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.
The LCMS has been working in Puerto Rico since the 1990s, with work begun by the Ohio District in the western city of Mayaguez. This third largest city in the US commonwealth of Puerto Rico now has an established congregation, Principe de Paz (Prince of Peace) with its own facility and affiliated mercy house. In 2015 The LCMS began intentional mission work in the commonwealth. Two missionaries were sent to Mayaguez, with one of them eventually relocating to Puerto Rico’s second largest city, Ponce. In 2018 a new congregation, Fuente de Vida (Fountain of Life), was established there in Puerto Rico’s second largest city. The LCMS is currently supporting an extensive disaster report effort in the commonwealth. This effort includes the sharing of the Gospel and the strengthening of both existing congregations through the work of pastors, deaconesses, GEO missionaries, short term teams, and lay workers.