Saturday, February 20, 2010

No Time to Waste!

This past week I had the opportunity to spend time with colleagues from the Dominican Republic Lutheran Mission and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Haiti while in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Throughout the week our meetings were meaningful and full with no time to waste. The week was highlighted by the Ash Wednesday worship which was rich in the gospel and sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
As recovery from the disaster in Haiti heads into its sixth week, there is no time to waste. People's lives hang in the balance and we must dedicate ourselves to prayer and ministry of the word while continuing to meet physical, emotional, and spiritual needs at every level. What an opportune time God has given us to respond with the fullness of his gospel in word and deed but there is no time to waste.
I urge you to uphold our Haitian brothers and sisters in prayer along with all those who strive to bring assistance and encouragement. I urge you also to consider giving generously your financial support or to provide material goods for the rebuilding of churches, schools, orphanages, and hospitals across Haiti. Believe me, there is no time to waste. Please help now!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Preparing for Worship

Ash Wednesday worship in the Dominican Republic

Ash Wednesday I worshipped with our Dominican Republic Lutheran Missionaries at one of their churches a few miles outside of Santiago. It was a wonderful worship service where the people welcomed us warmly. I was there with a colleague, Barb Below, from LCMS World Relief and Human Care and with President Kessa and two members of his executive council from Haiti. The service was in Spanish, Barb and I spoke English, our Haitian friends Creole and French yet the message of repentance, forgiveness, and mercy came through clearly. Even differences in language can't prevent the Holy Spirit from working.Pres. Kessa and I were asked to administer Holy Communion for which I felt somewhat ill-prepared but very privileged. The Sacrament also reaches beyond the boundaries of culture and language. It was deeply meaningful for the members of the church that we offered them Christ's body and blood. I can't begin to explain what it meant to me! After the service, they hugged us many times and thanked us for being with them. As the generator ran out of gas, we made our way downstairs to the street where cell phones provided the only light until final goodbyes were said. God is a God for all times and for all peoples. In the gospel and sacraments, there is mercy and peace for every tribe and nation on earth.

Sunday School & English Class before Ash Wednesday Worship in the Dominican Republic


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