The Circle of Mission Work

Last week, Rev. Dallas C.R. Dubke, the latest in a revolving door of interim pastors, deployed to the Cayman Islands for a three-month stint. I can't take credit for his being there, but I can tell you my end of the story of how he got there. It has God's fingerprints all over it. 

Pastor Dubke's mom, Martha (née Huebner), grew up a missionary kid in Venezuela. Martha would later become an LCMS pastor's wife and mother of four, the eldest of which is Pastor Dubke, living in northern CA. 

Fast forward to 2014. I'm working at CPH at the time, and as is customary every summer, they planned to bring on a handful of college-aged interns. My trusted colleague, Rev. Dr. Héctor Hoppe, an Argentinian-born pastor, asked if I'd be willing to house one - the youngest Dubke, Katherine. Seeing as how the Latin American Lutheran world was apparently as small in the 60s and 70s as it is now, Héctor knew the Huebner family and had heard through the grapevine that Katherine needed a place to stay during her eight weeks in St. Louis. I obliged, as I would for the next three summers, and we quickly bonded over the Muny and Ted Drewes. 

Fast forward again. March 2015: While in southern CA for a business trip, I have dinner with Katherine, now graduated and working in the admissions office of her alma mater, Concordia University Irvine. Over chicken & waffles, we realize her parents, Martha and husband Rev. Dallas D. Dubke, are going on a Chile mission trip I'm leading that August! 

I think it was on a bus somewhere in Santiago, Chile, some five months later, that the Dubkes and I got to talking. It came out that my home congregation was accepting nominations for an associate pastor position, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out whose name I threw into the hat. 

Pastor Dubke made it far enough in the process to merit a visit to St. Louis, where I had the chance to meet my 4th Dubke. The Lord led the call committee in another direction, and Pastor Dubke remained (and remains - the Board of Elders was generous enough to grant him a sabbatical) at the congregation he's served since 2011, Faith Lutheran Church in Monmouth, OR. 

Keep your finger on that fast forward button. It's 2019 now. I'm a new missionary in Latin America & the Caribbean, bumbling my way through people & projects around the region. I hear a plea for an interim pastor in the Cayman Islands, and I immediately think of Pastor Dubke. Wrong! Well, not that Pastor Dubke. I immediately think of Pastor Dubke's dad, Pastor Dubke. Semi-retired and fresh off an intentional interim gig in Hawaii, I thought he might fancy another assignment in the tropics. He surprised me by suggesting Pastor Dubke the younger, and...

Fast forward for the last time, I promise. The Lord lovingly holds Pastor Dubke's future and that of LCMS mission work in the Cayman Islands in the palm of His hand. Pray that He would lead and guide Pastor Dubke throughout this venture. The month of July promises to be especially exciting as he and the members of Safe Harbour Lutheran Church host an Every One His Witness personal evangelism workshop with the help of the Cayman Islands' first short-term team...from Faith, Monmouth. 

Read more about the LCMS's work in the Cayman Islands in my June newsletter!

Until next time, blessings!