The Salvadoran Lutheran Synod has roots in the Missouri Synod. It is now an independent church which became a member of the Lutheran World Federation in 1984. There are more than 12,000 members in 52 parishes. Rev Paul Johnson, ELCIC Assistant to the Bishop, visited El Salvador in 2004 and met with Bishop Medardo Gomez (center) and ELCIC missionary Brian Rude (far left).
Brian Rude lives in the city of San Salvador where the SLS headquarters are located. During the civil war in El Salvador, from the 1970's to the early 90's, the SLS was involved in relief and justice ministry for the poor and oppressed in the country. The church still maintains a Human Rights Department. Other priorities now include evangelism, preaching, education and development work.
Brian's ministry in El Salvador includes teaching theology courses at the Salvadoran Lutheran University. This University is characterized as an alternative project in education, promoting a critical conscience for the society, accompanying the people in their struggles for justice, and in giving education opportunities for the poor.
There was an attack on the University at the end of January 2005 – a guard was brutally murdered and most of the computer equipment was stolen. Mission in the World sent a donation of $3,000 to help them recover from this attack.
Brian works with the grassroots of Salvadoran society. He welcomes people into his home as borders and for regular Bible study.
Brian also spends countless hours writing to people in the United States and Canada in order to increase awareness about human rights and globalization issues.
When Brian's missionary service began in 1988, he worked with an orphanage of the SLS. In 1994, his focus shifted to HIV/AIDS ministry. He helped develop Quetzalcoatl, a foundation that promotes human well-being, self-esteem and AIDS prevention among prison inmates in El Salvador. Many of the inmates are members of youth gangs who have been rounded up and put in prison solely because of their gang affiliation.
Brian received the Katharine Hockin Award from the Canadian Churches Forum for Global Ministries in recognition of his contribution to global mission and ministry during more than 15 years in El Salvador.
Family members made the trip to Toronto for the presentation of the award in February 2004.