During the last two years our Latin America mission team wondered, “Will we see on-the-ground results?” In 2020, we got an answer. But before I share that answer with you, let’s back up a bit.
During the last couple of years, our Latin America mission team has used the Academia Cristo (Christ Academy) website to distribute ministry resources. These are in Spanish, available online, and offered for free to anyone interested in learning about the Bible. Furthermore, individuals can receive training to teach the message of Jesus to others, lead congregations, and access worship resources for in-person gatherings.
Academia Cristo quickly gathered a strong online presence. Today it has more than one million followers on social media and hundreds of thousands of Internet users download its biblical resources. Thus, as a mission team, we could look at our computer screens and see a clear message: hungry souls in grace-starved Latin America were being touched with the gospel online. Yet we longed to see the gospel clearly proclaimed in an on-the-ground way in Latin America.
This year, God has granted a “yes” to that lingering question of whether on-the-ground results would formulate. Consider what Academia Cristo followers have carried out in recent months:
- Santos, who lives in a village in rural Honduras, holds weekly gatherings where he shares the message of sin and grace with more than 100 people.
- David of Punta Arenas, Chile, takes the online instruction he receives to prisons and shares the love of Christ with inmates.
- Artemio, who resides in the outskirts of Mexico City, leads a confessional Lutheran Bible information class with dozens of locals in a nearby clothing factory.
- Fabiola in Quito, Ecuador, gathers around the Word of God with her sisters in their home where they make plans to invite friends to their gatherings.
- Pablo of Asuncion, Paraguay, shares lessons he has learned with those who attend the small house church he has established.
The list goes on. Stories such as these are unfolding in every single country in Latin America! As travel resumes, our missionaries are following up in person with individuals who have learned about the gospel through Academia Cristo and shared it in the streets. During these visits, the missionaries are providing one-on-one instruction, mentoring, and encouragement. Join us in breaking out in song to God, just as Paul did in the midst of his letter to the Ephesians (3:20). We praise our God “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine!”
This Christmas season, as WELS families across the world rejoice in the gift of Jesus, our newborn King, we also look to the future. It is with prayer and support from people like you that many more souls will be touched with the saving message of Jesus. Would you prayerfully consider making a gift today to help with this work in Latin America?
We who serve in Latin American missions thank you for your partnership. It is a privilege to share the gospel message to the ends of the world! Feliz Navidad, dear family of believers!
Sirviendo a Cristo, nuestro Rey recién nacido (Serving Christ, our newborn King),
Dr. Michael Hartman
Latin America team leader