March 2020 update from Cheryl and Jonathan Naumann
Dear missionaries Gary and Brent, and friends and supporters of the work at Mission Central,
Greetings in the peace of Christ to all of you, from the Dominican Republic!
We want to begin this letter with a message of thanks and gratitude to you, for continuing to support to our mission work in the name of our precious Savior, Jesus Christ. We are blessed to be missionaries and blessed to have people who pray for us and support our presence here in Latin America. Thank you!
We are both well, but remain ‘sheltered in place’, as directed by the government. Flights from this island to the United States were stopped on March 18. The Office of International Missions carefully considered evacuating all of its missionaries at high risk (including us, since Pastor Jonathan had a heart attack in 2018), but came to the conclusion that at that point (March 17) it would be safer for us to remain here than to travel.
We are still working! Every day, Pastor Jonathan, in his capacity as Chaplain for all of the LCMS Missionaries in the Latin America Caribbean countries, video records and distributes a 15-minute devotion; as well as Lenten services and Sunday morning services. He also shares these videos with individuals to whom we have witnessed in this country over the last three years. Seminary classes also still continue through online technology.
Cheryl leads a weekly Bible study and prayer time online for deaconesses who are in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Argentina. She is also assisting one of the other DR deaconesses in finalizing the curriculum for the next deaconess intensive course; and spends time on the phone with Dominican women to encourage them. At the same time, she continues to make progress on the VDMA translation project that provides good Spanish Bible materials to all of our missionaries and partner Lutheran churches in this region.
May God bless all of you during these days of uncertainty. May He give you strength, peace, and hope in the never-failing faithfulness of our heavenly Father. Even in the darkest of times, we can praise God for His love and for His promise to be near us when we call (Psalm 145:18).
Your fellow servants in Christ,
Pastor Jonathan and Deaconess Cheryl Naumann
Deaconess Cheryl D. Naumann, MTh
LCMS Missionary in the Dominican Republic