Above photo: The happy residents of Good Shepherd Lutheran Home with Dr. Marisol Martínez, Group Home Director (left), and Deaconess Danelle Putnam Schumann (right), Photo by Johanna Heidorn
Story by Deaconess Danelle Putnam Schumann, LCMS missionary serving in the Dominican Republic.
Our heavenly Father is faithful and has certainly protected and provided for His six children that He has placed in our care. January 3, 2021, marked the 10th anniversary of our kids moving out of the government orphanage and into the loving home prepared for them. The Lord has heard your prayers on their behalf. He has provided through all of you over the past ten years so that they might know the love of Christ Jesus. This year in our newsletters, we will highlight some of the foundational steps and events to show how the Lord has helped us get to where we are today!
A Bit of History . . .
Danelle first visited two government orphanages in 2007. That same year, church members started to visit the children every week, to hold them, sing to them, share with them that Jesus loves them, and of course, play with them. Over time, they built a relationship with the kids and also the government; a trust relationship. They all looked forward to the visits to the orphanage.
“Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.”Psalm 68:5
Mission church members, who were new Christians, were putting their faith into action. Some of the members did not have running water in their homes at the time, yet they understood that greater poverty existed in the orphanages. They joyfully gave their time, resources, and offerings to help provide things for the kids that the orphanage did not. Yet, it never felt like enough. Time and again, our members lamented, “They do not have a family.” Over time, visiting every week also wasn’t enough. Next month we will share with you what we did about this!
In January, Danelle’s sisters-in-law, Andrea and Gabriela Schumann, from Argentina, visited and helped out in the group home. Both women are trained teachers, and Andrea has spent nine years working with children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Special visitors, Andrea and Gabriela Schumann interact with the kids
With all the kids’ regular activities outside of the group home canceled because of COVID, they were unsure when things would start again. This dynamic duo came to help them get organized with a calendar for home and church events, birthdays and national holidays. They also made an individual daily activity board to schedule on-line school classes, in-home therapy, and other daily life activities.
On January 5, Estefani turned 22 years old! She is no longer a “kid” by a long shot. Andrea and Gabriela turned an office/storage room into her own private bedroom to help Estefani with her independence goals. This new bedroom was a huge encouragement for her and helped motivate her during this challenging time of the pandemic. Randy (her group home “sibling”) happily stepped in to help her paint her new room!
- Join us in thanking God for our 10th anniversary!
- To help us implement new in-home educational, recreational, and therapeutic activities
- We will also remember you in our prayers as the Lord provides for us through you!
Thank you so much!
Estefani, Francis, Junior, Moises, Ramona, Randy
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