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.
Regional Director and Missionary Pastor Ted Krey spoke to the 2019 LCMS Convention on the afternoon of July 21, 2019. The convention theme was “Joyfully Lutheran.” In this video, Rev. Krey shares stories from his 20 years of missionary service across the region and how the Church is growing day by day.
In spite of the pandemic, Lutherans in Panama continue to reach out to those in their communities with the hope we have in Christ. On August 29, 2020, LCMS missionary, Rev. Arthur Rickman, in conjunction with Christ for all the Nations (CPTLN-Lutheran Hour Ministries in Latin America), had the opportunity to serve their neighbors with a workshop on family relationships.
he quarantines and shutdowns aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 have made ministry difficult this year. But the Lord uses for good even the evil effects of sin in the world – like viruses. Teaching English online, for instance, has turned into one of the great outreach opportunities of this time.
During the past few months, the Confessional Lutheran Church of Chile has continued to reach out to local communities with the Gospel, despite the lockdowns. Worship services, devotions, catechism classes and Bible studies are shared online while in-person services are not permitted. Pastors maintain phone contact to encourage and assist members whenever possible.
Sixty Lutheran pastors and church members from Guatemala and Honduras gathered online for four days of Disaster Response Training last week. Pastor Alejandro Lopez presented the virtual classes from his location in Panama. Missionary Deaconess Cheryl Naumann from the Dominican Republic coordinated the instruction through the Mercy Center, an institute of Concordia the Reformer Seminary in the Dominican Republic.
As this pandemic has continued to spread, over the past several weeks, Panama has rapidly become the worst-hit country in Central America according to infections per capita, and second only to Chile in all of Latin America.
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.
Questions arise from North American friends who learn we are serving in Latin America as Lutheran missionaries: “But aren’t all Christians there Catholic?” Well, to a large extent, yes, because the Spanish and Portuguese Crowns did a really good job of propagating the Catholic faith for hundreds of years.