah’s House is the extended heartbeat of Grace Chapel in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee, and is named in honor of Josiah Berger, the son of Grace Chapel’s Pastor, Steve Berger, and his wife, Sarah. Josiah unexpectedly went to Heaven in 2009 at the age of 19 and is now more alive than ever! Josiah’s love for missions and his enthusiasm for life continue to inspire those desiring to pour hope into the lives of these amazing boys.
INFO@JOSIAHSHOUSE.NET • 615.591.5091