SERVING BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER
Many Hispanics in the United States have close ties to other areas in Latin America. For Hispanic Lutherans, the desire to share Christian resources with relatives and friends in other areas is often strong. Occasionally, Hispanic members are even looking for a new church home as they head back to Central or South America.
In the past, sharing gospel resources with those south of the border was frequently a challenge. Congregations are spread out, and travel distances between them are often great, making it difficult for those interested in attending worship.
Today, through online resources such as academiacristo.com, which offers free Christian materials to Spanish speakers everywhere, that is changing.
“We have such a diverse congregation,” notes Abe Degner, pastor at Christ the Lord, Houston, Texas, which serves a Spanish-speaking population in the area.
With members from more than ten different Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America, when it comes to the opportunity to use sites like Academia Cristo, “there’s a lot of potential,” he explains.
Twice when members moved back to areas south of the border where there were no nearby Lutheran churches, Degner directed them to these online resources.
Two women involved at Christ the Lord lived in El Salvador during their early years. Now in Houston, they have used Academia Cristo as a way to share the gospel with family members back home.
Not long ago, one of the ladies pulled Degner aside and asked how to do a baptism if there wasn’t a Lutheran church. “I talked her through it,” notes Degner. “That’s an example of where those resources can be so useful.”
Meet Dalila Campos, originally from El Salvador, now living in Houston. She attends Christ the Lord in Houston and appreciates the resources from Academia Cristo, as seen in her Facebook post: “Thank you, Academia Cristo, for your faithful work in preaching the gospel to all people. Having you has been a big blessing for me. As I meditate on your publications, I renew my faith in Christ my Savior, but I also review things I learned as a girl and thought I knew but am now remembering. In this way I am ready, every day, for the work of spreading the gospel to others through this fresh and simple method, which is easy to understand. May God continue blessing you. I truly love you in the love of Christ our Lord.”
Rachel Hartman and her husband, Missionary Michael Hartman, serve in León, Mexico.
Read more about how WELS missionaries are working to spread the gospel in the U.S. and around the world on the WELS Missions blogs.
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Author: Rachel Hartman
Volume 103, Number 9A
Issue: September 2016
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