Francisco Rodriguez Garcia 'Rafelito'
Griselda... Ruth, Josue, Doris
- For the church to grow in Los Guandules
- So that the kids in the area behave themselves well
- For my family to be a united body
Rafelito was raised in the beach community of Puerta Plata until age eight when he moved with his parents and seven siblings to Santiago. Growing up, he never gave much thought to God and spiritual things. He certainly never considered Christianity, but one day, when a friend invited him to church, he agreed to go without hesitation. His decision was not based on any understood spiritual need, rather he found out that a girl he had a crush on also attended his friend’s church and he wanted to get to know her! After hearing God’s word for only two weeks, however, Rafelito quickly recognized his need for Christ and decided to follow Him. Years later, he met his future wife at that same church.
As Rafelito grew spiritually and proved himself a leader in the church, G.O.’s Caribbean President, at the time, Ramon Gabriel, challenged him to prepare himself for ministry. Rafelito then spent several years in a few different churches preaching and ministering to various congregations and communities. Since 2003, he has led his own church in Los Guandules.
Similar to many areas in Santiago, Los Guandules has its share of challenges. This particular area seems to draw people from lots of different places on the island and many of those people bring with them a difficult past. Street fighting, drugs, and prostitution are common issues in Los Guandules. Another common problem is that too many parents aren’t committed to raising their children so kids grow up without much supervision, guidance, and nurturing and then keep this cycle going.
Rafelito reaches out to those who come to church, as well as others in his community, in a variety of ways. Through preaching, leading bible studies for men and couples, and ministering to families through the showing Christian movies, and visiting people in their homes, he feeds them the Word of God. His dream is that one day his church will be filled with people who sincerely want to grow and serve others in Jesus’ name.
Rafelito is married to Juana Griselda Martinez and together they have three children: Ruth (16), Josue (10) and Doris (7).