On Sunday, September 10, Concordia the Reformer Seminary in the Dominican Republic celebrated the installation of her new director, Rev. Sergio Fritzler. Pastors from five countries participated in the special service, with seminarians, missionaries, deaconesses, Dominican Lutheran Church members, Concordia Lutheran school children and faculty joining in the festivities.
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.
For several years, church services in Orange Walk were held in the home of Roldan Rojas. Now, what was once an abandoned woodshed has become our newest church for a growing congregation in the north of Belize. Situated on a 1.5-acre lot, the church has room for expansion, and soon, there are hopes of adding running water, plumbing, and a bathroom to the church property.
After months of planning and preparing, English as a Second Language classes started the weekend of January 28-29 at El Buen Pastor Lutheran Church in Valley of Peace, Belize. The classes commence with Alliance Missionary Pastor Benjamin Flores leading a 10–15-minute devotion, then Missionary Jordan Logston teaching the two-hour long class.
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.
On Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2, the LCMS Belize Mission group was blessed to host and help a six-person team from the Belize Mission Society (St. Louis) with a two-day eyeglass clinic at El Buen Pastor Lutheran Church in Valley of Peace, Belize.
Today we said farewell to a valuable member of the Latin America & Caribbean missionary team. Courtney Zalmanoff, a GEO missionary arrived in the Dominican Republic on September 30, 2019. Armed with degrees in Spanish and Psychology, she faithfully carried out her role as assistant volunteer coordinator for over two years.
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.