Now CMSCR graduate Carlos laid eyes on the DRLM’s newly rented property in the Cienfuegos sector for the first time in June 2023 (pictured). Under the leadership of Rev. Carlos Schumann and first-year student Jesús Barceló, ministry marches on, and is, in fact, booming such that a regular group of 20-25 Saturday Bible school kids are already outgrowing the space. Leadership is evaluating a move but is understandably hesitant to give up this gem in the “nucleus” of it all. Additionally, evangelistic visits, largely to Bible school parents, happen on Wednesdays, and volleyball players who practice on Thursdays at a nearby public school take time out for devotion and prayer. Special events such as a Christmas cookie-making workshop offer inviting, low-threshold ways for neighbors to see what the Lutheran faith is all about.
Much like missionaries, seminary students – and their families – often leave successful careers to pursue pastoral formation. It’s a win-win situation when they can continue to use their vocational gifts during their sojourns in the DR. May, wife of second-year student Oscar (Mexico), is a trained psychologist who rescinded her post in higher education to accompany her husband and their daughter, Mia…and now, the newest part-time faculty member at Concordia Lutheran School in Palmar Arriba. May’s expertise enhances an institution that prides itself on inclusivity by helping identify students with special needs and equipping teachers and parents to navigate them appropriately. When she’s not networking with the Ministry of Education or CAD (Centro de Atención a la Diversidad), observing classes, or leading a bimonthly training, you’ll find her in her second floor office.
DRLM ministry revolves around LCMS International Mission’s three pillars: Spreading the Gospel, Planting Lutheran Churches, and Showing Mercy. In October, “Shadow a Missionary” volunteer Kirstin (pictured) got to do life for a week alongside two missionaries whose roles epitomize demonstrating Christlike love for others in body and soul: first, LAC’s Human Care Coordinator, Deaconess Tirzah Krey, and later, Deaconess Danelle Putnam-Schumann when Tirzah’s mercy-forward vocation took her unexpectedly away from the DR. Later this fall, Tirzah shared a second “shadow,” Sarah, currently working as a special education aide at a Lutheran school, with fellow missionary Erin Mackenzie and missionary wife Rebecca Krey. Pray for both of these young ladies as they discern whether the Holy Spirit may be nudging them toward international service.
Spotlight: Daily Life
Every first Tuesday of the month, the entire DR missionary team gathers for an informational meeting, a Bible study, an English-language Divine Service, and a meal; missionaries take turns providing the main dish. No one could have guessed that when the Putnam-Schumann family offered to serve bratwurst in October, the regional office would be transformed into a veritable Oktoberfest. The rest of the team rallied to round out the festivities with German side dishes, decorations, a photo booth, and even music & dancing. Prost!