Showing posts from February, 2022

Madam Treasurer

Instead of Bible study before church this morning, we had an asamblea. Assemblies are held twice yearly to update the congregation on regular and featured activities, finances, and new initiatives. Today's also included the election of two new council members, one of whom you might recognize.  Congregational president Owen (front row, L) first approached me about serving as treasurer of Iglesia Luterana Cordero de Dios before Christmas. I'm better with letters than numbers so I hemmed a bit, but he assured me that if I could use Excel I was up to the job. 'Spreadsheet' is my middle name, so OK, but I also expressed concern about the amount of Sundays I miss when traveling for my job (I'm realizing as I write this that I sound like Moses in Exodus 3...), but Owen reassured me we'd find someone to cover.   Between Christmas, the aforementioned work travels, and COVID, finding a Sunday when both pastors, Owen, and I were all present in order to hold an election and

Modernizing Mission Central

  Mission Central in Mapleton, IA, is an outpost of our Synod's Mission Advancement division that blesses missionaries tremendously as they build networks of prayerful and financial support prior to deployment and as they serve the Lord in their various vocations. I won't even try to explain how a renovated farm complex in the middle of a cornfield has truly become a miracle place - just do me and yourself a favor and go sometime.  The gist of it is that since 1994, Gary Thies and an army of volunteers have drummed up millions in support of NOT NORMAL people and projects around the world by inviting church groups from surrounding states to learn from and interact with visiting missionaries and by maintaining a robust website . With a new year come a number of updates to said website that make it even simpler to support God’s mission in LAC and around the world through me and the rest of YOUR missionaries. Among them: 1. a combined Mission Central/LCMS logo (see above); 2. a mob

Smile! You’re on Scott’s Camera

Three days after Steven the Doctor & I parted ways, Scott the Videographer arrived in the DR. We've been looking for someone with  precisely  his skillset for I don't even know how long; God led him to us in His perfect timing. Scott's task is deceptively simple: create a Spanish promotional video for Concordia the Reformer Seminary (CMSCR) as a recruitment tool for the residential pastoral formation program. In reality, it's an enormous undertaking: roughly 100 hours of pro-bono editing awaits, interspersed with all of his other work as the owner of his own business. I've seen his portfolio, though, and it's going to be epic.  Day 1 on the ground featured a double header of church services - all the better for shooting TWO sets of seminary field workers in their element - and a volleyball game that brought together students, professors, missionaries, youth from the Good Shepherd Lutheran Homes group home, and neighbors.  Rev. Carlos & Deac. Danelle pre

Stop #4

It's perfectly normal to pop down to South America for a few days, right?  Steven left Santiago on a Wednesday; the following Saturday, 2/5, I met him in Lima, Peru, to begin the assessment process anew in the final country on his tour (for now - the plan is to tackle Guatemala at a later date). I had a residency renewal appointment in Santo Domingo early Thursday and also flew out of Santo Domingo, so I saved myself five hours of driving and stayed Thursday and Friday nights with friends. My flight landed in Lima a little after 7:00 pm; Steven didn't get there until 10:30 or so, but I managed to stay awake to get him settled with the help of caffeine.  Sunday morning, we joined the congregation in San Borja for worship. It didn't even exist when I was last in Peru two years ago; praise God for the expansion of His Kingdom! (Side note: we also stayed in San Borja; this is essentially the vantage point from my bedroom doorway.) Rev. Walterson Siewert used Luther's Smal

Stop #2

The assignment mentioned in my previous post has been helping lay the groundwork for a potential medical missions partnership between the LCMS Office of International Mission and Ministry in Mission  (MIM), an LCMS Recognized Service Organization. For the past 15 years, MIM has been working almost exclusively in Haiti, but the instability and insecurity of the western 1/3 of the island we share is forcing them to seek alternative fields of service for short-term volunteers, including medical professionals representing any specialty under the sun. I've come to understand that 1-2 week opportunities in the healthcare realm simply don't exist, so the goal is to support the LCMS's threefold motto of Spreading the Gospel, Planting Lutheran Churches, and Showing Mercy by pairing our infrastructure with MIM volunteers' expertise.  As a first step, MIM sent its International Medical Director, Dr. Steven Repas, on an assessment visit. I held off posting this for a few days so t