We began this blog to help establish and solidify the partnership that exists with the North Dakota District and the North Minnesota District of the LCMS and the work they want to do in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya and Project 24. There are partnerships all over that are working well and thriving and that is one of the reasons we are trying to get congregations and individuals that are “going it alone” and doing their own thing to rethink their mission work and their mission societies. There is safety in numbers and a bigger “bang for the Mission buck”. Pictured above is Pastor Ted Krey the Regional Director for Latin America for the Office of International Missions. He can tell you the value of partnerships and the need for individual mission societies to rethink their strategies. There are many of these societies in Minnesota North and North Dakota.
This picture is from is the the first LCMS group home serving the developmentally disabled in the Dominican Republic. That group home is located in Palmar Arriba, just outside of Santiago. Palmar is the home of Jose Reyes of the New York Mets. It is also the home of our first Lutheran elementary school in the DR with 100 students. It is also the place where the seminary is located and the center of a lot of action by a lot of people. Bethesda Ministries helps with some of the training and the members of the church work with the students. Kaye Kreklau the LWML President has visited the group home and was extremely impressed. South Wisconsin District is partnering in various ways and it is an amazing thing to see.
That group home is an important step for this mission start. The children who now live in this group home would have spent the rest of their lives in a state institution without this home. Though they have only been there a short time, each has made fantastic strides both physically and cognitively as part of their transition to the group home. Most importantly, they are hearing about our Lord Jesus as Savior and those who live around the group home are seeing a powerful Gospel witness.
One of the people instrumental in making this work is Danelle Putman – here is her bio from the Synod web page.
Danelle Putnam serves the Lord in Dominican Republic as a developmental
disabilities outreach missionary. Danelle’s work includes reaching out in
various ways to people with developmental disabilities and their families who
care for them. One of the ways the local church is reaching out is through a
home called Good Shepherd Lutheran Homes caring for six orphans with
developmental disabilities. Danelle works to provide the often lacking help and
training needed in the Dominican Republic for those with developmental
disabilities and/or their families. She also reaches out, sharing the message of
salvation through Jesus and providing them with opportunities to continue to
study God’s Word and become a part of a church family. The goal is then to
identify and train Dominicans to be able to minister mercy themselves to people
with developmental disabilities.