Mary Lillian Schultz, Missionary
Mary is the wife of Missionary, Dr. Terry L. Schultz. She has a business degree in fashion merchandising from the Minnesota School of Business (a program through the University of Minnesota), with an emphasis on human relations and the arts. She also completed a sales and travel agent certificate program through Travel Leaders Network in the Twin Cities and completed courses in jewelry design and sales through Finlay Inc.
In the church where she grew up, she worked for five summers as a counselor for a summer day camp program and led a girls’ group for four years. After marrying Terry, she taught Sunday school and VBS and created and co-lead a youth program called Terrific Tuesdays, with a focus on outreach, for Mt. Olive Evangelical Lutheran Church in Saint Paul, MN.
In 1995 Mary moved with Terry to Lima, Peru, where she studied Spanish, counseling, art, coaching, and teaching EFL, among other things. Her ministries varied through their 15 years in Peru. She created 15 art projects to go along with Bible stories for VBS each year, taught VBS teacher training for 50 plus Peruvian teachers yearly, and taught art therapy for two years at a residential drug rehab center for men. She also worked with a women's group in the ANCASH region of Peru. Mary was asked to start beginner EFL classes at the seminary in Lima for the incoming students, and led an advanced conversation class on Sunday afternoons for anyone connected to the Mission.
Mary was the Short-Term Volunteer Coordinator for the Peruvian mission. This included organizing all the details of the trip and working with individuals/ teams once they were on the Peru mission field. Throughout their 15 years in Peru, Mary traveled the country, getting to know the different cultures and customs in each province, most times driving herself and a car full of friends. She took many trips on horseback to remote Andean villages two days out from public transportation in the Peruvian Andes. She also accompanied her husband on 12 jungle trips deep to the Amazon.
One of her central ministries in her last years in Lima was a ministry with foreign women in Peruvian prisons. Over 99 percent of the ladies she ministered to in the prisons were caught at the Lima airport with cocaine. Her work involved leading an international group of ladies in Bible studies, counseling, organizing parent visits, writing and responding to emails, shopping, and developing partnerships with foreign embassies. She entered the prison three times a week and mentored the ladies who were on parole.
Another role Mary had in Lima, Peru, was being a part of the General Federation of Women in Lima (GFW). The General Federation of Women's Club was founded in 1890, and its headquarters are in Washington DC. It is an organization whose members are dedicated to community improvement through volunteer service. Their objective is to unite women's clubs and like organizations throughout the world for mutual benefit and the promotion of their shared interest in education, moral values, civics, and fine arts. Mary held various positions from 2001 to 2009, such as year book contributor, program liaison on the advisory committee and the executive board, member-at-large, vice president, and, in 2007 and 2008, president of the Club for a two-year limited term. The Lima membership is around 200, and the majority of the group members are North American.
In 2011, Mary and Terry moved to the Dominican Republic, where Terry was quickly assigned to work in Haiti due to the 2010 earthquake. Once arriving in the DR, Mary took on the role of Terry's administrative assistant, in charge of accounting, travel arrangements, PowerPoints, and other duties. She also started going on medical mission trips to Haiti, assisting our mission nurse and seeing between 200 and 700 children per trip. Those trips continued with two trips a year until 2018, when the risk management group of the mission no longer approved visiting due to the danger levels for foreigners.
Since moving to Chicago in 2016, Mary has worked in various ministries at their church, including designing a children's art project weekly for a kids’ club, leading a team of 14 church members in a refugee ministry for two years, leading a women's fellowship group and a ladies Bible study, and being the Sunday school teacher sub in a team of three. She also is active with her local LWMS (Lutheran Women's Missionary Society) and recently has had speaking engagements for women's groups, doing presentations on foreign missions from a woman's perspective.
Currently, Mary is pursuing a lifelong dream to go to photography school and continues to assist Terry. She is also a board member of Branch Lutheran Schools of Haiti.