The Mercy Center, an institute of Concordia Seminary the Reformer (CMSCR), provides a spectrum of educational conferences, from personal witnessing and Christian reconciliation to family and community health and life issues. Disaster response training throughout the Latin American and Caribbean Region is done under the auspices of the Mercy Center.
During the July 18-21 national meeting of the Lutheran Women of Argentina Missionary League, CMSCR provided a speaker, Pastor Rautenberg, from the Lutheran Church Chile, who gave a two-hour presentation on Jesus’ mercy and diakonia in ordinary and extraordinary times of disaster. Some 400 women and pastors had the opportunity to reflect on the scriptural basis for the theology of mercy in the Old and New Testaments, the congregational experience of mercy and diaconal service, and how it relates to disaster preparedness and disaster response. Each participant received a copy of Luther’s Small Catechism and a book of devotions for use in times of disaster. The presentation to the ladies was quite timely, as the area of Argentina where they met, had recently seen much flooding.
While in Argentina, Pastor Rautenberg also led a Lutheran Disaster Response Team (LERT) training workshop at the Lutheran Church of San Bernardo Chaco, Argentina, July 23-24. The area around this parish suffered much flooding between January and June 2019, and the people of the parish have responded with local resources, and with support from LCMS Disaster Response. They have done a good job, but the LERT course helped them learn skills related to organizing themselves, to help those who are suffering in the midst of disaster. During the course, the participants had opportunity to reflect on the reasons why we help those who are in need. The two days of training sessions were attended by the local pastor and 12 members of the congregation. Resources were provided by the Mercy Center and LCMS Disaster Response.