Church Partnership / Latin America / Mission Trips

Washington Church Builds Long-term Relationship with Guatemala Ministry Center

Concordia Lutheran Church, Pullman, Wash. Volunteer Team members like Set Gibbon build relationships with children and families through VBS programs they present.

Concordia Lutheran Church, Pullman, Wash. Volunteer Team members like Seth Gibbon build relationships with children and families through VBS programs they present.

Have you visited the International Ministries Partnership page of Lutheran Hour Ministries’ website and perhaps wondered what it would be like to be a partner—or partner congregation—in ministry with LHM through one of its ministry centers around the world?

You’d get a pretty good picture of an LHM International Ministries Partnership by studying our work together with Concordia Lutheran Church in Pullman, Washington. Concordia’s Ann Summerson leads a campus ministry that serves two area schools—Washington State University in Pullman and the University of Idaho just across the state line in Moscow. In 2008, Lutheran Hour Ministries—Guatemala hosted an International Volunteer Team of students from Concordia who traveled to the city of Puerto Barrios to support the ministry of Cristo el Salvador (Christ the Savior) Lutheran Church. The student group worked on two outreach projects, helping improve a Lutheran Community Center and holding a vacation Bible school for local children.

Six years later, the partnership of Concordia, Cristo el Salvador Church and Lutheran Hour Ministries—Guatemala is stronger than ever—and growing. Subsequent Volunteer Trips have included not only students but also non-student members of Concordia. In 2010, the congregation also welcomed LHM—Guatemala Director Rebeca De Franco and Cristo el Salvador’s Pastor Byron Paz to Pullman for a special visit. In the years between volunteer trips, the congregation’s members have provided hundreds of witnessing-bead bracelets to help the Guatemala center’s staff and volunteers share the Gospel. Recently Concordia’s student group contributed to help fund an operation for Cristo el Salvador’s construction foreman, Juan, who had broken his collar bone. Concordia congregation members and students also make it possible for 23 children, preschool through junior high, to attend the Lutheran school by sending sponsorship support.

A Concordia group of 17 traveled to Guatemala in March of this year—the congregation’s fourth International Volunteer Trip! The volunteers continued work on the Community Center and again presented VBS’s for local children—helping to support the work of LHM—Guatemala and Cristo el Salvador Church in Puerto Barrios.

“The group also donated a new computer for us to use with our internet service,” says LHM’s Rebeca De Franco, “as well as a beautiful travel guitar—the first instrument we have received to help form a musical group! God bless our brothers and sisters in Jesus from Concordia!”

“God is doing amazing things in Guatemala through the work of some truly amazing people!” says Ann Summerson. “Please continue to pray for the ministry in Puerto Barrios, Pastor Paz, and Rebeca De Franco and Lutheran Hour Ministries!”

Is the Spirit calling you into an International Ministries Partnership with LHM? To learn more about building dynamic mission relationships through this exciting program, visit http://www.lhm.org/partner.

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