Free Indeed

Today Puerto Rico celebrates the abolition of slavery.  Slavery is a terrible, ugly thing no matter where you go. And here in Puerto Rico was no exception. The slaves were purchased as property and branded on the forehead with a hot iron to mark them as such. They were forced to convert to Catholicism. Forced to learn Spanish. Forced to work long, hard, hot days, doing back breaking work on the sugar cane plantations. 

Monument to the Abolition of Slavery in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Photo: encirclephotos.com
Continue reading
Advertisements

Our True Father

Puerto Ricans speak a “sancochified” Spanish that reflects the rich cultural and ethnic mixture that makes up their identity (“sancocho” is a thick soup with a lot of yummy things mixed in). Photo: http://www.indicepr.com

It’s been a fun challenge adjusting to Puerto Rican Spanish. One thing that has taken some getting used to is being called “daddy” by a complete stranger. In many Spanish speaking countries, it’s not unusual to hear a wife calling her husband papi (“daddy”), or a husband calling his wife mami (“mommy”). But here in Puerto Rico, these terms of affection are not limited to your significant other. 

Continue reading

Missionaries vs. the Monster

490397713

Christ the Redeemer looks out over Brazil, the country that has the most Catholics in the world. Photo: http://interlochenpublicradio.org

There are a whopping 425 million Roman Catholics in Latin America – almost three-quarters of the region’s total population. Of the globe’s estimated 1.2 billion Catholics, more than 40% call Latin America their casa. This raises the question: why do Lutherans bother sending missionaries to the most Catholic region in the world? Continue reading

Truly Blessed

IMG_5541

Seminarians from the Concordia Reformer Lutheran Seminary after making visits in Pueblo Nuevo. Photo: missionary Johanna Heidorn.

Español | I recently had the privilege of meeting three Dominican ladies that are truly blessed. I met them while I was tagging along with a group of seminarians from the Concordia Reformer Lutheran Seminary for their weekly pastoral visits in the barrio (an underprivileged neighborhood) of Pueblo Nuevo. Their names are Doña Ana, Doña Sylvia, and Señora Jinet. Continue reading

How to Prepare for the Mission Field

36822034_698930307361_6031523896346279936_n

Our youngest preparing for missionary service at his Baptism on July 8th. Photo Credit: Christel Neuendorf

Remember Your Baptism– When you were baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” you received the most important things you’ll need on the mission field. At your Baptism, God gave you an identity as His precious and dearly loved child. He gave you His Name to call upon in every trouble. He gave you faith to trust in His promises. He gave you His Holy Spirit to sanctify you in the one true faith. Your Baptism is the single most valuable thing you’ll take with you on your journey. Don’t forget it! Continue reading