Missionaries, seminarians and congregation members in Palmar Arriba, Dominican Republic, planned for about fifty children from the community to attend a week-long Bible camp. The camp gave children a place to be for a couple of hours during the heat of the Dominican afternoons and featured daily Bible stories, memory work, games, crafts, songs and snacks.
Today we said farewell to a valuable member of the Latin America & Caribbean missionary team. Courtney Zalmanoff, a GEO missionary arrived in the Dominican Republic on September 30, 2019. Armed with degrees in Spanish and Psychology, she faithfully carried out her role as assistant volunteer coordinator for over two years.
We are grateful to God for his protection and guidance through the last school year at Parade Gardens Lutheran School (PGLS) in Kingston, Jamaica. Just before the close of the last term, the school organized a sports day event in which the children participated in many races and won several awards and prizes. Now we look forward to God’s blessing for the new term that began on April 12 and will continue into early July.
Since 2008 the Lutheran Heritage Foundation (LHF) has been producing materials in Spanish for the Latin America and Caribbean region.
Our Dominican seminary’s fourth academic year is well underway with its fall classes. Pandemic restrictions are still in place, so classes are being taught via Zoom. With 11 residential students and 24 online students representing 12 countries, the enrollment for pastoral formation is holding steady.
Thank you for your steadfastness in upholding the Church’s work in Jamaica, prayerfully and with your sacrificial gifts. We pray you and your family are healthy, well, and finding the blessings in these unprecedented times. Pastor Ite shepherded both Kingston area congregations and Parade Gardens Lutheran School (PGLS) through the peak of COVID-19 and continues adjusting to the joys and challenges of a new normal.
August came and went in what seemed like the blink of an eye. We finished up our final hurricane prep as well as a few of our on-going summer projects. We received a new executive order that forced us in Ponce to go back to online services (we couldn’t meet the capacity requirements).
Concordia the Reformer Seminary in the Dominican Republic hosts an annual symposium drawing an increasingly large crowd each year. The draw is two-fold: It is currently the only Lutheran theological symposium in Spanish, and the quality of the presenters and presentations is top-notch. It was the overflowing crowd at last year’s conference that prompted the organizers to reluctantly establish the by-invitation-only rule for the 2020 symposium scheduled to take place next week.
People come here to survive—not voluntarily. Waves of Venezuelans, including nurses, dentists, engineers, teachers, students, and others, reluctantly take the short, ninety-minute flight to the Dominican Republic, and embark on a life vastly different from what they are accustomed to. Having left behind family and friends, home, and everything familiar, they begin life again, from scratch. They leave the country that they love, not because they want to, but because they have no other option if they want to live.
The Rev. Roger James instructs at a Lutheran seminary in the Philippines having previously served the OIM in both India and Sri Lanka.