God is bringing people from around the world to the communities of Nebraska, and LCMS congregations are partnering with the Nebraska District to serve these new immigrants and refugees through mercy ministry and by sharing the Word of God with them.
Immigrant and Refugee Outreach
The Peace International Friendship Center is a former church building in Omaha that is now used as an outreach center and is operated in a partnership between the Nebraska District and Beautiful Savior, LaVista.
This space is used to offer English and citizenship classes, as well as school tutoring and VBS for the children, all while building friendships and connections.
Emad and Shireen Tawdrous partner with Mount Olive and Beautiful Savior Lutheran Churches in Omaha to serve immigrants and refugees in the Omaha area by meeting their physical needs at the Peace Center, focusing on works of mercy, and connecting them to area LCMS congregations for ongoing care.
Beautiful Savior pastors Rev. Jim Haack and Rev. Eddie Mekasha use the Peace Center for outreach activities for African immigrants in the Omaha area, and the Sudanese Evangelical Lutheran Church uses this space for worship. The Center is becoming known in Omaha as a place that cares for both the physical and spiritual needs of immigrants.
Learn more about the work of the Peace International Friendship Center by following them on Facebook at the Peace International Center’s Facebook page.
The Columbus Lutheran Hispanic Ministry (CLHM) is a new ministry of three LCMS congregations in Columbus: Immanuel, Peace and 1C, in cooperation with Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in LaVista and the Nebraska District. The ministry’s purposes is to connect the Hispanic community to Christ.
Sergio Puente began serving as evangelist to the Hispanic community on September 1. Sergio is currently a member of Beautiful Savior, LaVista, and has a passion for reaching the lost with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. He has completed the prerequisites for seminary training, and will begin studies in the fall of 2016 in order to become an LCMS pastor.
He will begin his work by connecting with leaders and building intentional relationships in the Hispanic community, as well as serving as the bridge for ministry between the Hispanic community and the members of the supporting congregations. Members of the congregations will be connected with the ministry through outreach events and volunteer opportunities throughout the year.
According to 2015 statistics, 16 percent of the population in Columbus is Hispanic or Latino, giving this new ministry partnership many opportunities for outreach. Having a Hispanic evangelist connected with these churches and working in the Columbus area will be a blessing to the congregations by giving them entry points into the ministry as volunteers and prayer supporters.