Leadership Profile: Jonathan Almonte

Jonathan Raul Almonte Moncion, now 21 and a student of languages in Compassion’s Leadership Development Program, entered our Child Sponsorship Program when he was 7 years old. At that young age, he traveled from his community of Villa Maria to the gang-infested slum of Capotillo, near the outskirts of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to attend the program meetings and activities.

smiling man

His single mother has looked after him since he was born. He saw his biological father only from time to time when the man brought his support, and then his father would disappear again to be with his own wife and three daughters, whom Jonathan didn’t know.

When Jonathan’s stepfather and stepsister, Esmirna, came into his life, he felt happy to see that his family was growing. But when Jonathan was 13, his stepfather went abroad for work. He always sends his support for the family, but he hasn’t returned to the country since.

When Jonathan was 14, his uncle took him to meet his older sisters. He remembers that the girls were so happy to know that they had a little brother, and he was happy to get to know them at last. But his biological father wasn’t so excited.

It’s impossible for Jonathan to understand why his father later complained that Jonathan didn’t have the right to go and meet the girls at their home without his permission.

“He asked me who I thought I was. Then he asked me a series of very offensive questions. That was very painful and made a lasting impression. I began to feel remorse and hatred. He called me, but I didn’t take his phone calls. I was 14 then. It was not my fault. I never learned why he hid me from them.”

Through the years, Jonathan has had the opportunity to be trained in missions through the Central Assembly of God Church, where he became a youth leader and a specialist in child and youth ministries.

Jonathan is also a skilled speaker. He has spoken in front of groups since he was 9. And by age 12 he was already preaching in children’s meetings.

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“It was always easy for me to take a microphone and speak about the Bible. That’s how I developed my skills to speak in public.”

group of men being interviewed on camera

In 2007, the sub-secretary of the national board of education heard Jonathan speak so well in public that she invited him to speak at a special supper meeting with the president and his ministers at the presidential palace.

In 2010, he was chosen to travel to the World Bank building in New York City to participate in the simulated sessions of the United Nations, where he played the role of governor of Guatemala. And in 2011, he was at the United Nations and the American Capitol in Washington, D.C., in order to study public politics processes.

“I am in love twice, first with missions and second with diplomacy and politics.”

Jonathan feels that his study of languages is an asset in both fields. He learned some Creole while in missions in Haiti in 2007, and after the earthquake there in January of 2010, he returned to Haitian soil with his local church and Yankees’ relief pitcher Damaso Marte.

group of children surrounding young man

“There, we bought a piece of land for a school for children in City Soleil, the worst barrio of Haiti. There, children hold AK-47s and Uzis; life is very difficult. You can see the holes in the walls caused by the shootings.”

young man in suit and tieIt was all a lot for him to take in. But a talk with a visiting sponsor to the Dominican Republic helped change Jonathan’s perspective on missions, diplomacy and politics.

“He told me that God was interested in big things for my life. He said, ‘God has a more ample purpose for your life. Your country needs leaders.

The people in your country have no more faith in their leaders because they have disappointed the people. The people vote for the least bad, not for the best.”

In late 2011, a taxi driver who was taking Jonathan home told him, “I know who caused the difficulties in this country; it’s the Christians’ fault.”

The driver wondered why Christians can’t get together to speak up and try to find fair solutions to the real problems of the nation.

Jonathan was stunned, but believes that talking to that taxi driver  was like God speaking to him. The driver wondered why a Christian couldn’t be the president.

“It was as when the stones speak. I opened my eyes and said to myself that God was calling me to something more. My dream is to become an ambassador, and at the utmost degree, represent my country as the president.”

7 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Avatar
    Jonathan Almonte February 16, 2013

    ”If my actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, I’m going to do it; I’m a LEADER” I believe on it!!!

  2. Avatar
    Maria Milagros Garcia January 26, 2013

    Since I knew Jonathan in The Leadership Program I knew he was going to be a successful leader. His behavior and his passion to serve make me admire him, but when I really see the power of his leadership was when we participated in NIKO (a survivor camp) there I could see his energy, responsibility, and the rest of the boys and girls fallowing him. I pray for him to be a big leader in our nation.

  3. Avatar
    JoAnn Reith January 25, 2013

    Dear Jonathon,
    You rlife even though difficult and sad has molded you into the wonderful person you seem to be. I know you know that God would have loved for things to be different for you as far as your father goes but he used the situation to make you the man you are today. Serve the one Father who will not let you down. Serve your country as working for the Lord and you will find pride in Your Heavenly Father. God Bless You!

  4. Avatar
    Lisa Miles January 24, 2013

    This is so exciting and encouraging! What an inspirational person. I believe this generation of young people are the next “greatest generation” and our LDP alumni are going to lead the way all over the globe.

    I’m glad that we, the older generation, are here to encourage these young people through Compassion. I’m excited to see what they will do.

  5. Avatar
    Nancy January 24, 2013

    What an inspiring story, Jonathan! GO FOR IT!

  6. Avatar
    Pat Anderson January 24, 2013

    Dear Jonathon,
    I am happy for you and grateful for your dedication to follow your dream. We need more people like you in our world. Just know that there are so many people praying for goodness, so those are prayers for you.
    Pat Anderson Texas

  7. Avatar
    Dennis Wandera January 24, 2013

    Wow…. I could read this over and over again. Jonathan’s story has touched me. Its inspiring to know that a wind of change is sweeping globally through Christian young men and women. His story is a true reflection of what Compassion’s LDP does.

    I am proud to read your inspiring story. It has taken me back to the golden days when i was still an LDP student in Uganda. God brought me closer to fellow young people on the program, Thy came from different walks of lives. but we had (and still have) one thing in common,….. the desire to rise to the occasion and fill the leadership vacuum of our Nation.

    I envision a time when LDP alumni shall have an opportunity to hold a global summit in which we shall share alot on how to transform our societies and speak more for the children whose talent and potential is still bound by the chains of poverty.

    Compassion, keep posting such inspiring stories, am your number one audience.

    Dennis Wandera
    LDP, UGANDA Alumnus
    Practicing Journalist

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