Three months ago, the Rev. Cynthia Taylor and a group of medical missionaries traveled to the Dominican Republic to help the less fortunate.
While there, Taylor said, a lasting bond was formed with a minister from San Matias and her church - a bond that grew closer in Columbia County recently.
"We have established, at least my church, a relationship, and we just want to broaden that out," said Taylor, the minister of the Church of the Holy Comforter, which meets at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Evans.
The bond was with Ercilia Peralta, a minister whose church is in Santana Bani, Dominican Republic.
On Nov. 10, Taylor greeted her cross-continent colleague to Evans for eight days to meet her congregation and other Episcopal churches, visit schools and ask for support for an Episcopal college that Peralta has established in San Matias.
Peralta said the 3-year-old school teaches pupils from pre-K to seventh grade and serves as a place of worship for her congregation.
"San Matias is a poor place," Peralta said as Barbara Frohmader, a middle school Spanish teacher at Episcopal Day School in Augusta, translated for her.
"The children need the school so they can come out of poverty materialistically and spiritually.''
"San Matias is the heart of the community," she said, adding that her group plans to go back to the Dominican Republic next summer. "If the school gets raised up, the community gets raised up."
But in order to get help to improve the school, Peralta had several pictures and pamphlets on hand for pupils and adults to see children from the Dominican Republic who she says desire to be professional doctors and more.
Peralta said that by seeing the pictures, people will become aware of how their support is vital in helping the school meet its needs.
Some of the supplies the school needs include a generator for electricity and computers.
"Things we take for granted they don't have any of," Taylor said.
So far, Taylor said, her church has raised $1,200 to donate to the school and is working on raising scholarship money to donate to 15 to 20 pupils.
During her visit to Columbia County, Peralta said she enjoyed celebrating mass and participating in communion at the church. She also visited Redcliff Elementary School in Aiken and Episcopal Day School in Augusta, where she sang Spanish songs and talked about her culture with pupils.
"My experience here has been precious and magnificent," Peralta said. "My heart is filled because God has connected me with the church, people and the medical group."
To make donations or find out more information about how to help out Peralta's school, call Taylor at 210-1133.
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