by Rev. Dr. Ralph Mayan
The congregation of Estrella de Belén Luterana in La Resistencia, a barrio of Chinandega, Nicaragua gathered in celebration this past Sunday to celebrate an answer to prayer and a gift of land from God through St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Leduc, Alberta.
Two Sunday’s ago, the congregation had been worshipping in the local community centre (as they have for many years) when their worship was interrupted by a loud disturbance outside. Two of the community’s political organizations were disputing responsibility for the centre and the right to put their flags on the building. The dispute was getting out of hand and fearful that someone might get hurt or even killed, the worshipping community left the building.Since it was their desire not to be identified with either group or caught up in the dispute, Pastor Luis and the congregation decided that it would not be wise to continue to use the centre. But where would they worship and where could the children gather for their Christian Children’s Education Program during the week? They would have to meet in someone’s home and pray that God would provide in due time.
And God did! Little did this small community of Estrella de Belén know that on the very Sunday this disturbance occurred a note would be sent from St. Peter’s in Leduc indicating their desire to take on a building project in La Resistencia which included the purchase of land for a church. Within two weeks land was purchased with a small house on it. Worship was conducted in that house yesterday and today the children will gather there for their Christian Education Program. St. Peter’s Lutheran will be sending a volunteer team to work with the congregation in building their church the latter part of March 2011.