Above photo: Seminarians share God’s Word with families who are eager to hear (Photo: Heidorn)
Since 2008 the Lutheran Heritage Foundation (LHF) has been producing materials in Spanish for the Latin America and Caribbean region.
It all began when a missionary in Panama, Rev. Dan McMiller (now Executive Director of LCMS Office of International Mission), shared a simple but incredibly important need with LHF Founder, Rev. Robert Rahn.
The situation McMiller described was a shortage of pastors, but no shortage of questions from people who desperately wanted to know more about Jesus and what the Bible teaches. He asked if the Bible could be printed together with Luther’s Small Catechism to explain key Bible teachings in a simple way that anyone could understand.
Missionary Pastor Sergio Maita teaches a class (Inglehart)
LHF’s first printing of the Bible with Luther’s Small Catechism in Spanish was in May of 2008. Since then, over 80,000 copies have been printed and distributed across 19 countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region, the United States and even Switzerland. Yes, there are Spanish-speaking Lutherans in Switzerland.
“Because Luther wrote the catechism for the common man with a limited education, the unchurched Latino, no matter his social status, understands it. They appreciate the clarity, and the lights keep going on and on.”Rev. Dan McMiller, Executive Director of LCMS Office of International Mission
The Spanish Bible with Luther’s Small Catechism is used extensively across the Latin America and Caribbean Region. (Heidorn)
Missionaries also realized that it would be helpful to have a Bible storybook in Spanish for families and churches to use for teaching Bible truths to children. LHF responded to the need with the publication of A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories in Spanish in 2018. All 23,000 copies have been printed and distributed.
“One of the greatest needs for Hispanic churches has been the lack of Lutheran materials in Spanish. Materials are needed for pastors, lay people and especially for Christian education. Although we are 500 years past the Reformation of 1517, the challenges to make Jesus known remain the same.Rev. Cristian Rautenberg, former president of the LCMS partner church, the Confessional Lutheran Church of Chile (IELCHI).
LHF continues to expand and produce other resources in Spanish, such as a little booklet, Jesus Never Fails, which is printed by the Bible Society of Brazil. Lutheran Hour Ministries (known as CPTLN in Latin America) has used this small evangelism tract extensively at ministry centers along the border of Brazil and across Latin America.
The most recent Spanish resource is a stand-alone Small Catechism, a staple of Lutheran teaching.
A worship service in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico (Heidorn)
The growth of the Lutheran Church across Latin America has exploded. As people search for answers in this fallen and increasingly unpredictable and scary world, hunger for good solid teaching is at an all-time high. With over 400 million native Spanish speakers across the globe, the need for Spanish resources continues to grow.
“LHF continues to be stalwart in making widely available their Bible-catechism, which can be found in the hands of thousands of new Lutherans in more than 15 countries across Latin America. We are grateful for this solid contribution to our churches and church planting efforts”.Missionary Pastor Ted Krey, Regional Director for the Latin America & Caribbean Region
By providing the essential tools for our missionaries and local church workers to reach out with the Gospel, the work of LHF is crucial to the continued growth of the Church here in Latin America and in our Lutheran missions around the world.