Two Lutheran congregations in the Dominican Republic — Concordia Lutheran Church and School in Palmar Arriba and Lamb of God Lutheran Church and School in Licey — recently hosted disaster-response workshops. The workshops were funded by a grant from Concordia the Reformer Mercy Center in Palmar Arriba.
Both workshops, held Nov. 22 and 25, respectively, were attended by school teachers and staff, congregation members, seminarians and deaconess students, as well as members of the community. Attendance for the events exceeded expectations, with a total of 90 attendees equally split between the two events.
The workshops were taught by the Rev. Gustavo Maita, an alliance missionary from Venezuela who is currently serving in Puerto Rico. Maita is one of three disaster-response trainers in Latin America. Each of the trainers has been certified by LCMS Disaster Response, in collaboration with the Mercy Center, to lead these workshops.
Deaconess Cheryl Naumann, coordinator of the mercy center, said, “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.”
Workshop topics included:
- 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.
Posted Feb. 24, 2020