Santa Ortiz, the pastor’s wife of a Lutheran congregation near the capital of the Dominican Republic, describes her church’s need for more members willing to serve the church as deaconesses.
The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod entered into a partnership in 2004 with Bethesda Lutheran Homes and Services, Inc., and the Central American Lutheran Mission Society (CALMS). The D.R. mission has since planted four churches, two adjacent Lutheran church-schools, and established a seminary for forming pastors. Concordia The Reformer Seminary was opened in 2010 in Palmar Arriba, Santiago, and serves all of the Caribbean, Latin America and Northern South America with ten residential students from seven countries. The seminary supports the formation of pastors to spread the Word, plant churches, and show mercy. An emphasis of mercy work in the Dominican Republic is ministry to people with developmental disabilities through Hogares Luteranos el Buen Pastor, a group home for several young adults. This ministry serves as a beacon to the community as an example of Christian care giving, and has led to positive change within numerous government institutions.