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Nicaraguan church president visits Winnipeg

July 22, 2011 One Comment

ILSN President Luis Turcio discusses the work of the Nicaraguan church with Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel

The president of Iglesia Luterana Sínodo de Nicaragua, Pastor Luis Turcios spent two days in Winnipeg July 20-21 meeting with Lutheran Church–Canada’s mission executive Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel. The two discussed issues and challenges facing the missions of LCC and ILSN in Central America.

On Thursday, July 21 the president led devotions for LCC staff, translated by Dr. Neitzel. Based on Ephesians 6:13-16, he talked about the need for all believers to be clothed in Christ as we come against the “gods of this world.” Following the devotion the president expressed his thanks to LCC for its continuing support.

“What a blessing for President Luis to visit us in Winnipeg,” said Dr. Neitzel. “Now he has had the chance to put faces to the voices he hears on the phone!”

President Luis noted that as the ILSN approaches its third biennial convention in January 2012, it faces three important challenges: the need for more pastors; the increasing need for Christian resources in Spanish; and meeting the growing desire within the church for more outreach. He also said the Nicaraguan church is very aware of its dependence on Lutheran Church–Canada and other funding sources and is actively seeking ways to become self-supporting.

One project to help church workers supplement their income is through “micro-loans.” Through LCC’s mission office in Chinandega, pastors and deaconesses take out small loans at low-interest rates to finance small businesses. Some plant crops to sell at the market, others buy common food items in bulk, put together food hampers and sell them. Pastor Luis was quick to point out that the pastors and deaconesses use these opportunities to speak to people about the Gospel. “Each project is proclamation focused,” he said.

He also reported that as a result of the medical clinic, where a pastor is always on site to speak with patients, a youth group now meets in the Martin Luther Chapel on the grounds of the mission centre.

“Like any four-year-old, the Nicaraguan church is learning and slowly understanding who it is,” explained Dr. Neitzel. “LCC, as parent, is lovingly providing guidance and support but always allowing room for independence. We thank God for this wonderful relationship He has given us.”

One of the issues on the agenda for the meeting included the emergency food fund set up in 2008 to assist pastors with increasing costs of basic food items such as rice, beans and cooking oil. The fund is now depleted, having lasted almost a year longer than expected due to good stewardship by the ILSN.

President Luis’ visit is the result of an invitation he received from President Bugbee to attend LCC’s June synodical convention in Hamilton. He applied for and received a visa from the Canadian government but it did not arrive in time and it is good until November. While in Canada the president is also visiting his sister-in-law and her husband in Grenfell, Saskatchewan.

One Comment »

  • Assefa said:

    It is good to know what is going on out of Canada I learn that the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Chirst is being spread all over the world!
    To hear what is going on around in Nicaraguan is amazing.
    Keep up the excellent work that the good Lord has started.
     Assefa Aredo.

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