After years of hard work, patience, and coordination, the Spanish Lutheran hymnal, Himnario Luterano, arrived in Guatemala. The hymnals were published by a group of dedicated Lutheran pastors throughout Latin America, who considered the many cultural differences among the Spanish-speaking countries. Thanks to a generous gift from the Lutheran Heritage Foundation, a large portion of the printing and shipping costs were covered, making the hymnals affordable for our sister churches.
Concordia the Reformer Seminary welcomed distance-learning Formación Pastoral Hispano (FPH) students and pastoral mentors from several Latin American countries to a week-long symposium in January. The FPH program is similar to the SMP program at our LCMS seminaries in the United States. This program consists of sixteen courses with the students taking four courses a year, with pastoral mentors assigned to them. The focus of the FPH program is on the pastoral acts.
The Lutheran Heritage Foundation (LHF) is a great help for the mission work in Latin America. We are grateful for their excellent work and congratulate them on thirty years of service to the Lord’s Church worldwide.
Concordia the Reformer Seminary’s deaconess program provides training for women in five Latin American countries: the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela.
Missionary Pastor Andrew Schlund, his wife, Kelsey, and their two little daughters, Charlotte and Margaret are on their way back to the United States. They have faithfully served as LCMS missionaries since June of 2015. Rev. Schlund worked tirelessly as Pastor of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Mexico City, and as an adjunct professor for Concordia the Reformer Seminary in the Dominican Republic.
When one thinks of the Lutheran Church of Belize, they can’t help but think of the many ways God’s hand has blessed the ministry there. The country is bursting with opportunity!
The countries of Belize, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama have been hardest hit by back-to-back hurricanes. Eta made landfall as a category 4 hurricane in Nicaragua on November 3rd, then lingered for two days over Central America before intensifying and moving on to Cuba, where flooding was already a growing problem.
The 2020 graduating class had their formal graduation ceremony postponed until May 2021, due to the pandemic. These outstanding men have completed all coursework and requirements for graduation, so even though they must wait a bit longer to don their caps and gowns, they are being ordained and installed as pastors in various countries across Latin America.
Isaac Neftali García Guevara, a graduate of Concordia the Reformer Seminary in the Dominican Republic, was ordained and installed as Pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mexico City this past Sunday. Neftali is a native of Rio Bravo and the son of Rev. Isaac García, President of the Lutheran Synod of Mexico.
We were not really prepared to deal with this virus and everything in its wake when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Mexico earlier this year. Unfortunately, many people in our congregations were left without jobs. Others saw their wages reduced considerably. As shepherds, we have been able to share in the suffering of our congregants, while at the same time we have our own physical needs.