In the early fall of 2017 Puerto Rico was hit by two major hurricanes that devastated much of this US territory’s infrastructure. In 2018 many people in the island’s smaller villages and interior are still without power and drinkable water. The loss of jobs because of the storm has increased Puerto Rico’s already high unemployment rate. While Puerto Rico has benefited from immediate support from LCMS Disaster Response, the mission in Puerto Rico is looking into the future to establish a vibrant national church body in the territory.

In His Timing

We had our first in-person worship service in the reopening on Pentecost Sunday. We met in the outdoor patio of our earthquake damaged buildings rather than the much smaller rented location where we could barely seat 10 people under the strict social distancing requirements. Because of our position on the globe, Puerto Rican summers are hot, and Ponce is the hottest part of the island; but fortunately, our usual 3 pm service time just happens to perfectly coincide with the ideal angle of the sun for casting shade over our patio.

Puerto Rico Update

On May 2nd, 2020, a major 5.4 earthquake hit Puerto Rico near the city Ponce. Two hundred families lost their homes after the earthquake. About twenty families were moved to a hotel near the church. The hotel is full because the other rooms are occupied with all the people who were at the refugee camps back after January’s earthquake who did not find a home. The pandemic has not stopped the Church’s response or outreach!.

On Being Luterano in a Spanish-speaking World

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.

Online English Conversation Partners

Across the Latin American and Caribbean Region, our LCMS Missionaries continue to spread the Gospel in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. In this video, Regional Director Ted Krey talks about our missionaries, changes that have taken place, and how they continue to move the work forward under these trying conditions.

A Kingdom Not Shaken

The last month has been a journey of faith and a trial of perseverance. Shepherding the flock across 5 different locations and moves since December has been nerve-wracking and stressful. Seeing our brand-new property split from top to bottom by cracks through which the light of day can be seen has been disheartening. Canceling renovation teams and instead ordering demolition (for the dividing walls which were crumbling) has been demoralizing.

Puerto Rico Earthquake Relief

The ground started shaking even before Christmas. But when a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck Indios, Puerto Rico, 19 miles from an LCMS church plant in nearby Ponce, on Epiphany, the local team kicked into relief mode before an initial assessment team of LCMS Disaster Response personnel and regional leaders even touched down in San Juan. Having been trained in theory and in practice after Hurricane María left the island reeling in September 2017, prioritizing needs and drawing on the right resources are second nature.