Earlier this year John and Mary Armbruster, members of All Saints Episcopal Church on Hilton Head Island, learned from the Rev. Julio Holguin, bishop of the Dominican Republic, that a local fire department was in urgent need of a firetruck.
The Armbrusters mentioned to the bishop that they owned a Ford F-700 fire/rescue truck that they had earlier used on their pine plantation in Bailey's Harbor, Wisc. Now living in Okatie, the couple no longer needed the truck. They agreed to donate the vehicle to the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic.
As a Lenten observance project, All Saints parishioners donated $7,500 to help defray the cost of outfitting the firetruck with new hoses, couplings and a ladder, as well as to cover the cost of shipping the vehicle overseas.
Members of the church recently learned the firetruck has been delivered to the fire department in the small village of Juma, an outlying suburb of the City of Bonao, where the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic has an established congregation. Bishop Holguin recently traveled to Juma for the official dedication of the truck.
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In excitement over the donation, Juma Fire Department firefighters have decided to join the Episcopal Church. They also donated a tract of land in Juma to the Episcopal Church so that the diocese can build a small church or chapel there.