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FSL

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What took me and 13 of my favorite Bulldogs to the Southern Cone , you ask? A week of witnessing at a Lutheran school whose students are, in large part, anything but - that's what.  Colegio San Pablo might be the nation's only Lutheran school, but the 1,200 preschoolers through 12th graders mirror Uruguay's atheistic tendencies in that only a sliver are Christian. Many believe in nothing or don't know what they believe. Some are enrolled in a bilingual track where they learn ESL, English as a Second Language, from an early age, but all are unknowingly studying FSL, Faith as a Second Language.  God assembled the CUNE team, period. The 10 students' courses of study naturally divided them into teams that concentrated on certain grade ranges. English lessons in the elementary and middle grades consisted of team members showing pictures of and talking about their families, pets, houses, favorite foods, hobbies, and the like. Christian Education lessons varied:  The pres

Way Down There

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It's 100% going to take 2 posts to convey all there is to convey about an entire country I've never been to before, never mind a full week with 10 education and DCE students and three professors from Concordia University Nebraska (CUNE). Let me just say Uruguay is WAY down there - south of the entire African continent and about one degree of latitude shy of the furthest south I've ever been. There were no good options for getting there. Zero. The least of the evils had a 6:19 am departure, two layovers, and a middle of the night arrival.  There are two LCMS missionary families in Uruguay: the Schieferdeckers , whom I regrettably wouldn't see since they live five hours from Montevideo, and the Sharps . James picked me up and got me settled in their guest room. I guess you could say I got almost a full night's sleep...albeit starting at about 2:30 am...before a 10:30 am church service. Lunch at the Sharps' favorite restaurant was a highlight, then it was time to

The End

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The end of home service - leading up to my trip to southwest MO and northwest AR - was peppered with a few more local engagements; it all came to a close with a day trip to Columbia, MO, on Sunday, April 28.  My colleagues Rev. Herb & Markie Burch (Belize) joined me for Meet the Missionaries Night at Lutheran Church of the Webster Gardens. It was the very first presentation of their home service; ahhhhhh, I remember those days ... Mrs. Mindy Hanke invited me to share with the Kindergarten class at my alma mater, St. Paul's Des Peres; my mom is her aide! My first introduction to Trinity Lutheran Church was 2006, when they shared a servant event week at Ysleta Lutheran Mission with my home congregation. Besides Rev. Brian Thieme, at least one other member of Trinity's Ysleta mission team, who also happens to be a fellow Drury University alum, was in attendance the day I visited...19 years later. The Sunday school had been collecting offerings for me for several months, as e