Pastor Joel and Clarion Fritsche | LCMS - Dominican Republic
The Pandemic has had a profound affect on Pastor, his family, his parish and the seminary where he teaches. Joel and Clarion traveled back to the US to drop their son off at St. Paul Lutheran High School in Concordia, MO, and as they were planning on returning home, Joel’s mother suddenly passed away in Houston (not from COVID). So Clarion and Joel spent time with funeral arrangements and helping his father with this sudden change.
Leaving was hard, however circumstances in the DR were calling them home. The Dominican Republic still has curfews and restrictions in place as of today and the seminary students were not able to return to their home countries, so they quickly adapted and provided summer courses thanks to a generous donation from a church in Texas! Classes are virtual still, but the students are taking their situation in stride.
As far as his church, COVID has forced many members to attend virtually and when in-person worship opened up at the end of June, many members have not come back, which necessitates home visitations and outreach. One tragedy, a member who was already in ill health, contracted COVID and passed away, His death was very difficult, and Pastor stayed with his wife at the hospital and went home with her to tell his children.
With all the upheaval the pandemic has wrought, Joel remains thankful for so many things: his family’s continued health, being able to teach Greek to his seminarians, being able to show God’s love to the people of Pueblo Nuevo, and being able to commune again with his church family. Please continue to pray for this vital mission and for the health of the Fritsche’s and bring back the scattered sheep that have not returned to church since COVID.
For more information on their ministry, please click HERE.
Missionaries across the globe need our fervent prayers more than ever. Many of them are quarantined and not able to provide fully to the people most in need. Some are providing online support to their students, their congregations and their staff, while others cannot provide online support due to the poverty in their region. Many of the missionaries highlight how the COVID pandemic has affected them.
To learn more about all our missions and missionaries, please click HERE.