Pastor Alvien De Guzman, a pastor in the Philippines, was not looking to start a new church. Instead he was looking to be faithful to God’s Word and the Lutheran Confessions. When the congregation to which he was called in metro Manila began practicing open communion and allowing women to serve as preachers, he and his family made the difficult choice of breaking fellowship with the church body he had always called home.
In 2014, De Guzman reached out to WELS World Missions via email, asking if we would consider doing mission work in the Philippines. In early 2015, representatives from the WELS Asia-Pacific Rim Administrative Committee conducted a colloquy with De Guzman and determined that he was in doctrinal fellowship with WELS. Pastor De Guzman requested copies of The Promise and The Road to Emmaus to bring the message of God’s grace in Christ to a largely Catholic population. He began translating these materials in the local language of Tagalog for WELS Multi-Language Publications.
WELS is continuing to support work in the Philippines through monthly contact and some financial aid. De Guzman is also continuing his work translating Multi-Language Publications’ materials.
In early 2018, two men who had left another church body for doctrinal reasons contacted De Guzman wondering if they might join his congregation. All three men had started theological education courses before breaking ties with their church body. Pastor Alvien De Guzman is now working with the Asia-Pacific Rim Administrative Committee and the Pastoral Studies Institute (PSI) to put together a plan for a pastoral training program, with the goal of training these two men to be pastors. The courses will be offered in a variety of methods. De Guzman will teach some courses on the ground. Others will be conducted online or through intensive courses offered on short-term visits.