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Nicaraguan Lutherans call for prayer, support following earthquake

June 15, 2016 No Comment
Distributing food and other supplies to those affected by the June earthquake.

Distributing food and other supplies to those affected by the June earthquake.

NICARAGUA – Late on June 9, a major earthquake struck Nicaragua near the community of Chinandega, damaging multiple buildings and homes.

The Lutheran Church—Synod of Nicaragua (Iglesia Luterana—Sínodo de Nicaragua – ILSN) has been hit particularly hard by the quake. “Our communities were severely affected by the earthquake,” ILSN President Marvin Donaire explains. “The people of La Joya, El Piloto, Rancheria, La Villa 15 de Julio, and Tonalas Morazan are sleeping on the street, because the earth continues shaking.” The ILSN is LCC’s partner church in the region and was founded through Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) missionary activity.

The initial quake, which measured 6.1 on the Richter Scale, had its epicenter near Chinandega, where LCC’s Mission Centre is located. The western coast of Nicaragua has suffered a series of aftershocks in the days following the earthquake, with magnitudes ranging from 4.4 to 5.1 so far. Aftershocks are expected to continue for weeks or even months.

A building damaged in the earthquake.

A building damaged in the earthquake.

President Donaire has called on the international Lutheran community for prayers and support. “Brothers, we need your prayer,” he said. “We need help for our brethren through your prayers. The entire western region has been damaged: homes have been destroyed and our churches severely damaged. May God bless you for your prayers.”

Lutheran Church–Canada is still assessing the full extent of the situation and determining how best to assist the Nicaraguan church. In the meantime, it is sending $3,000 USD immediately from its Emergency Relief Fund to assist with primary level needs, including purchasing food, blankets, and clothing to distribute to people in the affected area.

Families sleep in a make-shift shelter, following earthquakes and aftershocks.

Families sleep in a make-shift shelter, following earthquakes and aftershocks.

Roberto José, the administrator of LCC’s Mission Centre in Chinandega, is conducting field visits in order to prepare estimates of additional needs. “We are waiting on additional details from the Mission Centre at this time,” explains Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel, LCC’s Executive for Missions and Social Ministry. “We are ready to send additional funds to help with relief efforts as needs become better known.”

For more information on LCC’s work in Nicaragua and how you can support it, contact Dr. Neitzel at missions@lutheranchurch.ca or by calling 1-800-588-4226 (ext. 2215). You can support LCC’s Missions and Social Ministry services through online giving at www.lutheranchurch.ca, or by sending donations by mail to LCC’s office in Winnipeg:

Lutheran Church–Canada
3074 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB  R3K 0Y2
Canada

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