Global Mission is one way that the ELCIC is able to grow and strengthen relationships with its partner churches. Both companion and bilateral relationships are excellent ways to develop relationships in both a synod-to-church and church-to-church manner.
The ELCIC has bilateral relationships, or church-to-church relationships, with the Lutheran churches in Peru, and Argentina, as well as Jordan and the Holy Land.
Iglesia Evangelica Luterana Unida
For many years, the ELCIC has been in a partnership with Iglesia Evangelica Luterana Unida (IELU) supporting ministry in the Patagonia region of the country. Back in the 90s, ELCIC missionaries – the Niebergalls and the Hiels, built up ministry in the Esquel community, including the building of a church and parsage.
Over time, the ministry in Esquel has changed. There is no longer a regular worshipping community and the ministry focus is on diaconal projects.
In November 2018, ELCIC and IELU began a formal discernment together of the best ways to continue our partnership. IELU believes that the future of their mission will be through their schools. IELU has approached the ELCIC to partner with them in a new way.They have an existing school – Instituto Evangelico Americano (American Evangelical Institute) – in José C. Paz, part of greater Buenos Aires, that has 1650 students from preschool through grade 12, plus a teacher training program. The school has a waiting list of 500 families. Around the corner of the school, IELU has a nursing home, Hogar Armbruster. One of its buildings is not being used and needs renovation.
IELU believes this is an opporutnity to repurpose the nursing home building and move the preschool to a new facility. This will open up more class space for the elementary school and help address the long waiting list by being able to accept 100 new students. ELCIC has agreed to partner with IELU for the next three years to contribute funds towards the construction project.
IELU President Gustavo Gomez reminds us that the reason we do diaconal ministry is to convert ourselves to deeper discipleship. We are thankful for our partnership with IELU and look forward to watching the construction project and growth of the ministry.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
As schools around the world began their 2020-21 academic year in very challenging circumstances, so did the students at schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL). Earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, the schools dealt with closures and lock down periods by embracing digital technology and distance learning.
Sadly, the continued lock downs have impacted families served by the schools in many different ways. COVID-19 restrictions have meant further barricade closures and a significant loss of tourism for the region resulting in job loss and substantial reduction in income to household. Many families are now facing signifiant difficulties with paying tuition for the 2020-21 school year, which is on average $1,600/year per student.
The following video from ELCJHL Bishop Ibrahim Azar shares a recent update on the difficulties students and schools are currently facing.
To help support our Global Mission partner, the ELCIC has launched an ELCJHL Scholarship Appeal for the 2020-21 school year. You are invited to consider how you can financially support scholarships for students of the ELCJHL. Donate today and also consider how you can get your congregation and community involved.
Peruvian Evangelical Lutheran Church
(we are currently updating this information)