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In April, WELS leaders, including Mark Schroeder, WELS president; Larry Schlomer, World Missions administrator; Sean Young, director of Missions Operations; and Bounkeo Lor, Hmong Asia ministry coordinator, traveled to Vietnam to finalize the needed steps to purchase property in Hanoi on which to build a theological education center for pastors and leaders in the Hmong Fellowship Church.
A memorandum of understanding was signed with the Vietnamese Fellowship Church, who will be facilitating the legal steps to make this happen. Once the land is purchased, building will begin. If the Lord allows, by the end of this year WELS will have an educational facility in Hanoi that can train Hmong pastors and regional leaders.
“Leaders of the Hmong churches in Vietnam are one step closer to a dream they thought might never happen,” says Schlomer. “This is a huge milestone. Careful negotiations with church and government leaders have been blessed by our Lord. There we were, in Vietnam, standing on property the government is allowing us to use for a purpose that in the recent past seemed impossible. God is reminding us all that this is in his hands. It is time for prayers of thanks as we continue to ask God to bless this unprecedented opportunity.”
Learn more about this opportunity and how you can be involved at wels.staging.wpengine.com/vietnamhmongoutreach.
The Latin American mission team continues to grow and expand Academia Cristo, academiacristo.com, since its start in 2015. The team’s goal is to use technology to reach Spanish-speakers with the gospel, train them through online classes, and help them plant and lead churches that faithfully proclaim God’s Word. Current statistics include:
- 1.3 million followers and a reach of 2 million people on Academia Cristo’s Facebook page.
- An average of 40,000 visitors per week to Academia Cristo websites for self-study classes and opportunities to sign-up for live classes.
- More than 8,000 people signing up for live classes and further training.
- 18 current or potential church planters in Latin America with whom missionaries are working.
The team is currently updating its website and working with WELS Multi-Language Publications to develop a mobile app.
Since the beginning of 2018, the Latin American mission team and Spanish-speaking national pastors have visited countries like Ecuador, Paraguay, Argentina, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to meet with Academia Cristo students and explore potential church planting opportunities. New opportunities are also popping up in existing fields like Colombia and Mexico.
In order to respond to these new opportunities, the Latin American mission team is calling a new missionary and deploying another to Asuncion, Paraguay. Two other missionaries moved to Quito, Ecuador, in 2018. The remaining two live in Miami, Florida, and work with Spanish-speakers in US congregations who want to reach back to their home countries.
Learn more about this work at wels.staging.wpengine.com/latin-america.
Volume 106, Number 6
Issue: June 2019