Nicaraguan women benefit from LWMLC mentorship
NICARAGUA – In 2014 under the guidance of Lutheran Church–Canada’s (LCC) Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel, the Sister to Sister program was conceived. The vision of the Sister to Sister program is that members of Lutheran Women’s Missionary League–Canada (LWMLC) mentor and encourage the women of the overseas mission areas of LCC.
Since women and children make up a large percentage of the mission churches, Canadian women have a unique opportunity to serve them as encouragers and mentors. In December 2016, six LWMLC members put that into practice for the women of Iglesia Luterana Sinodo de Nicaragua (ILSN), by presenting a seminar entitled “The Life of the Christian Woman” in four locations.
Deaconesses of the ILSN provided suggestions for the program. One deaconess, Maricela Osorio, worked with our team throughout the planning process, joining the Canadian team for online meetings, and traveling with them while in Nicaragua. The program presented was “The Life of the Christian Woman.” Over a day and a half in each of four communities the team explored the lives of women in the Bible and the lessons they give us. They then discussed their own lives, especially how all are called to serve God no matter what their station in life.
Each congregation was left with a banner that can be used and expanded on by them in the future. Participants also shared an afternoon of beading while discussing Pearls of Wisdom—a look at some of the characteristics of a Christian woman. Each women received a prayer booklet that included Bible passages and a prayer for each day of the week.
The conferences embraced common Lutheran beliefs between Nicaraguans and Canadians by opening and closing each day with devotions based on Luther’s morning and evening prayers.
Seminars were held at the Mission Centre in Chinandega where about 60 women attended; in Granada, where about 15 women attended; in Matagalpa, where about 15 attended; and in Cartego, Costa Rica where about 12 women attended. The Canadian team was able to develop relationships with more than 100 women (plus a few children) as sisters in Christ. “We left them with the message that God has a plan for their lives,” said LWMLC President Iris Barta. “They can serve Him boldly knowing that He will not let His plan fail. Each of them has a special part to play in His master plan. We left them also knowing their sisters in Canada love them, care about them, and will bring them to God in prayer.”
This was the third time LWLMC has been represented in Central America. In 2008 ISLN President Sandor Arguello invited LWMLC to send a team of women to encourage the women in Nicaragua. A servant event was presented by fourteen LWMLC members in several locations in Nicaragua.
In 2014 President Iris Barta was invited by ILSN President Marvin Donair, to Nicaragua to present a seminar to the ILSN deaconesses. The program was designed with advice from a small team of ILSN deaconesses. Over three days of Bible study, crafts, and devotion, the meaning of the motto of LWMLC, Called to Serve, was explored. Deaconesses were encouraged to take the materials and concepts back to their home congregations. Women from Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatamala attend the session at the mission centre in Chinandega.