People come here to survive—not voluntarily. Waves of Venezuelans, including nurses, dentists, engineers, teachers, students, and others, reluctantly take the short, ninety-minute flight to the Dominican Republic, and embark on a life vastly different from what they are accustomed to. Having left behind family and friends, home, and everything familiar, they begin life again, from scratch. They leave the country that they love, not because they want to, but because they have no other option if they want to live.
The Venezuelan Lutheran church was founded in the early 1950s. Over 70 LCMS missionaries served in Venezuela until 2008. There are 16 congregations with several missions and 16 pastors. She has three parochial Lutheran schools. The devastating humanitarian crisis which exceeds that of the Syrian for mass exodus of peoples has led the LCMS to support her sister church. Currently the LCMS supports in partnership with Disaster Response food baskets, medicines and pastoral care. A FORO or partnership circle has been formed in support of the ministry of the Venezuelan church seeking to assist her in her continued mission. Juan de Frias is the bible Institute of the ILV and trains men for the pastorate. The ILV is in full altar and pulpit fellowship with the LCMS.