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Alberta congregation adopts Nicaragua project

September 30, 2010 No Comment

LETHBRIDGE, Alberta – When the congregation of Iglesia Evangelica Luterana Nueva Jerusalen in Villa Salvadorita, Nicaragua recognized the need for additional space to carry on its community outreach work, help came all the way from Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lethbridge.

Immanuel Lutheran Church has raised both the funds and the support required to sponsor this project and help construct a classroom addition to the community’s current worship facility.

“As we studied the various projects listed on Lutheran Church–Canada’s website, we felt that the construction project in Villa Salvadorita was a project we could manage with the financial and people resources we had available,” explains Pastor Richard Brown.

The Lutheran congregation in Villa Salvadorita will add classroom space thanks to Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lethbridge, Alberta

A team of ten people plan to travel to Nicaragua, visit the Mission Centre in Chinandega, work on the addition to the church, and assist the local pastor and deaconess with the congregation’s children’s ministry. In addition, the participants will take craft supplies, T- shirts, ball caps, and sports equipment such as soccer balls for the community’s children.

To raise funds for the effort, Immanuel put aside “loose” offerings for 2010. Individuals choosing to donate toward the considerable cost of the mission trip rather than actually travelling to Nicaragua supplemented the fund. (All the volunteers pay for the cost of their own travel and accommodation, which amounts to approximately $2,000 per person.)

A September pie auction, complete with an authentic auctioneer, raised nearly $2,800 more for the endeavour.

“The members of the congregation embraced this mission due to the stories shared by Pastor Ralph Mayan at the ABC District convention in Vancouver,” says Pastor Brown. “He challenged me and our lay delegate, Linda Egli, with the need for support at the mission centre in Chinandega and for the pastors and deaconesses who work in small, economically challenged communities.

“When we approached the congregation with this possibility, we recognized that those who participated would see firsthand the ‘fields that are ripe unto harvest.’ We pray that this project will sensitize the whole congregation to the challenge of cross-cultural mission. We will travel to Nicaragua November 8 and return on November 18 and would appreciate the prayer support of the members of Lutheran Church–Canada congregations.

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