Pres. Wille’s report from the Dominican Republic

On Sunday, March 5, as I sat in a worship service in Palmar Arriba, in the Dominican Republic, I was reminded of the words of the Psalmist and our responsibilities in this current generation as the people of God. The Psalmist Asaph writes in Psalm 78:

He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children,
6    that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.
Here’s the picture…
As you know, we are one of the international partners helping to support that effort to plant Lutheran congregations and a new Lutheran church body in the Dominican Republic. I was in Palmar Arriba, the Dominican Republic, for the FORO meeting (which is the partners’ meeting).
I am robed sitting next to Sergio Fritzler who had served as the president of Concordia Seminary, Argentina. In front of me was Pastor Ted Krey. Next to me were several pastors; one from California, two Dominican vicars, and Pastor Carlos Schuman who is the lead missionary in Chile. We are there for the installation of Pastor David Preus as Pastor of the congregation and seminary professor.
It was a wonderful service! There was the baptism of a baby. There was a confirmation of a young man. There was the installation of a new missionary. And there were children from our Palmar school singing. The video is attached. Please take the time to listen to it. While, like me, you may not understand the words, you will recognize the melody of the songs they sing. And after the children sing, they recite the 10 Commandments.
That is when the words of Psalm 78 began to echo in my thoughts, as well as our SWD tagline, Confessing Christ for the next generation … The words of the Psalmist describe what we are to be about and why…’that the next generation might know [the testimony, the Holy Scriptures], the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God.’
The events of Sunday, March 5, 2017, will be branded into my memory for a long time. While you were not there, and I only for a short few days, you are what make that video a reality. The next generation is learning about Christ Jesus and His love because of our partnership with the church plant in the Dominican.
My prayer is that there are similar stories about the children in your community as you and your congregation reach out with the good news about Christ’s love ‘so that they should set their hope in God.’
Thank you for all you do for the Kingdom on so many fronts!! God bless!
Rev. John C. Wille, President SWD

“Go and make disciples …”

Vicar David Blas, since his induction for Hispanic ministry in South Wisconsin District on January 10, has been embracing the Hispanic community in the Sheboygan County area. “THE LORD is doing great things at Sheboygan County Hispanic Outreach! He is bringing the people who need to be here in order to hear The Gospel and be saved! I’m really happy and humble to be up here in Sheboygan County!” said Vicar Blas.

5-DE-MAYO-1A Cinco de Mayo and Day of the Child event was hosted on April 30 at Immanuel in Sheboygan. There was a service of worship, food and fellowship, and games for the kids. Many smiles were seen!  Approximately 70 attended the event and many people were asking when the Outreach would begin to have worship services.

On May 22 the Outreach worked with Pastor Alan Kretschmar of St. Paul, Sheboygan, to conduct the their first baptism! A third grade girl was welcomed into the family of God through those precious waters of Holy Baptism! But that is not the end of the excitement for the Outreach and St. Paul. Next year, this young lady will become a student at St. Paul’ school. The Outreach is continuing to forge partnerships that share the Gospel as well as connect Hispanics to Lutheran schools. Immanuel, Sheboygan, also has had students enroll for next school year because of the work of the Outreach.

The first worship service was held on June 5, 2016, at 11:30 a.m. in the sanctuary of Immanuel in Sheboygan. District President, Rev. Dr. John Wille, commented, “It is a story of Amazing Grace to see this Latino mission get underway in, of all places, Sheboygan! I give thanks for the pastors and congregations in Sheboygan who have moved this forward in partnership with SWD. Vicar Blas is passionate about reaching out to the Latinos in the area. Whenever we confess Christ as Lord and Savior, people are blessed and we with them.”

According to Rev. Nathan Meador, “This mission effort has been designed through the South Wisconsin District and the tri-circuits in the Sheboygan area. Besides the support of the District and these churches, a number of donors from the District have supported this mission effort.” Thanks be to God for ALL that He does in our District. bible-study-eammanuel-2

Going forward, your congregation is invited to prayerfully consider becoming a partner in this ministry. If your congregation is willing to make a financial contribution to this mission, please share that with the Steering Committee through Pastor Meador at St. John, Plymouth. The telephone number is 920-893-3071. In addition, there will be the need to gather a list of people for the vicar/missionary to contact when he gets his boots on the ground. Most important, please commit this mission opportunity in our own back yard (nearly 10% of Sheboygan County is Hispanic in origin) to prayer.

Vicar David Blas is very passionate for his work in Sheboygan County. If you would like Vicar Blas to speak with your congregation, please coordinate this with Rev. Meador.

If you have any questions about this mission opportunity or any other mission project of the district, contact the District staff at 414-464-8100.