LCMS Disaster Response was invited to be a FORO partner with the Lutheran Church of Uruguay. A FORO is an annual three day meeting where the leadership of the Lutheran Church of Uruguay and others who want to partner in the ministry of the church strategically coordinate the work of the church together. LCMS Disaster Response’s role at the FORO is to be a subject matter expert in the area of Mercy work and giving a merciful response in times of tragedy.
Last week, I spent three days in Uruguay at the FORO. The Lutheran Church in Uruguay has three pastors a deaconess and two LCMS career missionaries. Lutheran Hour Ministries has an office that does outreach and connects the community with the Lutheran church and school. The national church has a total of six congregations and mission plants. They have a very successful school of over 1,200 students. The school is rated as one of the top five schools in the country.
While I was at the FORO I was given the opportunity to speak for 90 minutes on how we as Lutherans can bring our lost and broken community to the cross of Christ in times of tragedy. Sometimes these situations are personal tragedies or community-wide disasters. When we see the hurting world around us and we reach out to our friends and community in need, as the Church we not only help with temporal needs but we can also share Christ. Fortunately the love of Christ is not far away, it is not a simple theoretical concept. Christ’s love to a broken humanity is most vividly experienced when we bring the broken hearted to Christ by catechizing and explaining God’s love and inviting them to hear the love of Christ proclaimed from the pulpit. It is essential that we all hear we are sinners living in a broken world and that Christ compassionately understands and suffers alongside us. Nowhere is Christ more vividly experienced than when one kneels before the altar and receives the body and blood of Christ for the ongoing forgiveness of his or her sins. We as Lutherans should be impassioned to not only help our neighbor in their every need, but also share Christ with them and bring them into the church where God can heal their soul.
To learn more about the Lutheran Church of Uruguay go to blogs.lcms.org/2016/fellowship-with-uruguay-church