Amigos Center

Posts Categorised: Ministry

By Pastor Bob Selle

Amigos en Cristo pastor, Pastor Andre Mezilus, was stranded in Haiti during the recent strike of Hurricane Matthew, due to the temporary suspension of airline flights out of Haiti.  He was in Haiti at the time supervising his mission congregations in Cap ‘Haitian.  He regrettably reported the death of one of his church members due to the hurricane, leaving behind a family of five (see picture).

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A blog posted by the LCMS Disaster Response reports:

“In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, LCMS Disaster Response looks to broaden aid to victims, after having seen the tragic effects of the hurricane firsthand in both Haiti and the Carolinas during Oct. 10-13 visits to the hardest-hit areas.

LCMS Disaster Response Director Rev. Ross Johnson visited Haiti, as an outbreak of cholera was complicating recovery efforts there. His visit revealed specific needs of the victims not already being addressed by various government and nongovernment agencies responding to the catastrophe.

‘We’re currently working to provide an initial 10 wells — with a goal of providing up to 50 wells — for clean water and also to provide tin roofs for some 50 area pastors and possibly 50 churches without roofs in Haiti,’ said Johnson. ’This is a focused response to the destruction and sanitation issues brought about by the storm, while other agencies are providing for medicine, food and other necessities.’”

Donations for relief work can be made directly to , LCMS Disaster Response fund or to Amigos en Cristo, Inc. to help Pastor Andre’s mission congregations.

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By Rev. Robert Selle

Immokalee, FL – Over a hundred people gathered at the Immokalee Amigos Center to participate in the ordination and installation of Karl Glander on October 16, 2016.  Accompanied by his wife, Ginny, their sons Jeff and Matt, and local LCMS clergy, Rev. Glander made his solemn vow that with the help of God he will perform the duties of the pastoral office in conformity with Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.  Rev. Jon Zehnder, Second Vice-President of the LCMS Florida-Georgia District, vested Karl with a red stole, symbol of the pastoral office.  Rev. Richard Browning, Circuit Visitor performed the rite of installation.

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Rev. Glander now joins our team of pastors working in Immokalee: Pastors Andre Mezilus and Saint Luc Charelus serve Bethlehem Haitian Church, while Pastor Bob Selle serves as missionary pastor for our Hispanic congregation.    Pastor Glander is called to serve with special emphasis on the English speaking family members of the predominantly immigrant community of Immokalee.

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By Pastor Bob Selle

Next year “Amigos en Cristo” will celebrate 20 years of ministry.  For two decades we have provided immigrants to Southwest Florida with the tools to be successful and contributing members of our community and the Kingdom of God.

To help us kick off our 20th anniversary, Judy Small, widow of longtime volunteer and board member Bob Small, has offered a $20,000 challenge grant to help us grow.

Any donation to Amigos Center that you give by December 31, 2016 that exceeds what you gave last year will be matched up to $20,000. This Challenge Grant represents a potential financial increase of $40,000!  This challenge grant together with your above-and-beyond gift will put Amigos en Cristo in a strong financial position heading into the New Year.

Because of your financial support, during the next 12 months we expect to:

  • Enroll one of our Hispanic church leaders from Immokalee with the Center for Hispanic Studies at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO. This will lead to his ordination into the pastoral ministry in four years.
  • Charter our Hispanic Lutheran Church in Immokalee as a member congregation of the Florida-Georgia District of the LCMS
  • Open an eye clinic in our Immokalee Amigos Center in partnership with another non-profit;
  • Expand our new Hispanic ministry in Lehigh Acres in partnership with one of our supporting LCMS congregations;
  • Continue to provide ESOL, emergency food and clothing to hundreds of poor in Immokalee;
  • Continue providing affordable legal immigration help for families and for victims of domestic violence.

You can double your gift to Amigos Center by making a special gift before December 31:

  • Send a check, just write the word “Challenge” in the memo line, make payable to AMIGOS CENTER and mail it to our administrative office: 7401 Winkler Road, Fort Myers, FL 33919, or use the enclosed remittance envelope; or
  • Click the DONATE NOW button on our website amigoscenter.org and make your contribution by credit card or by Pay Pal.  Write the word “Challenge” in the message box.

