On August 3, 2014, we received Sotera del Carmen Zapata as a communicant member by confirmation. Sotera is a widowed lady who lives a few doors down from us. She began attending our Sunday service occasionally, then more frequently, and finally expressed her desire to receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
Luz Maria and I began visiting her and studying Luther's Small Catechism with her. In a short time she was ready to be confirmed. The Old Testament lesson appointed for the seventh Sunday after Trinity, Isaiah 62:6-12, provided her confirmation verse: "Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him." I preached the sermon on this text. You can read the English translation here.
For her confirmation, I presented Sotera with a copy of the Bible (the Reina-Valera Spanish translation) with Luther's Small Catechism included as an appendix. We just received another package of these Bibles, published by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation of Macomb, Michigan, thanks to the efforts of Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones (CPTLN), the Venezuelan arm of Lutheran Hour Ministries. We are grateful to have received the shipment, because importing any type of merchandise into Venezuela is not easy these days.
Soon after becoming a communicant member, Sotera accompanied Luz Maria and her daughter, Yepci Santana, to a regional convention of the Venezuelan Lutheran women's organization, Sociedad Luterana de Damas Venezolanas (SOLUDAVE) in Taguay, in the state of Aragua. Thirty-two women from the Western and Central Zones of the Lutheran Church of Venezuela, three national pastors, and Alexander Pérez, director of CPTLN Venezuela, attended the gathering. Alexander Pérez presented each participant with a copy of the Reina-Valera Bible plus Small Catechism. Luz Maria distributed 15 sets of flash cards explaining the Lutheran liturgy.