Today marks one year since Hurricane Maria tore through the island of Puerto Rico. In the aftermath of the most devastating hurricane to hit the island in 89 years, Tony-winning “Hamilton” creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote and recorded this song to raise money for relief efforts. Continue reading
Missionaries vs. the Monster
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
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
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
8 Things that Make Lima, Peru Unforgettable
Español. Lima, Peru turns 483 years old today. To celebrate, I’ve translated a blog post I wrote just days before saying good-bye to the unforgettable city after serving as an LCMS missionary there for five years. It’s a list of the eight most unforgettable things about the Ciudad de Reyes (“City of the Kings”).
- The Weather
Another Reason to Learn Spanish
I’ve written before about the many benefits of being bilingual. In a blog post entitled, The Benefits of Being Bilingual, I pointed out how learning Spanish is not only perspective widening, but that even more significantly, it might prove to be “Kingdom-widening,” as well, as it provides an opportunity to tell Spanish speakers about Jesus! In this blog post, I’d like to suggest one more reason to learn Spanish: so that Spanish speakers can tell you about Jesus! Here’s what I mean: Continue reading
The Nearness of Our God
The North American missionary to Latin America has his Bible in one hand and his evangelism tracts in the other. He says a quick prayer as he approaches the door and knocks. He rehearses his opening line over and over, hoping that whoever is on the other side of the door will be patient with his broken, heavy accented Spanish. The deadbolt turns. The door creaks open. There’s no turning back now. Buenas tardes. ¿Usted conoce a Jesús? : “Good afternoon. Do you know Jesus?” Continue reading
Gabriella’s Trip to the Jordan
The following is a letter I wrote to my daughter to celebrate her Baptism a couple of weeks ago. It’s based on baptismal imagery used both by Luther and the early Church fathers, of the Baptismal font as the Christian’s “little Jordan”.
Dear Gabriella Joy,
I’m writing you this letter to tell you about a very special trip you took when you were a baby. On May 7, 2016, when you were only a couple of weeks old, your mommy and daddy took you to a river. It wasn’t just any ol’ river, though. This was a life-giving river, rich in grace and overflowing with forgiveness.
Vicarious Atonement in Peru
Facebook recently reminded me of a fun trip Jamie and I took five years ago to Peru’s Northern Coast. While there, we had the opportunity to visit the ruins of two pre-Columbian civilizations, the Mochica (100-800 AD) and Chimu (900-1470 AD). Recent huaca (sacred temple) discoveries have revealed that both were theocratic civilizations led by a class of priests that represented the people before their pantheon of gods, the most prominent of which were the sun and the moon. Continue reading
I was in the check out lane at the local grocery store a couple of days ago when my two year old happily blurted out, “I like to drink beer sometimes!” Continue reading