Seminarian Idjon Fritz, being installed as school Chaplain for Escuela Luterana la Concordia
By Pastor Ted Krey
Our school opening was celebrated Sunday evening, September 9th, in a special service in which the children of the school sang hymns and recited Bible verses. In this service Idjon Fritz, who has studies theology for four years, was installed as chaplain of our school. Idjon has taught music, French and sports for two years. He has continued to grow in his knowledge of Scriptures and we are thrilled to have him work with the pastors and vicar in pointing our parents, teachers, and students to Christ in all things. Thus far, our school has grown from 115 children last year to 138 students this year, along with one new teacher.
By Pastor Walter Ries, Jr.
We were privileged to have Pastor Milton Hofstetter from Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Buenos Aires, Argentina, come and give a course on Reformation history to our seminarians during the last weekend of February. This is one of two courses that our men receive in person from the seminary professors in Argentina. Lively discussion was had by all and highlights of the course were the conversations on the theology of the cross and how our Lord speaks clearly and plainly to us even today through His Word. We give thanks to our Lord for the faithful teachings received from our sister church in Argentina and pray that our Lord would give our professors strength and love to continue to teach us here.
By Pastor Walter Ries, Jr.
This March, our 5 seminarians are slated to take up their second year of studies in a four-year program. Together with the academic part of their online studies with the Lutheran Seminary in Argentina, they have begun to read Scripture lessons in the divine service, co-teach catechism classes with the pastors, and make visits. We are excited to have five new emerging teachers, and that our work will begin to expand as these seminarians begin to learn the practice of that which they are studying.
John (pictured left with Vicar Adrian Solis on the right), is one of our seminarians. He teaches French, music, and physical education at Concordia Lutheran School in Palmar Arriba, and also takes evening classes at night school, preparing for university studies. It is wonderful to hear our school children sing the hymns and songs John has taught them! John gives devotions at the local ball field every Saturday to some 50 young men, and also helps to lead the Sunday School at the mission in Palmar Arriba. We are excited with John’s commitment to prepare for the Holy Ministry and would ask for your prayers for him and all of his fellow seminarians.
By Pastor Ted Krey
On December 18th, 20 people gathered in our house church in Los Minas to celebrate our first ever divine service! This is the home of Armando and Army Olivares. Both father and son are seminarians, studying to be future Pastors. Four adults were confirmed and an additional 16 members from different parts of the city came to receive the Word of Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and of His body and blood to declare to a dying and sinful world of His death and resurrection. We rejoice that regular services are now taking place in 5 distinct communities in the Dominican Republic!
By Ruth Pollex
A memorable Christmas service was conducted at a home in Licey. We arrived early to set up the altar, hook up the generator and lights, and to set up chairs to maximize the space. It was a very exciting service for the Licey congregation who doubled in membership from four to eight. Four new members were confirmed, and one of those was also baptized! The newly confirmed women were very happy and excited. Ivon, a seminary student and his wife Marta prepared a feast for the congregation following the evening service. Pastor Walter, Pastor Ted, and Vicar Adrian were there leading the service together. The congregation thanked Vicar Adrian for his support, love, and dedication to the congregation and for teaching the confirmation classes.
By Vicar Adrian Solis – In June, our seminary students finished their first on-line courses with Concordia Seminary, Buenos Aires, Argentina. These men also attended a one-week intensive on the Book of Revelations taught by Rev. Mark Braden who is an adjunct professor of Concordia Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN. In July, another professor, Rev. Antonio Schimpf from Concordia Seminary, Argentina came and gave an intensive or Introduction to the Old Testament. Please continue to pray for our students, John, Armando, Army, Pedro, Manuel and Yban – as they juggle their studies, along with the responsibilities of work and family.