Amigos Center

Posts Categorised: Church

English Language Ministry in Immokalee

By Pastor Bob Selle

Second generation immigrants live within two cultures, that of their parents and that of the country they call home.  They are the “Hypheners”: Mexican-Americans, Haitian-Americans, Guatemalan-Americans, etc.

 While many adults in Immokalee immigrated to the United States from Mexico, Guatemala and Haiti, there are also many who either came as very young children or were born here in the United States to their immigrant parents.  Of the 53,000,000 Hispanics in the United States almost 65% were born and raised here in the United States (“A Future for the Latino Church” by Daniel Rodriguez). They often do not feel comfortable in the Spanish/Haitian language church of their parents. They are too “Americanized,” too “adapted” to the American culture. Their cognitive language is English, not the language with which their parents grew up.

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At the same time they often do not feel welcome in the existing American churches where they are seen as foreigners. They don’t feel they belong.  They may have experienced discrimination (or they feel that they have experienced discrimination).

There is a danger of the Christian church losing this generation when they become old enough to leave home. People don’t want to go to a church where they will be forced to do something that makes them uncomfortable or that will make them embarrassed.

 While continuing our outreach to first generation Hispanics and Haitians, we are now expanding our ministry to establish a multi-cultural, multi-racial English-dominant Lutheran church focused on the 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants in Immokalee.  Our church will promote a global, multicultural vision where our identity is first and foremost as members of the Kingdom of God.

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Vicar Karl Glander has already started a Wednesday evening group that meets for Bible study, prayer, worship, food and fellowship in English at our Immokalee Amigos Center.  We expect to start an English language Sunday worship service later this summer.

 

 

 

On May 4th, 2014 was the induction service for two vicars for our Immokalee ministry. Vicar Saint Luc Charelus will finish his theological studies next year; Vicar Karl Glander is just beginning his 4-year program of study. Both are enrolled in distance education programs of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO and work under the direction of local mentors and supervisors. Upon satisfactory completion they will receive a Theological Diploma which makes them eligible for a divine call to the pastoral ministry of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Upon graduation, we expect Saint Luc to join our pastoral ministry team at Bethlehem Haitian Church – LCMS. Karl will head up our English language mission in Immokalee.

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Starting Friday, April 25 we begin a six-week course on family finances designed to help our families get out of debt and live according to Biblical principles of stewardship.  This is the Spanish language version of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course.  The course is open to all.  Pastor Selle serves as facilitator at Hope Lutheran Church, Bonita Springs, 7:00 PM every Friday night from April 25 to May 30.  Child care is provided.  Call Pastor Selle (239) 437-6727 if you are interested in finding out more about the course.

 

On Easter Sunday five Bonita Springs students of the Center for Hispanic Studies at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO received their diploma for completion of the Principles of Christian Education course taught by Pastor Selle.  This course helps prepare teachers for our Sunday School program.

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Immokalee resident Danuel Morford became a member of our Immokalee Lutheran Church on Easter morning after confessing his faith in Jesus.  Danuel is a retired accountant who spent much of his adult life serving in the Peace Corps in South America.  He now volunteers as an English teacher at our Immokalee Amigos Center.

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Vicar Karl Glander leads the sermon for children during our Sunday Spanish worship services in Immokalee.  While the parents and grandparents speak little to no English, the school-age children prefer to hear the Word of God in English. Pictured is Vicar Karl telling the children about the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ during our Easter morning service.

 

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You are invited to participate in the installation of two new vicars for our Immokalee ministry on Sunday, May 4 at 5:00 PM (106 S. 2nd Street, Immokalee, FL  34145).  Vicar Saint Luc Charelus will finish his theological studies next year; Vicar Karl Glander is just beginning his 4-year program of study.  Both are enrolled in distance education programs of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO and work under the direction of local mentors and supervisors.  Upon satisfactory completion they will receive a Theological Diploma which makes them eligible for a divine call to the pastoral ministry of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.  Upon graduation, we expect Saint Luc to join our pastoral ministry team at Bethlehem Haitian Church – LCMS.  Karl will head up our English language mission in Immokalee.  Come and join us on this special day.

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Amigos Center has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Fort Myers based Abuse and Counseling Treatment (ACT), Inc.   Our intention is to offer legal immigration help to undocumented victims of domestic violence who qualify for a special residency visa from U. S. immigration authorities. The ACT Emergency Shelter offers counseling and a safe haven for victims of domestic violence and their children.  Amigos Center has taken this action in the wake of the January 2014 closing of the Florida Equal Justice Center that had formerly provided this legal immigration help to the families of ACT.  Both ACT and Amigos Center are partner agencies of the United Way of Lee County.

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