Nicaraguan church takes aim at Managua this year

Representatives from the Nicaraguan church and Lutheran Hour Ministries discuss strategy for Managua outreach.

Representatives from the Nicaraguan church and Lutheran Hour Ministries discuss strategy for Managua outreach.

Since the founding of Iglesia Luterana Sinodo de Nicaragua (ILSN) in 2008, the pastors and deaconesses have dreamed of the day their young church could establish itself in their nation’s capital, Managua. The dream is now becoming a reality.

In October 2014 the ILSN along with Lutheran Church–Canada and the local office of Lutheran Hour Ministries established a plan to begin planting Gospel seeds in Managua. The prayer is that the Holy Spirit will use this proclamation to call people to faith in Christ and gather them into a community of believers — a new congregation.

Concordia Lutheran Mission Society is privileged to supply some of the funds needed for this visionary endeavour. And we would be honoured if you would help too.

Here’s a link to find out more. 

Anniversary of loss and hope in Thailand

Some of the members of the Lutheran congregation in Kok Kloi, Thailand.

Some of the members of the Lutheran congregation in Kok Kloi, Thailand.

Ten years ago on December 26 a deadly tsunami hit Thailand’s west coast killing thousands, destroying communities, washing away businesses and stealing livelihoods. The area hardest hit is also where two Lutheran pastors, Rev. Suchat Srikakarn and Rev. Suchat Chujit serve six congregations and preaching stations.

The tragedy of the 2004 tsunami provided them the opportunity to show God’s love in tangible ways that touched hundreds of lives. Men, women and children wanted to know more about this God who loves them and the hope they have in His Son, Jesus Christ. Church attendance increased, cultural Buddhists were baptised into Christ and began studying God’s Word, growing in their faith.

Pastor Chujit, a Lutheran Church-Canada missionary, and his wife receive support from Concordia Lutheran Missionary Society for their outreach and ministry in southern Thailand. In a country where less than 2 percent of the population is Christian, they have a difficult task. But with your financial and prayer support, they continue proclaiming the Gospel message.

On the tenth anniversary of the tsunami and sharing God’s message of hope, consider giving a single $10 gift or a monthly $10 gift to support this important ministry.

Desks wearing out in Nicaraguan classrooms

Desks used in the Christian education program are wearing out.

Desks used in the Christian education program are wearing out.

The children’s Christian education program in Nicaragua is wrapping up another successful year. With 675 children in classes almost every day, it’s no wonder their desks need replacing.

Children in Nicaragua spend half their day in state-run schools and the other half in classes at churches of Iglesia Luterana Sinodo de Nicaragua (ILSN) where trained deaconesses provide Christian education and academic tutoring. While at their desks the children not only study but also eat their lunch.

The weekday classrooms also serve as places of worship on Sunday when the desks are used for Sunday school. Concordia Lutheran Mission Society collects funds to buy new desks each year. You can be part of a child’s educational experience by purchasing a desk for $25.

What a great Christmas gift!

Mission continues during political unrest in Ukraine

The student outreach team in Odessa, Ukraine.

The student outreach team in Odessa, Ukraine.

Despite political and social upheaval, the task of proclaiming the Gospel to students in Odessa, Ukraine continues.

Pastor Oleg Schewstchenko reports that the political situation made 2014 a challenging year. “Some of the students left town and some had to leave the country even before they were able to finish all their exams,” he explained. However, the pastor and more than 25 students gather every Tuesday to study the Gospel of Mark. He noted there are a growing number of private, small gatherings in his outreach ministry due to the political situation.

The students have also gathered to sing and pray for the situation in the country and for elections in Ukraine and Odessa. The pastor says that at all the events “we had opportunity to invite new people and to share the hope we only have in Jesus.”

This year at special outreach events on Valentine’s Day, a student day and Easter Pastor Oleg shared the Gospel with more than 100 people and gave to students more than 25 English and 50 Russian Bibles.

For more than 20 years Lutheran Church-Canada has served the spiritual needs of college and university students in Ukraine. With the support of Concordia Lutheran Mission Society the vital interaction continues.

Here’s how you can support this outreach.

Lutheran outreach in Costa Rica loses meeting place

Children gather to learn about Jesus from Deaconess Betty Retana in Costa Rica.

Children gather to learn about Jesus from Deaconess Betty Retana in Costa Rica.

A children’s program in Costa Rica had to adapt quickly to an unexpected change. The landlord of the house the mission rents in Alajuelita, a San Jose suburb, gave notice to Lutheran pastor, Rev. Edmundo Retana and his wife Betty, a deaconess, that he no longer wanted to rent the property. Fortunately, the pastor made arrangements to continue the children’s program at a local community centre.

They are currently looking for a more permanent location in which to continue the outreach. Wherever the program eventually finds a home, it will need support from Concordia Lutheran Mission Society to help pay rent and buy supplies.  You can help here.

Vehicle for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cambodia

1401The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cambodia (ELCC) faces a challenge transporting groups of people to visit the work of pastors and deaconesses in remote areas of Cambodia. This project will supply a used eight-passenger vehicle to allow the ELCC staff and leadership to visit the missions and social ministry sites and to meet with community leaders.

I want to help purchase an eight passenger used vehicle. 

(Project 1401) Goal: $8400

Three motorbikes for Deaconesses

1402The countryside of Cambodia has few paved roads. Getting from one village to another is a matter of using dirt roads, tracks and dikes. In the dry season they are dusty and rough yet passable. In the rainy season the roads, tracks and dikes become almost impassable except for motorcycles. This project will provide motorcycles to three deaconesses to use for their evangelism work.

I want to help support the work of Cambodian deaconesses in the most remote areas.

(Project 1402) Goal: $5400

South Asian Christian radio outreach

1404For many new Canadians, radio programs in Canada which reflect their language and culture are important. Knowing this, Javed Ahkter, a Lutheran Church-Canada Pastors with Alternate Training student, developed a radio program called Hamd-O-Sanaa – Praise and Worship – which features a 20-minute Bible study, 20-minute topical discussion and 20 minutes of Christian music. This program reaches the ears of Pakistani, Hindi and Punjabi people who are also Muslim, Sikh or Hindu by faith. It also enjoys a strong Christian following among its listeners. In addition, the program can be heard in Pakistan and Iran. (This is carried forward from project #1323)

I want to help support radio outreach to new Canadians.

(Project 1404) Goal: $5000

Children’s Christian Education Program

1405Deaconess Betty Retana, together with her husband, Pastor Edmundo, lead this program which gathers children weekly for special Bible story time, catechesis, fellowship, snacks and refreshment. This project funds basic needs such as a stipend for the deaconess, educational resources, Bibles, Catechisms, teaching resources and tools as well as helps with the cost of food and transportation for the children.

I want to help support the outreach to children in Costa Rica.

(Project 1405) Goal: $6000

Facility rentals for outreach in Cartago and San Jose

1406By God’s grace Lutheran Church–Canada’s mission in Costa Rica is expanding into the large city of Cartago and into the capital, San Jose.Several mission and social ministry services have started in Cartago such as Bible study for women, outreach to teenagers in challenging life situations, sewing, Bible study groups, international mission teams’ work and other activities.A new outreach has now started in the capital San Jose with the vision of making it a Lutheran national/international connection since the capital is the north-south road in Central America. The church is not able to afford property in Costa Rica so rental facilities are needed in both cities.

I want to help support outreach in Cartago and San Jose.

(Project 1406) Goal: $11,380