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A Story of Faith and Obedience.

What’s in a dream? Is it purpose? Is it obedience? If ignored will it be passed on to someone else? Many of us have faced a decision—knowing it’s time to either ignore the call to adventure or step off the ledge and plunge into a greater purpose. For Doña Carmen, she took the latter and found fulfillment. 

Born in Santiago, Dominican Republic, Doña Carmen married her high school sweetheart and moved her three children to the United States in the hopes of escaping the poverty that plagued her entire life. But in leaving, she knew the miles could never truly separate her from the want and need she experienced in her childhood. She vowed to come back and somehow be a catalyst for change in her hometown.

After 20 years of raising her family in the United States, that adventure of greater purpose called—and Doña Carmen and her husband packed their bags and moved back to the land of her birth. 

Doña Carmen’s husband, a businessman with a passion for real-estate, had his eye on a building perched on a street corner then plagued by prostitution, drugs, and violent crime. As he made plans to gut the building and turn it into an apartment complex, Doña Carmen felt an urging in her heart, a gentle reminder of the vow she quietly whispered when she left her country so long ago. Breaking ground in 2005, the couple began to transform a condemned building in the middle of one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Santiago into not apartments, but a school for children. 
The school was named Instituto Cristiano San Lucas (Saint Luke’s Christian School) in honor of the author of the third Gospel who himself was a doctor and scientist, a man who knew the value of an education. ICSL opened its doors in September of 2006 has been fulfilling the stirring in Doña Carmen’s heart, impacting the the children and the families in the area, ever since. 

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