I (Joel) just wanted to provide a little bit more information as to my role in Santo Domingo.
First off, I just wanted to explain that IPEE (the Covenant National Church or Ecuador) has laid out the next 6 months for us. The first 3 months of those 6 months will be my work in Santo Domingo. The second 3 months of the next 6 months, we will be traveling to the jungle town of Tena where we will be going to visit indigenous communities there so that Kim can help with the diagnosing of disabilities. So, this will be Kim’s time to shine. We haven’t filled you all in on that yet, so we just wanted to update you on it.
I haven’t exactly explained what my role in Santo Domingo will be just yet. IPEE is hoping to make a significant amount of changes to improve the camp facilities there in Santo Domingo. They are looking forward to having me bring my experience in the business world and my business training to help facilitate a process for making improvements.
I have visited now twice and have gottten a feel for what the situation is like and I must say that I am already impressed. I think they have a very good thing going already as there are many church groups from other denominations that also use the facilities. Most Camps I know in the States are not profitable in and of themselves and require the donations of the larger body to make ends meet. That’s not the case for the Camp here. They were profitable last year just in the fees that they charge for visitors, which are some of the lowest of any of the camps in the areas. I understand why they are looking to make the changes because there is still quite a bit that could be done to improve things so that it receives even more visitors.
They would like me to assist in a consultant or project manager type role. They were thinking about hiring someone for this work but when they saw my resume and experience, they thought I would be a good fit. And I think that is the case. I really enjoy this type of project and I believe, with God’s help, I can do well.
My plan for the work is this:
1) Take about a month or so to assess the camp currently. Take an inventory of all their amenities, supplies, etc. Interview all of the workers to get an understanding of everyone’s roles. Assess what the current needs of the camp are and what historic and current financial outlooks are at. Also, with all of this, I hope to be able to put together some sort of manual that can be a guide going forward.
2) Next, I plan to visit other camp facilities and other resort facilities to see what they are doing well and to see what all changes can be implemented at the camp. I will see what is expected of resort type facilities by tourists as well as see what has been profitable for those institutions.
3) Then I will come up with two or three plans that the camp can implement to go about making these changes.
4) Finally, I will present these plans to the committee that is over the Camp so they can make a decision as to what plan they would like to proceed with. At this point, I will take my direction from them as to what the next step will be.
Again, with all of this, all glory goes to God and this work will only be successful if His hand is in it and He leads and guides us through this process. Please pray as we take things one step at a time.