Return to Archives Main Page | Current Global Mission Appeal | Give Now to Global Mission
Global Mission Update: Bridging the Cultural Divide in the U.S. (April 2013)
“You are battling with the devil for the souls of people who are completely lost,” said the Rev. Laerte Tardeli Hellwig Voss, a Brazilian pastor currently serving in one of the largest mission fields in the world — the United States. (Col. 1:28-29)
Rev. Voss serves the LCMS Mid-South District as a regional missionary, a position he has held since 2004. He works among Latino communities in northern Arkansas, planting Lutheran churches and raising up leaders from within these flourishing ministries. Through the outpouring of God’s abundant blessings, one of these Hispanic ministries is ready to merge with its Anglo-American brothers and sisters in Christ to form a new congregation.
“Some churches think it’s too difficult to work with people from different cultures, but that is not the case here,” said Rev. Voss. “We have seen God working, and we have seen how fantastic the partnership can be.”
In addition, Rev. Voss led his flock of 100 Hispanic families and five Brazilian families to contribute 1,200 hours of community service last year, including organizing 10 trips to help rebuild homes destroyed by the May 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo. “This is what God wants us to do,” he says.
You probably wonder how a Brazilian minister ends up serving in the United States. It is the result of God’s continuous blessing of the early mission work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. The LCMS first sent missionaries to Brazil in 1900, at the request of German immigrants living in the South American country.
Rev. Voss is a graduate of Seminário Concórdia, a seminary established by LCMS missionaries in 1903. What makes this story even more interesting is that the pastor’s native language is Portuguese. God prepared him for future work in Hispanic ministry in the U.S. through his vicarage in neighboring Uruguay, where he learned Spanish.
“The church in Brazil was started by LCMS missionaries,” Rev. Voss said. “Now the church in Brazil is, in a sense, paying back with missionaries to serve our sister church, the LCMS.”
Your generous gift today to the Global Mission Fund helps support faithful theological education at home and abroad. By strengthening our partner churches in other countries, we strengthen the whole Christian Church on earth in reaching out to millions of lost souls with the saving love of Jesus Christ. Sometimes those churches also help us to reach the lost who are waiting at our own door.
Hope in Christ is ours!
Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod
PS: Your gift to the LCMS Global Mission Fund will exclusively support the Synod’s Witness, Mercy, Life Together work in both the National and International mission offices and is utilized wherever needed most at the time it is received.