Dear Christian Friend,
I love detective shows. I am always trying to figure out who did it before the characters on the show reveal it. A key element to any detective’s case is eyewitnesses. A particular scene might involve several eyewitnesses, each with their own account of what happened.
Jesus asked his followers to be his witnesses right before he ascended into heaven. He was talking to those who had seen it all: the miracles, the rejections, the suffering, the cross, and the empty tomb. They had seen him!
Jesus had another reason for asking them to be witnesses. He wanted his followers to not only believe what they had seen and heard but also to share what they had seen and heard.
What have you seen and heard? Certainly, after participating in another Holy Week and Easter season, you have seen the cross and the empty tomb. You have heard that sin has been forgiven, death defeated, and heaven won for all believers.
What about your audience? If you glance quickly at your neighborhood, you might see exactly what Immanuel Lutheran Church in Waukegan, Ill., saw: a growing community of people who are new to the U.S. and who speak a different language. Look closer! What else do you see?
You see lost people—people who have not heard that sin has been forgiven, death defeated, and heaven won.
Immanuel has done something unique. They adjusted their ministry plan to serve their changed community. We praise God for blessing the work of that congregation! Before this, the congregation saw the need but didn’t know what to do. They requested guidance from WELS Home Missions. As the WELS Hispanic Outreach Consultant, I was able to assist that congregation by . . .
- providing demographic information on the community.
- training members to lead English Improvement classes to help their immigrant neighbors.
- directing the congregation on their best approach to ministry.
More than 70 percent of our WELS congregations have Hispanic and Latino people living in their communities. Like Immanuel, they might also be considering how to adjust their ministry plan according to the changed audience. At times this can seem quite daunting, but it isn’t! WELS Home Missions is pleased to help.
Thank you for your past contributions and your continued commitment to supporting WELS Home Mission work through your congregation and directly. With God’s blessing, your prayers and generous offerings help numerous congregations witness the love of Jesus to Hispanic and Latino people in our neighborhoods. Consider making a gift to WELS Home Missions today knowing that your partnership will serve many for Christ.
May we be witnesses to everyone of what Jesus has done for us!
Pastor Tim Flunker
Board for Home Mission’s Hispanic Outreach Consultant