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Guatemala News:


Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

During our visit last year to our companion church, La Iglesia Luterana Augustina de Guatemala (ILAG), the pastoral team asked if we could help with the development of their disaster preparedness and response plan based on the model used in our Southeastern Synod. The ILAG is a young church with 17 small congregations spread out across Guatemala in villages, ravines, inner city areas and the jungle. Resources for preparedness and response are not what they are here in the U.S.

Since the time of our visit, a tropical storm hit Guatemala, destroying crops and doing significant structural damage in several villages and congregations. After the storm, when one village reseeded their crops, another storm came through and washed the seed away again.

On their trip to the US this past December, ILAG Pastors Amanda and Horacio Castillo asked again if we could help
with disaster preparedness and response in Guatemala. This time they were very specific. What they needed was a long term consultant with disaster experience to help them on the ground in Guatemala shape and implement a disaster plan for the church.

We have a way to serve our companion church in Guatemala. In our efforts to plan and implement our own disaster program here in the Southeastern Synod we have individuals with experience and gifts for helping communities and congregations get ready for disasters.

To answer this call to assist our companion church, Diaconal Minister Sandra Braasch has been appointed to
serve for up to two years as a Companion Synod/Global Missions Associate for this work.
She is especially gifted for this work, having a background in forestry as well as disaster ministry. For the past year and a half, she has worked with the Southeastern Synod Disaster Task Force.

The ILAG is delighted and eager to have her with them before the next storm season comes around. We are moving as quickly as we can to raise the needed funds to support her ministry in Guatemala. The ILAG is able to provide housing and utilities, but because it is a small and young church it can do no more than that. Therefore we are seeking donations to send Sandra to Guatemala as soon as possible. We project a budget of $50,000.00 for the two year appointment.

We are asking you and your congregation to be a part of this ministry through your financial support. We hope you will partner with us in this ministry to help the Augustinian Lutheran Church in Guatemala develop their capacity to respond to the needs of the people in the congregations and the communities they serve.

Please consider giving to this important ministry. 

You can keep up with the disaster ministry effort in Guatemala by checking the Southeastern Synod website at www.elca-ses.org. We will have occasional updates on Guatemala and the impact of their disaster responses as we move forward serving these sisters and brothers in Christ’s name.

Easter blessing,

H. Julian Gordy
Bishop