Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bolivia Blessings

In an October 31, 2007, blog we asked you to pray for LATTE's work with the Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Bolivia (FIEL). We want to report on the blessings the Lord showered on Bolivia during the November 7 - 20 teaching trip. The following is an excerpt from an article Rachel Hartman wrote for the WELS Mission Connection about the trip.

"It was decided that Missionary Lorenzo would travel to Bolivia in November 2007. While he was there, he taught a course on basic doctrine. He gave a class on Law and Gospel, and another one about fellowship. Every day, around 40 people came to listen. Of these, seven were pastors. The others were lay leaders of their congregations.

“The people were very warm and welcoming,” reports Missionary Lorenzo. And they were eager to have him. They set up the classroom and invited others to come. They prepared certificates to be handed out at the end of each course.

The best part, Missionary Lorenzo notes, was to see the “the people listen to God’s Word and put it into practice.” After hearing what God had to say about baptism, the leaders decided to begin baptizing babies (previously some had not). Those who were not doing so also decided to incorporate the Lord’s Supper into their services.

Promising Future
This is exciting, but the Bolivian church still faces doctrinal challenges. “We are trying to take baby steps with them,” comments Missionary Lorenzo. He recalls that the Lutheran church in [the Caribbean] , at one time, had similar weaknesses as the one in Bolivia . Today, however, the [the Caribbean] church is easily recognized as a Lutheran church. It bases its beliefs on the Bible. The hope is that the church in Bolivia will reach that same point.
Two more missionary trips are planned for 2008. They will include more courses that focus on God’s Word. The goal is to help the church in Bolivia establish a Bible Institute and seminary. This way, FIEL will be able to train future pastors for its congregations.
Starting mission work in Bolivia is exciting. It is an example of how a local congregation and foreign missionaries can work together. By doing so, the Gospel crosses new borders and touches more souls."

(Posted by Lorenzo)

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