HISPANIC MISSION SOCIETY SERVING OUR COMMUNITY
According to Pastor Tomas Angon, the NWI Hispanic Mission Society held its first worship service at Immanuel on Reformation Sunday in 1994, led by Samuel Ruiz, a Cuban transplant living in Valparaiso. Until then, the Hispanic Mission had been offering Bible classes in peoples’ homes. After launching worship services, the Hispanic Mission continued their outreach, helping people who are learning English with things like transportation and translation during doctor and court visits.
A preschool program designed to help Hispanic children get ready for kindergarten grew into a tutoring program for elementary and middle school children. There was instruction in English as a Second Language (ESL) as well as homework help.
Working with area Hispanic children made it clear to Pr. Angon that the Mission needed to support parents, too. “We would be able to bear more fruit in what we were doing by inviting the parents to learn the language and learn how to support their kids.” Thus, the Compass tutoring program was developed, tutoring children and offering ESL classes and citizenship preparation to the parents. Compass began as a response to a need in the Hispanic community but has since grown to help people from all over the world. This Gloria Dei program has helped more the 50 people become citizens and 25 children successfully apply for the DACA program.
In addition to Compass International, Gloria Dei sponsors a yearly Cinco de Mayo celebration, a Folkloric dance troupe, and the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) on Good Friday. Beginning in February, Gloria Dei and Immanuel will be joining together for bilingual worship services from time to time.
When asked about the NWI Hispanic Mission’s relationship with Immanuel, Pr. Angon said, “We are thankful for the Immanuel community because they have been with us from the beginning. They are our extended family, under the same cross and sharing the same Gospel.”
For the next three months, the NWI Hispanic Mission Society will be the mission emphasis at Immanuel, and Pr. Angon is deeply grateful to the congregation for their continued financial support.
Written by Lisa Swayne
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At Immanuel, we believe that you can be transformed by experiencing life with God in Christ. Our mission is to equip people for this kind of transformation by connecting people with Christ in a life of worship, learning, and service, whether you are exploring Christianity for the first time or grew up attending church.