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Jesse’s Children

Why “Jesse’s Children?”

Jesse was the father of David whom the prophet Samuel anointed as the future king of Israel, liberator of a country and its peoples, the messianic king. The reign of this youngest son of Jesse was said to “stand as a sign to the peoples” that the disorder of nature would be restored to its pristine harmony, that paradise would be regained. In Romans, Paul writes of the gospel for Jews and Christians alike, and quotes Isaiah: ‘The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him (they) shall hope.’ Thus Jesse’s child, the ‘shoot from the stump of Jesse,’ symbolizes the messianic prophecy of Christ and serves to remind us that we are all children of God.

Jesse’s Children is a ministry to and for children in the Third World. Dr. Jim and Deacon Pat McIlwain began this ministry in 1988 after meeting in Santo Domingo with Episcopal Bishop Telésforo Isaac and Roman Catholic Bishop Príamo Tejeda of Baní. This ministry has grown to include a broad ecumenical base of health care and educational professionals who travel at their own expense to contribute their time and talent to heal, build, educate and demonstrate the love of Christ to children in some of the poorest barrios, mountain enclaves and batés of the Baní province in the Dominican Republic.



  • Designed and furnished medical exam rooms and a pharmacy.
  • Obtain donations of drugs, supplies and medical equipment for the clinic to enable a local M.D. to perform examinations/consultations on an on-going basis.
  • Obtain donations of medical supplies and equipment for the local hospital.
  • Surgical correction of congenital facial and palatal defects, hand deformities, burn-scar reductions, ophthalmic surgeries, and corrections.
  • C.P.R. courses for medical personnel.
  • Pre- and post-natal courses for medical personnel and parents.
  • Nutrition and hygiene instruction for educators and healthcare workers.
  • Muscle therapy instruction for Physical Therapists.
  • New and innovative medical procedures shared with local physicians.


  • Designed and furnished dental treatment facility.
  • Obtain donations of dental supplies and equipment for the clinic to enable a local dentist to do examinations and patient care on an on-going basis.
  • Provide dental examinations, treatment and oral hygiene instruction for children in the barrios, an orphanage, and the nutrition center.


  • Established a library for elementary school children and continue to furnish books to supplement the library.
  • Provide school supplies and equipment for the nutrition center and a school for the hearing and speech impaired.
  • Instruct teachers in new and innovative methods of education.


  • To foster an environment where each child can be nurtured, loved and encouraged to become the person God has called that child to be.
  • To strengthen established relationships with the local Church, hospital, government and civic organizations to provide facilities, supplies, equipment and monetary support for on-going projects.
  • To enhance conditions where hope might grow, where preventive care and the education of children is primary, where children might be empowered physically, mentally and spiritually to end their oppression.


Jesse’s Children depends solely upon God’s grace. We have no major source of funding. All contributions go directly to support projects for the children. There are no administrative expenses; team members pay their own airfare, room and board, as well as donate their time and talent.

The McIlwains have taken more than 40 teams of physicians, dentists, nurses, dental assistants, educators, technicians, youth, builders, trades, crafts and construction persons to the Dominican Republic since 1988 to provide a ministry of love and service.

Current Projects