The Preus Family in the Dominican Republic Winter Newsletter
“Christ your King”
Devotion by Pastor David Preus
God desires to be your king. He made his intentions very clear when delivered his people from slavery in Egypt: “I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God” (Ex 6:7). But the people of Israel did not want God as their king. They wanted a different king, they explained, “that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles” (1 Sam 8:19–20). And God permitted it. It was as if to say: 

“Fine, make yourselves a king. Here’s Saul. He’s tall and handsome. That should make you happy for a while. But I will foil your plans. You will see. I will reject Saul and raise up a shepherd to rule over you. He will be my “servant” (Ezek. 34:23), and his kingdom will last forever (2 Sam. 7:16, 1 Kings 9:5). His throne will ensure that I, and nobody else, remain your God and King forever.”
Here’s how it worked. God made David into a great king, but not without teaching him and disciplining him like a good father disciplines his children. Through the mouth of the prophet, Nathan, God humbled David with his law and restored him with his gospel (2 Sam 12:1–13). Thus, God made an example of his servant, so that his people might learn not to trust in princes. For, as the psalm says: 

“His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love” (Psalm 147:10–11). 

As great and vast and powerful as David’s kingdom was, it had its limits. As it turned out, David wasn’t even permitted to build the Lord’s temple because he had spent too much of his life shedding blood and expanding his territories (1 Chron. 28:3). Yet, throughout all of the politicking and blood shedding and nation building, God, for his part, was preserving a royal line from which David’s Son would become David’s Lord (Psalm 110:1).
To ensure that he might remain “your” God and King, the Lord God was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary (Isa 7:14, Luke 1:30–35). There, when the time was fulfilled, God’s eternal Son joined our human flesh to his divine person and became God with us, forever Immanuel. The Child was born “unto us,” says Isaiah (Isa 9:6), and that was how God became our King. But, unlike earthly kings, who require their subjects to serve them, Jesus came not to be served, but to serve and give his life a ransom for many (Matt 20:28). Upon the shoulders of the Child born to Mary rested the government of this world (Isa 9:6), the key of David (Isa 22:22), the shame of the cross, and the burden of our sin (1 Pet. 2:24). Born of a woman, born under the law, he who was called “Jesus” redeemed us who were under the law (Gal. 4:4–5), so that we might be his own and live under him in his kingdom and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence and blessedness.

Today, Jesus, our Immanuel, sits on the throne of David, where he proclaims the gospel to every nation, intercedes for us sinners at the right hand of the Father, and rules us with the Spirit of his power and grace! Consider the great expanse of Immanuel’s kingdom! Isaiah says: “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end” (Isa 9:7). If you have flesh and blood and you live on this earth, then God has made himself your King. This is most certainly true. You asked for a king. You got it. God in his great mercy has given you a King. He’s yours. To the shepherds in the fields where David, too, once kept watch over his sheep, the angels brought good tidings of great joy that was to be for all people. The Christmas gospel proclaimed to those shepherds is intended for you: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). 

Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child:
Make thee a bed soft, undefiled
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for thee!
Mission Work Updates

Pictured at the top of our newsletter are many of our Lutheran pastors and seminarians from across the DR and Latin American region, who joined together for a Reformation Divine Service at Las Americas Iglesia Luterana in Santo Domingo on October 28. Pictured further below in the lower blue portion of this section are some of our new and returning seminarians for the 2018/2019 academic year. That picture was taken at our missionary Thanksgiving fiesta at the regional office in Santiago. This year we have returning students from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Chile, and Venezuela. We also have two new students from Spain and Venezuela, not to mention our current vicars, serving in Belize, Chile, and Peru.

Following support-raising in the US, Pastor Preus resumed his teaching duties for the winter quarter on November 26 and is teaching Dogmatics II and Confessions. Along with his associate Pastor Idjon, duties in Palmar continue in full swing, with Bible classes, Wednesday and Sunday church services, and home visits. He spends most week day mornings at the seminary in his capacity as chaplain and professor, returns home for lunch or eats with the seminarians in their dorm, and then returns a few nights per week to Palmar for visits or church services. His schedule has also been determined for the spring seminary quarter, and includes History of the Church III (Modern) and Dogmatics III.
Church services continue at Palmar Arriba with 8am Sunday Matins and 7:30pm Wednesday Divine Service
With new and returning seminary students from across the region, we are reaching the mid-point of our second year in session.
Monthly Friday men's Bible study, being led by seminarista Isaac Machado from Venezuela.
A new and growing mission plant in Santo Domingo at Ozama, led by friend and colleague Pastor Sergio Maita.
Pastor Preus and Rebekah returning from a weekly confirmation class in Palmar. Rebekah will be confirmed December 23!
Pastor Idjon preaching at a Sunday service
After-service announcements
Reflections from home, by Jennifer

It ’s amazing how quickly things fall into a routine again once we return to the field. Following our two months of support-raising in the US, our school year resumed in full force along with Spanish classes and other extra-curricular activities. We took a couple of days to make a field trip to a chocolate factory about an hour north of us, as well as a day at the beach before David resumed teaching duties for the winter quarter. It was fun to learn about the process of harvesting, shelling, roasting, grinding, mixing, forming, and packaging chocolate bars for sale at local stores across the DR. We also purchased a 12-ft trampoline and set it up on top of our fenced-in rooftop. The kids enjoy at least an hour a day of jumping and playing up there, which makes us happy since opportunities for outside activity and exercise have decreased since moving here. Andreas (2) now requests, "Trampoline?" as soon as he wakes up in the morning, but has to wait until after 5pm when the sun isn't as strong.
I resumed prenatal care with a doctor at our main hospital here in Santiago. Everything has been progressing well with the pregnancy, for which we are thankful to God. After consulting with various folks here in the DR and back in the States, we have determined it will be best for me and the kids to return to the states for the delivery, so we will staying with David's parents in Montana to have the baby. David will be continuing with teaching and pastoral duties in Santiago while traveling back and forth a couple of times for the birth and to visit. By the time this baby is delivered, I will have seen 7 different OBs for my check-ups and care - 2 in the DR, 3 in Minnesota, 1 in Missouri, and 1 in Montana. I guess that's missionary life for you when you're growing a family along with everything else!
Rebekah has been taking confirmation classes this year and we look forward to her being confirmed in the faith of the Evangelical Lutheran Church at our Christmas Divine Service this December 23, along with five other confirmands in Palmar Arriba. We have enjoyed this Advent season with nightly family devotions reading through the book of Luke and daily O Antiphon services in Palmar. We eagerly anticipate our Christmas Day service this Sunday along with a shared meal of sancocho (a type of Dominican stew, meant to be shared with close friends) and confirmation cake following the service!
Some of the kids after church Sunday
Many happy reunions with missionary friends upon our return from travels!
Our kids playing at recess with some of the children from the day school.
Mid-November fun in the sun at Caberete,
about two hours northeast of Santiago.
Jenny at a lady's gathering with friends.
Until next time...
We are thankful to God for another year lived under his grace and for the physical health to continue living and serving here in Santiago. We also look forward to the gift of new life, another little boy due this February. They say that missionary life gets easier the longer you are on the field. Now that we have been here for over two years, we can attest to that being the case. While there are still unexpected challenges and hurdles to overcome with continued cultural differences, language challenges, frequent power outages, relentless bugs, and unexpected costs, the foreign is becoming a bit more familiar, and this family of ten is definitely here to stay for awhile. Praise God for that!
Peace to you in Christ this holiday season. Thank you for your continued prayers and support for our work here in the Dominican Republic.
In the name of our Savior Jesus,
Pastor David and Jenny Preus and children
Contact Mailing address: 

Preus family
Apartado 1356 Santiago, Dominican Republic

To support our work financially, you may send a tax-deductible gift to: 
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod P.O. Box 66861 St. Louis, MO 63166-6861 
Make checks payable to The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod or LCMS. Include "Preus-Dominican" in the memo line. Gifts can also be given securely online through the LCMS website at