Church Partnership / Latin America / Mission Trips

Alabama Volunteer Group Lends a Hand in Nicaragua

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In March, a seven-member International Volunteer Team from Lutheran Church of Vestavia Hills, near Birmingham, Ala., visited the Lutheran Hour Ministries—Nicaragua ministry center to make some repairs and improvements on a pair of buildings.

Each building was a “rancho”—a small cinder block structure on a concrete slab with a corrugated tin roof. Ranchos are used to hold church services, Bible classes, and community gatherings.

In the mornings the group fixed up a rancho begun by another church several yeras ago in a village called El Pastal. They painted it inside and out, installed windows and doors, and replaced the roof. In the afternoons the group traveled to another village, La Cartonera, to  paint the rancho and repair some of its doors and windows.

“The most important thing [the group] did was to build relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ there,” says Rev. Cliff Hellmers, who led the group. Hellmers also presented LHM—Nicaragua with sets of books on communion and Lutheran confirmation, which had been donated by the Alabama congregation.

Lutheran Hour Ministries—Nicaragua Director Ricardo Arguello expresses admiration for the hard work of the volunteer team in what he terms “very hard conditions” and appreciates the church’s donation of the books. “These important materials will make teaching much easier!” he says.

For information about International Volunteer Trips with Lutheran Hour Ministries, visit

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