Disaster Response workshops in the Dominican Republic were hosted by Concordia Lutheran Church and School in Palmar Arriba, and Lamb of God Lutheran Church and School in Licey, through grants from the Mercy Center, an institute of Concordia the Reformer Seminary in the Dominican Republic.
The conferences, held November 22nd and 25th, were attended by school teachers and staff, congregation members, seminarians and deaconess students, as well as members of the community. Attendance for the two events exceeded expectations, with a total of 90 attendees equally split between the two churches.
Both workshops were taught by Pastor Gustavo Maita, an alliance missionary from Venezuela, currently serving in Puerto Rico. Pastor Maita is one of three Disaster Response trainers in Latin America. Each of the trainers has been certified to lead these workshops, by LCMS Disaster Response in collaboration with the Mercy Center.
“These Disaster Response conferences are one of many ways that we hope to teach both our laity and church workers to be the hands, feet and mouth of the Church, serving Christ in our neighbor. We love others because our Lord first loved us, and we want to take every opportunity to bring both physical and spiritual relief to those who are in need, in the name of Jesus.”Deaconess Cheryl Naumann, Coordinator of the Mercy Center.
Included in the workshops were the following topics:
- The biblical basis for showing mercy to our neighbors
- Responding to immediate needs in times of disaster
- The basics of disaster safety
- Helping children endure trauma
- The organization of volunteers and resources
- Advance preparation for disasters common to particular regions
Course participants received a certificate of participation, as well as helpful resources such as a booklet of 40 devotions to share with people in the midst of disaster.