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New President in Nicaraguan Partner Church

January 11, 2012 No Comment


Newly elected President Picado reads from Scripture while President Bugbee looks on

by Robert Bugbee

Dear friends,

It has been an encouraging (and, oh yes, warm!) few days here at the Third Convention of the Iglesia Luterana Sínodo de Nicaragua (ILSN) (Lutheran Church Synod of Nicaragua), which ended Sunday at the Mission Centre Chapel near Chinandega. Delegates elected Rev. Marvin Antonio Donaire Picado as their new president over incumbent Rev. Luis Antonio Diaz Turcios. Rev. Picado serves a three point parish in the towns of La Joya, El Piloto, and Rancheria.

It is great to see the Nicaraguans learning how to structure their work, compile reports, and become accountable to their congregations and members. The number of congregations – now standing at 22 – has not increased significantly in the past two years, but I understand that this is largely due to a shortage of available pastors. The new class of pastoral and deaconess candidates includes 12 men destined for pastoral ministry and 19 women training to serve as deaconesses. What a strong response and interest! The synod is anxious to expand its work to places like Corinto, a Pacific seaside community near Chinandega (headquarters of the ILSN), but also as far away as Bluefields, a former English settlement on the Atlantic side which is distant and isolated from Nicaragua’s “mainstream,” so to speak.

Dr. Leonardo Neitzel and I both had opportunity to do teaching and preaching during these days. Sunday morning’s large closing service of Holy Communion was impressive; there is a strong receptivity among these people to the Word. I’m always amazed at the mixture of joy and earnestness you find in their services. At the close of the service, outgoing President Luis formally installed the new leaders of the Synod, who will officially begin their duties February 7.

Outgoing President Turcios presides at the convention's opening service

It’s 32 Celsius today in Chinandega – more like a Canadian July than January! They see me struggle with the heat and tell me to be glad I’ve come now, rather than in the rainy season, when temperatures can soar as high as 41 Celsius with lots of humidity.

I do hope you’ll keep the synod’s new leaders down here in your prayers, and I thank God when I hear the reports of individual LCC members and congregations who have made the trip to Nicaragua to teach children, to build chapels, to do veterinary work, and countless other needed tasks. It is an honour also to stand among the members of this young church and to tell them on your behalf of the love you have for them, which, in the end, is kindled by the love of Jesus Christ Himself, who binds us together across oceans, miles, and borders!


Rev. Dr. Robert Bugbee is President of Lutheran Church–Canada.

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