Our Savior’s has sent several mission teams to participate with Mission Partners of the Northeastern Minnesota Synod in Honduras and in Ingria, Russia.
Pastor Erik has traveled to Honduras with our congregational president, and a few other congregants and fellow members of our Synod. One of the unique things about Mission Honduras is the Companion Model we follow in serving along side our brothers and sisters in Honduras with the Iglesia Cristiana Luterana de Honduras.
Our generous tendency to want to “do for” can create dependency between companions. Dependency is avoided when we invest in building up one another’s capacity to proclaim and serve by sharing knowledge, insights, personnel, resources, and experience.
The small Lutheran community of Iglesia Cristiana Luterana de Honduras is very active. There are 11 congregations that make up the Iglesia Cristiana Luterana de Honduras with most either in the northern part of Honduras near the Caribbean or near the capital of Tegucigalpa.
What ministries do we share with the ICLH?
Our ministry with the ICLH has been built up by many years of shared relationships, shared dreams, and shared trust. Through our many conversations, they have expressed to us, first and foremost, the desire for us to share with them in faith formation and leadership training for their lay leaders. The ICLH is a small church body with only eight ordained pastors, four men and four women. The congregations also have very active and involved lay leaders. A key component in our ministry with the ICLH is our yearly Worship & Learning Workshop for lay leaders. Each year a different theme is the focus of this workshop.
Most of the members of the congregations of the ICLH are from some of the poorest parts of Honduras. The financial burden of sending a team of church leaders to a three-day workshop is not a possibility for these congregations and we provide funding and resources for the workshops. Although the workshops are the most important component of our shared ministry, they are far from being the only component. The ICLH has a very vibrant community health education program: education on HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, nutrition for children, and clean water. The local water systems in Honduras do not provide sanitary water. Each home needs its own filter system to purify their water, which we help supply. The Northeastern Minnesota Synod also helps to support a Lutheran kindergarten in the community of La Cañada, the location of Luz del Mundo (Light of the World) Lutheran Church. Rubi Flores, general secretary of the ICLH, explains, “We have a vision of transforming our communities, one kindergarten at a time.”
How can I help?
Most importantly, you can pray for our brothers and sisters in Honduras. Poverty, violence, and hopelessness are intertwined with daily life for much of the population. The social and political problems in the country are often overwhelming. The light of Christ is very much needed in the face of the realities of life. The ministry of the Northeastern Minnesota Synod with the ICLH also needs funding. The funds donated by people and congregations in the synod are used 100% for ministry needs. No synod funds are used to pay for the trip fees of mission trip participants; in fact, the trip participants often help pay for ministry expenses.
Contributions can be sent to the synod office: NE Minnesota Synod, 1105 E. Superior St., Upper Suite, Duluth, MN 55802 with checks made out to “Northeastern Minnesota Synod”with the memo “Honduras Ministry.”
If you would like more information, you can contact Brenda Wagner, Honduras Mission and Ministry Team secretary, email@example.com or at 218-341-1831.