Tag Archives: Outreach

Continued Blessings in the Extension of the Kingdom

Children studying the catechism.

Children studying the catechism.

By Pastor Ted Krey

At this time, our missions are being blessed through the preaching fo the Word. Some 40 people in 5 different classes are studying the catechism in our missions. We are thankful to the Lord of the Harvest for sinners being called to repentance and forgiveness in the Good News of our dear Lord Jesus Christ. Give thanks with us and pray that shese seeds which have been sown would take deep root and not have the cares of the world take them away.

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The Story of Pastor Willy Gaspar

By Pastor Walter Ries, Jr.

Pastor Willy Gaspar has a most interesting story to tell of how he became a pastor. When Pastor Ries, Jr. was to be installed in the Dominican Republic, 6 years ago on a hotel lawn in Santiago, it was Willy and several other men who appeared from Santo Domingo, 160 km away, just as the service was about to begin. He asked if there was a Lutheran pastor who was to be installed, and the 6 church representatives said, yes, it was to happen right now!. The men asked if they could observe and the answer was, of course! Thus began a relationship in which Willy studies the catechism, became a member, studied theology classes for 5 years, was colloquized by the Argentinean Lutheran Seminary in February 2011, and ordained in March 2011.

After the earthquake in Haiti, Pastor Gaspar was asked by LCMS World Relief and Human Care to become the project manager of our projects in Haiti. Since that time, in just the past two years, three clinics, a Lutheran Villa of 27 homes, a church, seminary, and guest house have been established. In addition, on this side of the border, his church was built last year by the Kellers, volunteer teams, and local support. The congregation, “Amigos de Cristo” serves as a gathering place for all to grow in their faith weekly, with Sunday School, two catechism classes, and Divine Service.

Pastor Gaspar has a dental clinic in his home where he treats patients on the weekends. He speaks Spanish, Creole, French and English. His wife, Santa, leads Sunday School and is actively involved in the church. Together, they have two beautiful girls, Yeandra and Estefani. We give thanks to our Lord for the Gaspar family and how Christ uses his people for great good in serving and loving our neighbor both through the preaching of His Word and in love towards our neighbor.

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The Story of Kissayris Gebhard

By Pastor Ted Krey

One of our very dear leaders is our school principal at Concordia Lutheran School – Miss Kissayris Gebhard (pictured here with the teachers at Concordia Lutheran School). Kissayris was confirmed in the Lutheran faith three years ago this coming July. She was introduced to Pastor Ries, Jr. through a friend who was studying Romans with him while she was concluding her university studies. While the friend is no longer in church, Kissayris studied the catechism, and later Basic Christian Doctrine, and became the first Lutheran confirmed in our Santiago mission. Today, Kissayris is the principal of 120 children at our Lutheran school in the village of Palmar Arriba. This is our second year of operations, and her second year as principal. Every morning, she leads the teachers in devotions, using Portals of Prayer, and prays for the teachers, their families, and for their vocation as teachers. Pastor Ries, Jr. leads a catechism class in her mother’s home every Tuesday night with her mother, sister, one of our teachers and neighbors in attendance, and now they are also attending church as well. We give thanks to God for Kissayris and the love that the Lord has given to her in living out her life in Christ for the well-being of others! Please pray for Kissayris, her family, and the school!

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Close of the School Year

By Pastor Ted Krey – On June 8th, our school closed its first year in our evening divine service. More than 200 parents, teachers, students and members were present to hear of Jesus in the flesh and that the flesh is God Himself. They also heard of the death and resurrection of Christ and Pentecost in which the Spirit is given to the church. bible verses and hymns which had been memorized throughout the church year were spoken and sung and accompanied by four short sermonettes on four of the main themes of the church year. Thus far, the school is painted and 105 children are signed up for the new school year.

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Reaching out through baseball

Teams line up for a favorite pastime!

Teams line up for a favorite pastime!

“Dominicans have a real passion for baseball. Baseball fields, or ‘plays’ as the are called here, are in every community, and it is a common occurrence to see a fully dressed baseball player walking down the street, a pickup truck loaded down with a young boys’ baseball team, and children playing baseball in the streets, often with little wooden sticks as bats and with water caps as balls. It is the dream of many young boys to make it to the Major Leagues and becoming rich and famous. School studies are frequently left to one side so that they might single-mindedly pursue this dream, and though there are those who do sign contracts, many don’t realize this dream, which leaves many young men poor and without any vocation.

“Recently, in the community of Palmar Arriba, a new playing field was built by Jose Reyes, a native of Palmar who now plays for the New York Mets. Jose’s father was there, along with officials from the community and four baseball teams, to officially open the grounds on June 30. It was a very formal affair and a big moment for the community. We were also invited to be present for the occasion.

“Over the past three months, Cacao, the baseball manager in Palmar, has invited us to come, twice a week, to share God’s words with the baseball players in the baseball camps – an open door to 50-60 young men each week. The young men play ball for three hours every morning. Often, there are all-day weekend tournaments. Two weeks ago Pastor Ries gave the Wednesday morning talk and another manager was visiting. He invited us to come and give devotions at his baseball training camp as well. God’s Word is at work, and some of these players and trainers have also come to our worship services on Wednesday nights in the community. Two of them are in confirmation classes. Please keep these young men in your prayers!”

Story by LCMS World Mission at http://blog.lcmsworldmission.org

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