In the realm of WELS Latin American missions, LATTE exists as a separate "field" from the individual mission fields of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, etc. We play a supportive role to the individual fields and national churches by assisting in the theological education of their church leaders. So communication and coordination of plans is essential to our service.
A few weeks ago, I had the joy of participating in a three-day planning session for the ministry in Mexico. When discussing the local ministry, fellow LATTE Professor Larry and I could serve as consultants and sounding boards for various projects. When discussing the seminary, we helped brainstorm ideas for recruiting future students, starting the new school year, and taking another step forward in the national church's development--offering workshops to prepare qualified national pastors to become seminary professors for the Mexican seminary.
As a LATTE missionary, I am not called to serve a specific congregation as their pastor. And I admit I miss teaching, preaching and administering the sacraments regularly to a particular flock. But I truly enjoy being a part of the "behind the scenes" work of training and supporting the men the Lord provides to shepherd his people. I pray our Savior will bless our future plans to turn them into present reality, as he knows best.