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New Spanish VBS resources delight Nicaraguan church workers

January 9, 2012 No Comment

Boys in Somotillo, Nicaragua show their colouring expertise

by Jane Ford

From December 12-18, 2011, pastors and deaconesses from Iglesia Luterana Sínod de Nicaragua (Lutheran Church Synod of Nicaragua) (ILSN) completed a test run of a new free Spanish-language vacation Bible school (VBS) program.

The process began almost a year ago when veteran leader of VBS teams to Nicaragua, Jane Ford, volunteered to work with Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) to write a 5-day program using already-tested strategies from previous experiences. Following doctrinal review of the material, the lessons were translated into Spanish by Rev Sándor Arguëllo, retired LCC missionary to Nicaragua. Artwork for the VBS was provided by 18-year old Rebecca King with preliminary illustrations by Suzanne Korsch, both of Faith Lutheran Church (Kitchener, Ontario). The result was 80 pages of resources.

The lessons focus on Christ and use a selection of Bible stories that include children and titled “Niños de la Biblia” (Children of the Bible). The 10 Commandments, the Creed, and daily Bible verses were introduced throughout the week. A special component of the lessons was the option to conduct an adult VBS class for parents who bring their children to the school. Guidelines on parenting and general Christian living were also included.

Canadians assisting with VBS in Nicaragua recognize the escalating costs of Spanish resources both to buy and ship. These increase exponentially when 200 or more children are expected. By keeping material simple and reproducible, the Nicaraguans themselves will continue to use the program at minimal costs.

For ILSN Executives President Rev Luis Turcios and Secretary Deaconess Carmen Martinez who reviewed the material, it was a delight to read, both for content and for ease of adaptability for large or small groups. “This is exactly what we need” smiled President Luis, who visited the test run of the VBS in Somotillo, Nicaragua, a remote community where few Christian resources are available.

“Niños de la Biblia” was formally presented as a gift from Lutheran Church–Canada to the Lutheran churches in Nicaragua, Honduras, and Costa Rica at the 2012 ILSN National Convention in January. Plans are also underway to translate the material into Portuguese for use in Brazil and into French for use in Quebec.


Jane Ford has visited Nicaragua regularly since 2006. She serves on the Committee for Missions and Social Ministry Services for Lutheran Church–Canada, and is a member of Faith Lutheran (Kitchener, Ontario).

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