Positive response to Spanish website

Initial response to Academia Cristo, a Spanish-language website released by WELS Latin America missions in February, has been encouraging. According to Rev. Michael Hartman, field coordinator for Latin America, videos created by Academia Cristo received more than 330,000 views in the first three weeks, more than 4,000 people watched theCome Follow Me movie in Spanish, and more than 100 signed up on the website to study the Bible. Numbers continue to rise.

The goal of Academia Cristo is to use videos and audio Bible studies both to reach out to non-Christians as well as to train Latin American church members how to share their faith. Hartman, the Latin American national churches, and other members of the mission team work closely with WELS Multi-Language Publications to create the materials. Currently six courses are completed, including two five-lesson Bible studies based on the Come Follow Me movie as well as other courses on what Christians believe and who Jesus is.

“We are now working to connect those who come to the site with existing ministries throughout Latin America,” says Hartman.

They are also working to start an online church, iGlesia Cristo, to provide worship opportunities and resources to connect people who live far from a Lutheran church.

Latin American missions is promoting the new website in Latin American countries primarily through Facebook. They are also physically sharing the site among WELS Spanish-speakers in the United States. Hartman says that when he was visiting Risen Savior, Milwaukee, Wis., Hispanic members came up to him excited about the site and how they can use it. “Multiple members said, ‘This allows me to share what I’m learning at my church here in Wisconsin with my family who lives far from a Lutheran church in southern Mexico,’ ” says Hartman.

Check out the site at www.academiacristo.com