He Is Risen, Indeed! Alleluia!

Story and photography by LCMS Missionary Justin Logston, who serves the Latin America and Caribbean region based in Belize

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

Romans 12: 4-5

This past Easter, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Valley of Peace, Belize, not only celebrated our Risen and Victorious Lord but also reaffirmed our place in the Body of Christ.

We asked our two northern congregations, in San Roman and Orange Walk, if they would be willing to travel down to Camp Concordia for a couple of nights over Easter weekend to join our congregation in Valley of Peace for Holy Week and Easter services. Nineteen people made the more than two-hour trek southwest to Camp Concordia.

Arriving roughly an hour before Good Friday evening service, our missionary team welcomed the travelers and helped them settle into their accommodations before heading to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

Good Friday was celebrated using the Tenebrae Service, or Service of Darkness. Lit candles filled the sanctuary at the beginning of the service but were slowly extinguished as the story of Christ’s Passion neared its conclusion.

Saturday morning and afternoon were full of activities, including Easter Egg coloring, volleyball, and a walk to the Belize River.

We celebrated the Easter Vigil service at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Saturday evening, just before sundown. This service has six parts: the Service of Light, the Service of Readings, the Service of Holy Baptism, the Service of Prayer, the Service of the Word, and the Service of the Sacrament. Easter Vigil celebrates our Lord’s passing over from death to life and ours with Him. This service is the bridge between the reflective season of Lent and the joyful season of Easter.

On Easter Sunday, we celebrated Jesus’ resurrection in English and Spanish. Between the services, our English-speaking congregation and Spanish-speaking congregations had the chance to meet one another. It was an awesome visual to see the different languages and different cultures coming together as one Body of Christ!

The altar at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Easter morning

After the Easter services, Jorge, the unofficial patriarch of the group from the northern congregations, gave Pastor Micah Wildauer sincere and extended thanks for making the weekend happen.

According to Pastor Micah, “Jorge doesn’t say much, but when he does, it carries weight.” He was grateful for the care put into transporting and housing everyone. He also said that many of them enjoyed seeing, ‘The other part of the Mission.” Above all, he was grateful for the services together with the people of Valley of Peace. Many others from the group expressed the same.

“It was also very good for the catechumen of Valley of Peace to see and worship with this group. They now know and see that Good Shepherd Lutheran is not just a localized building but rather a gathering of believers from various locations. It was a beautiful union of fellow believers.”

Jana Inglehart

Jana Inglehart serves the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as the Regional Communication Specialist for the Latin America and Caribbean region, based in the Dominican Republic.