by Leonardo Neitzel
My mission trip to Nicaragua this time included a visit to Honduras with the president of the Iglesia Luterana Sinodo de Nicaragua (ILSN) Pastor Luis Turcios. In Tegucigalpa we met with Pastor Edmundo Auger, a Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod pastor serving in the Cayman Islands and with Tulio Cesar Mejia, who lives in Tegucigalpa, the capital city. We wanted to explore and discuss the possibility of mission work with LCC’s missionary, Pastor Douglas Aguillar, who is established and serving in the northern part of the country, Olanchito.
Tulio, a young church leader, took Lutheran Church–Canada-sponsored seminary classes in the Iglesia Luterana Sínodo de Nicaragua (ILSN), worked as lay evangelist volunteer in Panama, and is currently conducting Bible classes with children in Tegucigalpa. Pastor Auger has mentored Tulio and is very encouraged with the work he’s doing.
At our meeting we agreed that Tulio should continue his seminary training at the ILSN as part of the new class starting in October 2011. He will work with Pastor Douglas and both men will report to the ILSN and LCC on their missionary programs. Rev. Auger will visit Tulio during the year, study foundational theological doctrine and related areas with him, mentoring and supporting his work with Pastor Douglas. Rev. Auger, in his kindness, offered to assist in special gatherings and mission outreach events in both places, encouraging our church workers in their family life as well as in the work of the mission.
President Luis and I travelled to Olanchito where Pastor Douglas gathers children and adults under trees to proclaim the Gospel. We had the opportunity to take part in one of these events which gathered about eighty people. There is a small and faithful group of people who own a piece of land donated by the Lutheran Church in Victoria, B.C. They would like to have their church built as soon as possible. Dr. Paul Loofs and his wife, Elia Enid de Loofs, originally members of the church in Victoria, live in Olanchito and have been of great blessing and very supportive of the work in that area.
The congregation’s challenge is now building a church, but they don’t have finances. They own the property, have a blueprint for a good-sized church building, a cost estimate, and are working on the building permit. They would welcome any financial support or labour work in their endeavour.
As in Nicaragua, it would be possible for LCC to arrange the building project in Olanchito to be carried out in stages until completion. A volunteer team of builders could lay the foundations in the first stage, then the walls, roof, doors and windows until it’s finished.
We pray and trust the Lord will provide these brothers and sisters with help from North American teams to help them build a place for them to continue worshipping the Lord and proclaiming His Gospel to the people in Olanchito.
Rev. Leonardo Neitzel is Lutheran Church–Canada’s executive responsible for overseas missions.