In Synod News

Update from Our Companion Synod in Nicaragua

Earlier this month, Rev. Katia Cortez, Pastor President of the ILFE (the Lutheran Church of Faith and Hope, Nicaragua), sent the following correspondence to our Companion Synod Committee and Bishop Hagmaier. We are sharing a translated version of her message with updates from ILFE and well-wishes for our Synod and our upcoming Synod Assembly.

Grace and Peace to you!

This Easter time reaffirms our hope in the communion and brotherhood of our churches, which comes from God, who in his infinite love has united us and holds us in his arms with care and love. Greetings from our pastoral staff and all our communities to Bishop Constanze, to all the congregations that are part of this Synod and to those who are present here today.

Greetings also to our brothers from the Cameroon church with whom we have the privilege of sharing the faith and love of our beloved Synod of Lutheran Churches of South Dakota.

Yesterday I was preaching at the closing service of the Americas Leadership Conference of the Lutheran World Federation, according to the theme of our meeting, which was “do not be afraid, there is Good News!” And I thought a lot about our brotherhood as a living sign of God’s love, an unconditional love that fills us with hope. As ILFE, we live in Nicaragua in difficult times, but we are not afraid, we know that we are not alone, that you walk by our side, that both you and we have heard the call of the Lord saying “Come”, inviting us to walk together even in troubled waters, knowing that he is by our side.

I am infinitely grateful to Bishop Constanze, to all the congregations of the Synod and to the committee that serves our brotherhood for always having us in their prayers and for seeking all possible ways to show us the love of God. I take this opportunity to express our deep gratitude, especially on this occasion, to Herman and Jeannette Fink, for their love, dedication and commitment to Nicaragua, God continue to bless them.

On behalf of the ILFE, I thank you for sending all the support agreed upon at the last meeting. We have already been informed and we are still in the reception procedures with the Ministry of the State of Nicaragua, which is in charge, and with the bank. You will hear from us when we receive it.

I am very happy to hear about the invitation of Mike and Hellen Busbey to South Dakota, consider them also our ambassadors, their spiritual growth was in the care of the ILFE, their work in the ELCA serving the churches of Latin America is very positive and hopeful, welcome them with love in their communities, they carry a little bit of us for you.

We are moved by the tribute to our beloved Bishop Victoria at her assembly, we would like to have news about that event.

We feel very happy and grateful to God for the opportunity to see you again next July. Of course, the delegation you send is very welcome, which greatly strengthens not only our ties of brotherhood but also our church.

Finally, receive from ILFE the best wishes for a successful Assembly, for all your objectives to be met and for our good God to be there, at all times, filling you with wisdom, love and hope.

God bless you,

Your sister in Christ,

Rev. Katia Cortez
Pastor President of the ILFE

You can find out more about our work with ILFE here, or by emailing Companion Synod Coordinator Rev. Dr. Aaron Matson at