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
Eddy Junior, 12, was the youngest of several children in his family. Eddy loves to eat and every time he eats, he devours the food we give him. He is adjusting very well to life at Josiah’s House with the other boys and appears to have quite a throwing arm. He is thrilled to have his older brother Eury with him now at Josiah’s House.
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.
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, 14, is the older brother of Eddy Jr. who already lives at Josiah’s House. He joined us in the summer of 2017 and we are thrilled to have him! He currently doing well in our on-campus tutoring program and we love having him reunited with his brother.
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, 17, was the first boy to join the Josiah’s House family. He loves to sing “Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord” in Spanish. When he came to Josiah’s House, he didn’t know his vowels. He now loves to read! He a local Christian school and recently received the Christian Character Award.
Argenis, 13, 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.
Darlin, 15, 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 was baptized in February 2015. He battled retinal blastoma as a child and today wears glasses and a prosthetic eye. Thankfully he is cancer free!
Victor, 16, 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. 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 Score International mission teams.
Fernando, now 15, is currently an eighth grader at the local Christian school. He has a contagious smile and a gentle spirit. He is fully fluent in English and during the summers works as a local translator for Score International.
Josefa, 15, and her twin sister Josefina were the first girls to live at Giovanna’s House. They joined their siblings Eliander and Jose Luis on the campus at Josiah’s House. We have loved reuniting this sibling set!
Josefina, 15, and her twin sister Josefa were the first girls to live at Giovanna’s House. They joined their siblings Eliander and Jose Luis on the campus at Josiah’s House. We have loved reuniting this sibling set!
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