We serve remembering what Jesus said “Go and make disciples of all nations” and “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Sheila Morales is a full-time Parish Nurse at Hope Lutheran Church and Hope’s Hispanic ministry, Amigos en Cristo.

Sheila Morales is a full-time Parish Nurse at Hope Lutheran Church and Hope’s Hispanic ministry, Amigos en Cristo.

By Sheila Morales

BONITA SPRINGS, FL – Our mission is to “Heal our community, Mind, Body and Spirit”.  Our community is our church congregations and beyond to the cities of Bonita Springs and Estero.  This involves assessing our communities health needs, identifying community resources, health curriculum, and programs to address these needs.  This requires building community partnerships with health-providers, schools, city governments, non-profits, neighborhoods and businesses to create and provide health promotion activities and training.  The Faith Community Nurse Ministry is holistic encompassing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.  It is bible based. Christ was and is the greatest healer who can accomplish anything.  It is leading by example, demonstrating God’s love in all that we do.  It is compassionate, giving hope to those who suffer.  It is what Christ calls us to do!  Please feel free to contact Sheila F. Morales, Faith Community Nurse @ 239-919-2295 or sheila@hopebonita.org if you have questions of want to get involved in making our community healthy!

 

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FORT MYERS, FL – Amigos Center is one of three local non-profits chosen to be a recipient of a unique fundraising event being organized by a group of Hispanic community leaders.

Members of the Hispanic Heritage Festival & 5K events committee are pleased to invite the Fort Myers community and surrounding areas to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring generations of Hispanic Americans living in Southwest Florida, for their tremendous contributions to our culture and economy. The Hispanic Heritage Festival & 5K, presented by Fuccillo Kia of Cape Coral, takes place at Centennial Park on Saturday, September 24 starting at 7:30 a.m. for the 5K and will be an all-day event.

Event organizers and supporters plan to transform Centennial Park in Downtown Fort Myers into a diverse Latin entertainment arena, showcasing food, live music, arts, and culture. What’s more, several local nonprofits, including Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc. (ACT), CCMI, the Multicultural Centre and Amigos Center will benefit from the proceeds made from the 5K and soccer tournament.

“Lee County boasts a Hispanic population of nearly 20% of our 700,000+ residents,” shared Pastor Benjamin Flecha, Chairman of the Hispanic Heritage Festival, “We are excited to bring back the Hispanic Heritage Festival as an opportunity to not only share pride for the culture, but also to dedicate proceeds to organizations that have made a major impact on our community as a whole.”

Sponsorships from local businesses are now being accepted. In addition, all are invited to create teams for the 5K. Registration fees for the 5K start at $25. To find out more about how to become involved, please visit http://hispanicfestivalfortmyers.com/.

Karl Glander

Karl Glander

IMMOKALEE, FL – Come join us as we celebrate a milestone in the development of our mission work in Immokalee. On Sunday, October 16 at 5:00 PM we will ordain Vicar Karl Glander into the pastoral ministry of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.  We will also install Rev. Karl as a member of our Immokalee pastoral team.  The Rev. Dennis E. Glander, Karl’s father, will preach.

With Karl’s ordination, he will be the third pastor that Amigos en Cristo, Inc. will have trained, ordained and called into the pastoral ministry in the past three years. Karl will focus on the English speaking Hispanic and Haitian community in Immokalee.  God willing, our next pastor to train and ordain will be one of the men from our Hispanic congregation.

Our ministry model relies on the formation of a team of bi-vocational pastors, each with their own specialties and strengths. In addition to his pastoral duties, Karl will continue to serve as the Service Director of the Immokalee Amigos Center where he oversees our social service programs and staff.

