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LCC explores overseas mission team partnership

August 12, 2011 2 Comments

Carly Stevens (executive director, MOST Ministries); Rev. Dr. Robert Bugbee (LCC president); Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel (LCC mission executive)

For the past ten years Lutheran Church–Canada’s mission in Nicaraguaand Iglesia Luterana Sínondo de Nicaragua have benefitted from visiting mission teams organized by Mission Opportunities Short Term (MOST) Ministries. As another Canadian team prepares to work on a water project in Nicaragua in November, MOST Ministries’ Executive Director Carly Stevens visited with LCC’s executive team Thursday, August 11 to discuss a closer relationship between the two organizations.

Established 22 years ago, MOST, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, organizes, trains, leads and works out logistics for short-term mission teams. At the invitation of a host country church body the teams usually conduct eye-glass, medical or dental clinics but will undertake projects determined by the national churches. Ms. Stevens notes that MOST’s goal is “helping others achieve their mission and ministry goals.”

Meeting with the executive director were LCC President Robert Bugbee; Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel (LCC mission executive); Dwayne Cleave (LCC treasurer) and Dr. Ian Adnams (LCC communications director). “We are grateful to God for the work of MOST teams, especially inNicaragua,” explained Dr. Neitzel. “Now we are exploring how we can work more closely in other ways and in other places.”

The discussions included an overview of MOST Ministries and Lutheran Church–Canada and how a US-based agency could operate in support of a Canadian church within Canada’s non-profit tax regulations. LCC Treasurer Dwayne Cleave and accounting manager Jim Clark will research this with Canada Revenue Agency.

LCC’s representatives noted that the strengths MOST brings to short-term mission teams is spiritual and cultural preparation, experienced onsite leadership and a comprehensive post-mission trip debriefing. The primary focus for MOST’s involvement with LCC would be overseas teams travelling on behalf of the synod rather congregation- or circuit-based groups, although they would be free to work with MOST if it was beneficial.

Ms. Stevens first encountered MOST Ministries and LCC’s work in Nicaragua while serving as an LCMS missionary inPanama in 2002. LCC missionary, Rev. Sandor Arguello, used MOST’s eyeglass and medical clinics to expand LCC’s mission into new areas of Nicaragua. As the overseas teams carried out their responsibilities, pastors would share the Gospel with those waiting in line. When LCC’s Nicaraguan mission expanded into Honduras and Costa Rica, MOST teams conducted eye-glass clinics, along with VBS and ESL servant events to make contact with the communities.

MOST is a Registered Service Organization of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.