Disciples Making Disciples – The Great Commission

Beyond the lush beauty of the Dominican Republic, families lie in ruin. Single mothers struggle to make ends meet, and children grow up without fathers.

Ronnie Herrera was one of those children.

“When I was eight, our family was going through a very tough financial situation, and my dad decided to find a better way of living. That’s when he moved to the United States. From there on, me and my two brothers grew up with my mom, and she raised the three of us by herself.

“As I grew up, my picture of a father was just talking on the phone with him. That’s all I had. You talk on the phone with him, you ask for things you want from the States or money you need from him, but we didn’t really get into a deep relationship with him. Nothing deeper like a father/son relationship.”

Over the next few years, Ronnie’s family faced more hard times. They lost everything to Hurricane George, then his father developed a blood clot in his brain from the stress of their financial situation. The surgery to save his dad’s life would likely cripple him.

Ronnie felt hopeless.

“The expectation was that my dad would be blind or handicapped in a wheelchair after the surgery, but he came out ok. That was a spiritual climax in our family. We had two churches praying for our family even though we were not believers. That’s when my mom first started considering becoming a believer.”

Soon after, Ronnie began attending a Christian school and accepted Christ for himself. He went on his first mission trip with the church youth group, and he discovered a passion for sharing the hope he found in Jesus.

“My friend and I knew we needed someone to teach us what it meant to be missionaries. We thought of an American missionary couple we knew of, so we knocked on their door and asked them to disciple us.”

That door belonged to Miguel and Kristina de Santiago, long-term missionaries with Adventures in Missions. Miguel and Kristina felt called to the DR to make disciples and raise up a generation of leaders. They had been praying for months for God to send them young people to disciple, and Ronnie was the answer to their prayers.

“Miguel began to disciple me. It was very task-oriented at the beginning, but after a while our relationship became more personal. Miguel became like a father to me, and I was a son to him. I admired him as a man, as a husband, as a father.

“My dad had five children with three different women. He hasn’t spent time with any of us in a way a father would. I understood that wasn’t what I wanted for my family.

“I saw I needed a man — I needed a father — to show me how to be a father. I saw my need, and I saw that Miguel could be a good father to me and teach me to be a son.”

Over the next few years Miguel mentored Ronnie, and Ronnie’s faith grew strong under his guidance.

“He helped me grow from being a child in Christ to a man of God. To go from knowledge to spiritual maturity.”

Then, during a trip to Haiti and Peru, God told Ronnie it was time to start teaching others what he was learning. He returned to the DR and began mentoring a group of young men.

This group of young Dominicans has spent several years investing in the people of the village of Cativo. They lead worship services, teach the adults to read and write, cook meals for the village, host Vacation Bible School, and disciple individual believers. They pour their lives into the people of Cativo every day.

This ministry has grown and sparked a passion in the Cativo believers to disciple another village the same way Ronnie’s team ministers to them. That village disciples yet another.

A simple prayer has led Ronnie from hopelessness to a life dedicated to the great commission: go make disciples who make disciples who make more disciples.


Adventures in Missions believes in life-on-life discipleship, and we invite you to join us.

Many of the Dominican disciples are young people choosing to give up their college educations and future plans to follow God’s call. Even though they’re passionate about missions, they struggle to choose that path daily.

Encouragement, support, and kind words from believers in other countries help reassure them they’re doing good work. Set a weekly reminder to email Ronnie with encouragement for the team or to leave a comments on their blogs, and you can help change a nation.

Ronnie’s blog