Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Work in South America

Contact with concerned Christians in Bolivia started in 2007. Nine LATTE teaching trips have been made to teach main doctrines of the Bible. There has been significant growth in understanding Scripture, including the ability to distinguish between law and gospel. There is still much to be done, however, especially in the area of practice where we have not had a physical presence in Bolivia to help with the follow through. A LATTE professor and his wife on site for three years will be a great blessing to the work of determining whether a confessional Lutheran church can be established in this country.

Brazilian Lutheran Church (ILB) has decided to continue its mission efforts in Presidente Prudente in southern Brazil.  Another six baptisms and three adult confirmations in Dourados and Gravatai show God's grace in action. WELS and ILB representatives plan to meet in November to discuss how to support the development of the Brazilian Lutheran Church's gospel ministry and direction for the future.  One semi-retired missionary and two national pastors serve the two congregations. One LATTE Professor continues to serve as Friendly Counselor to Brazil and provide theological training in Portuguese as requested.

The membership growth of the church in the Medellin and in the Quibdo and Pereira areas is encouraging. The willingness of the church of Medellin to relocate Pastor Henry and partially support him shows the seriousness with which it considers mission work. In contrast, the growth in Bogota has been very limited in spite of mission opportunities. The need to work with the Bogota congregation is urgent and to that effect a visit by WELS reps has been planned for this year. LATTE continues to provide seminary training with both onsite visits and online classes depending upon the course and availability. 

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