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LCC on the road: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few”—Theological education in Nicaragua

August 14, 2012 One Comment

Seminary students of Iglesia Luterana Sínodo de Nicaragua

by Leonardo Neitzel

NICARAGUA – It has been amazing to see the fields of sandias (watermelons) in Nicaragua these days, even though it has not rained much this year. As one drives on the highways, large, grown-up watermelons are easily spotted, lying in the fields waiting to be harvested. There are lots of boots along the carreteras (highway) and people waiting to make some money. A ten to twelve pound sandia is sold for 25 Córdobas—around one dollar. They are sweet as honey. There is a sense of urgency in the sandia business for if they are not picked they will spoil.

The fourth intensive session of seminary classes in Nicaragua has just been completed, and the same sense of urgency for harvest is evident. There are 40 students in the class: 15 men in the pastoral ministry program and 25 women in the diaconate program. For over one year, several of these students have received daily mentorship from their pastors and been involved in ongoing practical church, education, and mission work. The students have yet a long way to go in their training, both academically and practically. However, it has been interesting to witness the level of their maturity and spirituality in class discussions and small groups. They have a clear perception of their role in the church and mission as future pastors or deaconesses. Their discussions are often geared toward starting new missions or witnessing the Gospel to people on a personal level.

I see this as a positive and powerful tension in theological training. The pastors in Nicaragua are few compared to the number of their congregations. There are currently 13 pastors and 23 congregations. The harvest is indeed great, and in mercy the Lord of the Church has provided Word and Sacrament to all congregations in Nicaragua. Besides this, the church workers continue to reach out with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to new areas. Our pastors near the capital city of Managua have four of their members studying at the seminary. These students are learning to work with children in the Education Program, and to reach out with the Gospel into Managua. Contacts have been established already and, according to the Lord’s strength and guidance, a new mission station may be established in the near future.

It is very common to hear the seminary students speak in this way: “Nicaragua is a large country with many people, and we are in only one part of the country. Our goal is to reach out to the entire county with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” There is also one student from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, being trained at the seminary for pastoral ministry.

As Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) continues to invest greatly in the training of church workers for Central America, we thank the Lord for providing workers for His harvest field. And we pray that He will continue to provide the financial resources necessary for the Church to carry on His mission in that area.

For more information on supporting LCC’s mission work in Nicaragua, other parts of Central America, or Ukraine, Thailand, and Cambodia, please, contact LCC Mission Executive Leonardo Neitzel at missions@lutheranchurch.ca.

——————–

Rev. Dr. Leonardo is Executive for Missions and Social Ministry for Lutheran Church–Canada.

One Comment »

  • Aredo assefa said:

     It is wonderfull work of our God in this last days.
    it is my prayer and support for a mission  work by Lutheran Church of Canada.
    God bless you Dr Leonardo.
    Assefa A

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