Let me introduce you to you two important people working in the Dominican Republic Lutheran Mission. Danelle Putnam, missionary through LCMS World Mission, and Dr. Marisol Martinez, the Director of Services for People with Disabilities. Danelle has been in the DR (Dominican Republic) for several years as a missionary developing relationships and outreach to organizations and individuals who either are dealing with developmental disabilities in their family or serve children with developmental disabilities. All of the work going on in the mission around disability ministry is by God’s blessing through the nonstop work of Danelle, the other missionaries and the many Lutherans in the DR who reach out in love to those impacted by disabilities.
The DR does not provide services to people with disabilities like we are familiar with in America. This blog will share updates of the work the mission is making to change the circumstances in the Dominican for people with disabilities.
We believe that people with disabilities deserve to:
- have good spiritual and physical care
- enjoy a family environment where they receive security, stability, and unconditional love.
- live in a place where they have the opportunity to grow and develop
Danelle is working tirelessly with her DR partners to make changes in the Dominican so that people with disabilities will be able to receive improved care, experience improved quality of life, and have the Good News of Jesus Christ brought to them.
When I first met Danelle, I said she was a hero to me because she has dedicated her life to this work, is always after the heart of God, prayerfully takes steps forward in faith, and is so gifted in connecting to people and forming relationships. I would love for you to meet her someday.
Dr. Marisol Martinez is recently added to the mission team as the Director of Services for People with Disabilities. Because of Danelle’s hard work, we are now ready to take the next step with the mission’s disability ministry and Dr. Martinez will help in the formation and development of services to people with disabilities. Her work will include the formation of residential facilities (group homes) that will allow people with disabilities to enjoy living in a community with individual care. Dr. Martinez will work with Danelle to provide training in the area of disabilities to the community partners and individuals that Danelle work with.
Here is my request to you. I’m on a prayer campaign. Please pray for the Danelle and Dr. Martinez and the disability ministry in the Dominican Republic Lutheran Mission. Include the DR in your daily prayers. Ask your friends, neighbors, and coworkers to pray about it. Ask people at church to pray about it. If your pastor asks for prayer requests…tell him about this and ask him to pray for this ministry. Include it in your church’s prayer chain. Pray with your children when they go to bed at night. Ask your bible study group or class to pray about it. Here are some ideas for your prayers:
- May God send His holy angels to surround all the people in the DR who have disabilities and are waiting to receive improved care.
- May God bless the very important, upcoming meetings in the DR so that doors will be opened for improved care to children with disabilities.
- May God bless Danelle with strength and good health (she came down with Dengue fever in July 2010).
- May God bless the many Lutheran youth with continued compassion as they go with Danelle to visit children with disabilities.
If you want to talk more about the disability ministry in the Dominican, leave a comment!