For more information contact Vicar Karl at Karl@amigoscenter.org or the Rev. Robert Selle at bobsellle@amigoscenter.org

 

Querido Amigo en Cristo,

Te escribo deseándote las mejores bendiciones de nuestro Señor Jesucristo.  También, como alguien que ha apoyado nuestro ministerio en años recientes, me urge comunicarme contigo con el fin de solicitar tu opinión sobre el ministerio de nuestra iglesia.

Este año Amigos en Cristo celebra 16 años desde que comenzamos a ofrecer la misa en español, con Palabra y sacramento de nuestro Señor, en Bonita Springs. Durante estos años de ministerio he tenido el privilegio de celebrar:

  • 32 baptismos
  • 19 primera comunión
  • 22 confirmaciones de adultos
  • 7 bodas

Actualmente tenemos 56 familias, representando 159 almas, que están contados como amigos de la iglesia.

La asistencia en promedio a la misa dominical más alto para nosotros fue en el año 2010 con 47 personas. Desde aquel año, la asistencia a la misa dominical ha disminuido poco a poco cada año. Hasta la fecha, la asistencia para el año 2016 ha llegado a sólo 21 personas cada domingo.

Mientras el número de hispanos sigue aumentando en Bonita Springs y sus alrededores, la participación en nuestra iglesia disminuye. Eso me deja desconcertado.

El motivo de esta carta es solicitar tu opinión valiosa en cuanto a tu participación con este ministerio.

Solo debes responder las preguntas de la encuesta:

 

Bendiciones

 

Rvdo. Robert Selle

Pastor

  • Storytime Nana

Monday through Thursday mornings we have many children in our Immokalee Amigos Center that would love to have you read to them.  Our Storytime Nanas meet with the kids while their parents are occupied in our Amigos Center.  They meet in a kid friendly area of the Amigos Center where they can choose a book they can read and take home, play, enjoy a snack, crafts, etc.   The kids love it and so will you.  Call Donna for information (239) 281-1665.

 

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BONITA SPRINGS, FL – For the twelfth year in a row, Amigos Center will receive financial support from the United Way of Lee County.  In addition to providing financial support for our immigration services, United Way annually conducts a careful examination of our finances, management, sustainability and results produced.  This includes a visit by the allocation team to our office. After this year’s site visit the team reported their impressions of Amigos Center:

“The Team was pleased with the Agency’s presentation and they had a clear understanding of the value of the programs and the impact of United Way funding. The Team appreciated that the Agency walks the clients through the whole citizenship process, from start to finish. The Team was impressed with the Agency’s focused mission and the obvious positive impact that the program is having on the lives of immigrants.”

The team recommended an allocation of $42,000 for calendar year 2017: family immigration services $32,000 and $10,000 for our U-Visa Victims of Domestic Violence program. We are thankful for the support of the United Way and all the people of Lee County who provide financial and volunteer support to the United Way.

Christina Leddin (Immigration Specialist), Rev. Selle (CEO), Lindsay Ray (Immigration Attorney), Eileen Ortegon (Immigration Assistant), Donna Selle (Bookkeeper), Maria Isabel Diaz (Immigration Assistant)

Christina Leddin (Immigration Specialist), Rev. Selle (CEO), Lindsay Ray (Immigration Attorney), Eileen Ortegon (Immigration Assistant), Donna Selle (Bookkeeper), Maria Isabel Diaz (Immigration Assistant)

 

IMMOKALEE, FL – Nine Immokalee boys, from Kindergarten to 5th grade, had a blast during a three day Cub Scout event at the Immokalee Amigos Center this month.  Activities included chemical reactions, archery, slingshots, pinewood derby cars, arts & crafts and an awards ceremony at the end.  The boys learned about citizenship, respect for others and how to be a great leader in their family.

James Giles, Executive of the SWFL Alligator District led the day camp in order to raise awareness of the Boy Scouts of America in Immokalee. Amigos Center is a charter organization for Immokalee Cub Scout pack 7, meeting at Pinecrest Elementary.  For more info call Karl Glander, Amigos Center Service Director (239) 293-1489.

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Amigos en Cristo

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