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.

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.

Changes by storm

God is at work in Puerto Rico following the hurricanes that devastated the island last fall.