At 19 years old, Aldo Felix found himself in an unexpected situation.
He had just moved to Nibaje, a suburb of the second largest city in the Dominican Republic, Aldo’s home country. The plan was to start a youth ministry there called Young Life. Aldo had started a relationship with Jesus a few years earlier at a Young Life camp and felt a call to share that love with others. Through a Milagros scholarship, Aldo was able to go to college in the DR, experience true discipleship, and begin to live out his call in Nibaje.
But there was a catch.
Nibaje was a dangerous neighborhood, forcing many teenagers to turn to crime for survival. God meant nothing to them, and doing ministry there involved great risk. Aldo found himself in dangerous situations on many occasions, but he never gave up on those kids.
One day he asked a group of guys to go camping with him. Many of the kids had never left the city, and Aldo had never gone true camping himself – Young Life camps involve cabins and nice facilities, a way different experience than the tent and sleeping bags they were planning on. Their inexperience didn’t stop them, though. They all loaded up the car with limited supplies, minimal water, and no plan.
It did not go well.
Rain poured on them all night. No one could build a fire. They didn’t bring enough food. Everything that could go wrong did, but the experience brought all of them closer. The next year, Aldo brought some of those kids with him to a Young Life camp, the same one where he encountered Christ just a few years earlier.
One night towards the end of the trip, they asked him why he never gave up on them, and he was able to share his testimony and the gospel, a life-changing moment for those students and himself.
Aldo has worked for Young Life ever since, helping make disciples in multiple nations with his wife Katie and their two daughters. They’ve spent time in a variety of Latin American communities and now serve in Rochester, MN. No matter their location, they remain open to unique and unexpected opportunities to share the love of Christ with all people.