Any mission volunteers who have served at Hogar Immanuel, Mustard Seed Communities’ home for children with disabilities in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, can testify to the power of Irene Lucia’s smile. Born on March 18, 2015, Irene Lucia is now a thriving eight-year-old who attends school at the Association Dominicana de Rehabilitation. Blessed with an active and inquisitive personality, Irene can be found playing kickball with her friends or finding the perfect hiding spot in a round of hide-and-go-seek.
Mustard Seed caregivers speak with pride about Irene’s story because when she first arrived at the home, she suffered from psychomotor challenges and PTSD from her initial abandonment that left her unable to walk or communicate effectively. On May 31, 2017, Irene was enfolded into the shelter and care of Mustard Seed Communities. After intentional care, physical therapy, and a lot of love from her MSC family, Irene has shown tremendous courage and walks (...and runs!) and speaks fluently all on her own.
Today, Irene is an incredibly bright and intelligent child with a curious personality—she particularly loves to play with dolls, watch cartoons, and dress like a rockstar! She has created dozens of meaningful relationships with the other children at Hogar Immanuel as well as countless mission volunteers who have spent time with her. We look forward to continuing to ensure Irene Lucia has the very best opportunity to shine brightly in this world by empowering her with care, support, education, and a sense of belonging.