Charles and Deborah St-Onge – Puerto Rico Update
In November I mentioned that we would be “restarting” our English as a Second Language outreach to our community in Parc-Extension. I’m praying that this will become a larger outreach to the 20,000 “New Canadians” in our area over time. The SELC District has generously approved our request for an evangelism grant to help with start up costs, as well as publicity and the purchase of bibles and catechisms to hand out. I was able to attend the joint east and south circuit meeting January 22 and 23, where we endorsed our congregation’s motion to the District Convention to partner more intentionally with the Lutheran Church – Canada on mission work in Quebec.
This past Sunday Ascension also approved the call to Rev. Marco Jacobsen to serve as an associate pastor with us. This will be a tremendous help as I continue my work “down south.” Pastor Jacobsen is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and English and I believe the Lord has sent him to Montreal at just the right time.
In the coming days I hope to start a new weekly devotional email to use with the many visitors who come to our Facebook page and website looking for truth and knowledge about God. You will also be able to sign up; I will send the information when it’s ready.
I spent ten days in the south this month, making trips to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. In each place we saw good forward movement on the Lord’s work in those countries.
In Puerto Rico, I installed Mr. William Torres and Mr. Gustavo Maita for service as Disaster Response Coordinators out of Mayaguez. They are now distributing over 100 bags of basic supplies to those still struggling with the after effects of Hurricanes Maria and Irma, while praying with and sharing the Gospel with the recepients of those bags. We also made a bid for a new disaster center for Mayaguez, which was accepted that afternoon.
In the Dominican we had three productive days of regional team meetings, setting the strategic plan and budget for Latin America and the Caribbean for the next year or two. We continue to find and pray for ways to do more with less.
Last, in Jamaica, I preached for, played piano at, and dedicated the new ministry centre in Halfway Tree, an inner-city neighborhood of Kingston.