Letter from Danelle Putnam
December 31, 2012
Greetings in the name of Jesus! My hope is that you have had a joyous Christmas season and I pray that you will have a blessed new year.
We have had a busy and blessed year of ministry in the Dominican Republic. Our five missions and congregations continue to grow. Each week the Lord provides new people for us to meet and with whom to share His Word. In the city of Lacey, we are fervently looking for property to build a church, since we no longer fit in the house where we have been meeting. In Santiago, English classes have brought us many new contacts, several of whom have taken interest in God’s Word and are attending church. Pastor Willy, in Santo Domingo, is able to dedicate more time to his congregation as he is serving part-time only in Haiti, coordinating and supervising medical clinics he started after the earth quake through LCMS World Relief and Human Care.
Our five pastoral students are progressing in their theological studies through Concordia Seminary in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They take on-line classes as well as well as courses from visiting professors and our missionary pastors.
Our school is now serving 150 children! We have grades per-K to 7th. Our teachers are very committed and the children are growing in the knowledge of Jesus. The school has been a wonderful way for us to reach out to parents in the community of Palmar Arriba.
Through our developmental disability ministry we continue to learn of God’s mercy and what it means to be the Body of Christ. We are learning to better serve in body and soul the needs of people with developmental disabilities in our communities. Their physical suffering is at times great. As we accompany them with of God’s Word, we are also working to provide medical assistance, medication, and rehabilitation to those who are in our immediate communities. As the body of Christ we are learning to take up one another’s suffering, to help one another, and to serve together to show Christ’s mercy to those outside the Body.
The children in the group home are doing very well. You can read more about them in the Hogares Luteranos el Buen Pastor letter. We will be starting to build a permanent group home this spring adjacent to the church in Palmar Arriba. This fall there was a change in leadership in the Dominican government. Recently the new government has been more cooperative and is taking more interest in our programs and ministry. It is our prayer that we can help the government understand the value God places on people with developmental disabilities and the importance of working to provide for them a better quality of life.
With the expansion of our work the past couple of years, we are expanding our mission team. Pastor Arthur and Deaconess Eva Rickman and their three children will be arriving in January, 2013, to serve in Santo Domingo. We also have a deaconess intern, Katie Ziegler, who is currently learning Spanish. She will serve a total of a year and half in the Dominican. Vicar Roberto from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina will be returning to Buenos Aires to finish his studies, but we will be getting another vicar for 2013. Pastor Ted and Rebecca Krey also expanded our mission team with the birth of their third child, Natalia, born Nov. 20th! Pastor Walter and Ana Ries are working on their 8th year of service. We rejoice in God’s faithfulness toward us.
Currently I am on a sabbatical in the States. I am finishing my studies in the Master of Arts in Christian Outreach through Concordia University, St. Paul. I have my final project to finish. I also started the deaconess program through Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne. I am taking residential requirements now and will finish up the program on-line with practical application on the field. The deaconess program is giving me a deep theological and biblical foundation and will help me to teach and mentor women in the deaconess training program we starting in the Dominican. I am greatly enjoying being filled with God’s Word in my classes as well as the fellowship of brothers and sisters in Christ on the seminary campus. I will return to the Dominican in February 2013.
Thank you, in Jesus’ name, for your prayers and support. Please pray for our mission team and church as we share God’s Word. May He continue to bring in a harvest from the fruits of His Word in the Dominican Republic.
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- Address for letters and cards: Danelle Putnam/Apartado 1356/Santiago/Dominican Republic
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- /St. Louis MO 63122 Designate: Work of Danelle Putnam
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