Neuendorf (Puerto Rico) Update – February 2022

pdf icon Neuendorf_Puerto-Rico_Feb2022.pdf
Click icon to open, read, download or print file.

Of Friends and Enemies


There is a stark contrast in the two major events that unfolded in the month of February; some wonderful steps forward in building up congregational fellowship which reached its height in our “Friendship Day” (Latin American Valentines day) celebration, and the shocking invasion of Ukraine. A celebration of friendship and love, and the beginning of a major war in the same month. 

We have been amazed to see the growth in friendship and fellowship that is beginning to take root in our activities, especially as we transition to daily hospitality. Church members and regular visitors have begun inviting their friends, neighbors, and acquaintances to our activities, and as the pandemic wanes on the island our attendance is ticking up again. We see how the constant sharing of the love of Jesus is bearing fruit and spreading in small and in large ways every day. I have been particularly encouraged to see how those who have been a part of our community of faith for longer are welcoming in the new faces and serving as hosts in the house of our Lord.

Perhaps that is what makes the news of war in Europe so especially poignant, the contrast seems so jarring. It has struck us all as so unprecedented and shocking. War seems so unimaginable and surprising, but the scriptures teach us that just the opposite is true. A church member told me that many people on the street are saying that this really must be the end of the world because now the words of Jesus are being fulfilled about “earthquakes and wars and rumors of wars.” I found that interesting because what Jesus says in this verse is exactly the opposite. Mark’s Gospel (13:7-8) has,

 “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.”

According to our Lord, these are precisely the ordinary things that shouldn’t surprise us or cause us to think that the end is near. This is the usual way of the world. The world pitches and groans as it always has since the fall, this is nothing out of the ordinary.  What ought to surprise us then? 

Certainly this: “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” (John 15:15-17)

In a world of storms and sicknesses, famines and earthquakes, wars and political strife, the only thing that is really surprising is the Love of Jesus for all people. We made ourselves into enemies of God, but He has come to restore us as His friends. It is this knowledge that causes us to “lift up our heads, for our redemption is drawing near.” Praise God for His ever-surprising and never ending love. 

Valentine’s Day, also known as Friendship Day is a big deal here in Puerto Rico. In Ponce and Mayaguez we changed our weekly fellowship time to a Friendship party! Everyone really enjoyed their time. We added a short devotion to the end our time together to start the rhythm of a Daily Service.

We finally met Stephenie Hovland in person this month! Stephenie is a deaconess student at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. We met her during the pandemic as she volunteered to be one of our online ESL teachers. After many conversations, Stephenie is working with Evangelist William Torres to write a children’s outreach and Christian education program that will be used on the radio and in person at both congregations.

We wrapped up our first set of in-person classes in February. We had a great time celebrating with the students as they completed another unit in our English Language learning book.

If you are interested in a Spanish Lenten reading guide, click here and download our Lenten Path booklet. We are using this devotional and another one with images to color for our congregation here. It was a joint effort with Deaconess Caitlin Ramirez in the Dominican Republic. We are offering a free copy to anyone who responds to our Facebook or Instagram ads.

Pastor Adam Lehman has started back up our monthly Theological Workshops that are open to the community. This month we learned about “The Son of God,” article three of the Augsburg Confession. We had a great turnout and enjoyed lunch together after!

Are you a Mission Sender? Mission Senders committ to praying and supporting missionaries on a monthly or quartely basis. Find out more here.

We are tremendously thankful for our Mission Senders. They give us the blessing of continous encourgament and financial support. 

  • Thanksgiving for fellowship activities
  • Continued construction at CARD Ponce
  • Opening of Mercy House

Send James and Christel

Fuente de Vida

Fuente de Vida


Text LCMSNEUENDORF to 41-444

This email was sent to
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Neuendorf · 1428 Calle Aloa, Buena Vista · Ponce, PR 00717 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp