This past week, Iglesia Luterana Sinodo de Nicaragua and our LCC Mission were privileged to welcome a team from Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Kitchener, Ontario into our midst. The team consisted of 14 individuals; eight members were high school and university students. The team was led by Oleg Schewtschenko, our Synod’s Foreign Mission student from Ukraine presently studying at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catharines, Ontario. Pastor Woody Hamp also traveled with the team
The majority of the team were involved in conducting a children’s program in two different communities in the Chinendega area. In the mornings they traveled to Santa Patricia and in the afternoons they carried out their program in El Piloto. I recall the reaction of the team after that first day. They were overwhelmed by the number of children who gathered. They had not expected to have such a response and they weren’t really prepared to work with that many children. But after several classes they were able to make the necessary adjustments to their program to meet both the numbers and the needs of the children. As the week went on, the team became more united and more focussed on their mission – and that was sharing the love of Jesus.
And the children loved it! That was easy to see in the faces of all the children who gathered each day. Those smiles the team will remember as they return to their homes and as they tell their stories. It was an uplifting and faith strengthening experience for the team and all for those with whom they worked.
Another team member was a veterinary, Dr. Jeffrey Sommer. He together with another team member,Victoria visited in the area around Rancheria tending to the needs of some 300 plus horses and cattle. Accompanying them were Pastor Marvin and Deaconess Elizbeth who not only kept order as the farmers gathered with their animals, but used the opportunity to visit sharing who they were and whom they represented. The best way to describe the response of Jeff to the whole experience is in what he said to me just before leaving. “Can you store my boots and work clothes here at the mission centre? I plan to come back and maybe bring along a colleague or two! Our thanks to Holy Cross for sending and supporting the team!