Mission Focus for January: Bethesda Lutheran Communities
In the Dominican Republic
Bethesda provides services in 13 states and internationally works with an alliance of service providers from North America and Europe to promote the human rights recognition and social inclusion of people with disabilities within their communities.
In the Dominican Republic, Bethesda works with Dominican Partnership Forum to provide spiritual life supports to people with disabilities. Through Hogares Luteranos el Buen Pastor (Good Shepherd Lutheran Homes) , a group home was opened in 2010 to support six orphans with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the city of Palmar Arriba.
This home directed By Dr. Marisol Martinez and staffed by trained “aunts and uncles,” who are members of the local LCMS partner congregation and Danelle Putnam provides inclusive Christian care in a group home setting. Daily, the children receive nutritious meals, two baths; participate in devotions, therapy, opportunities for community involvement and schooling
The organization needs to raise 100 percent of the funds to pay for daily operations and the group home. Mission focus in January will be to support “adopt” one of the residents of this home. The guest speaker for the annual mission festival and meal with be a community ambassador from Bethesda talking about how congregations, like Grace, can welcome and develop worship opportunities for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In February, Virginia Miller, who serves on the Board of Directors for Bethesda Lutheran Communities, will be traveling to the Dominican Republic and will also serve as a Grace Mission Ambassador. Mission Ambassador Funds raised as part of the annual candy sale will go directly to Bethesda projects and not for travel expenses for this year’s ambassador.