Through regular financial support and prayer, Good Shepherd supports Stephen Deal, an ELCA pastor serving as a missionary in Central America, stationed in Costa Rica. Pastor Deal connects with our congregation when he is in the U.S. and sends periodic letters:
From: Stephen Deal
To: Friends in Christ
Sent: Tue, Nov 17, 2020 3:42 pm
Subject: Back-to-Back Hurricanes in Central America
Dear Friends in Christ,
Here in Central America, our ELCA companions are going through one of the most difficult 2-week periods that I can remember during my missionary service here in the region.
First, it was Hurricane Eta that quickly developed into a Category 4 hurricane and left a trail of death and destruction in Nicaragua, Honduras & Guatemala during the first week of November.
In case the media coverage of Hurricane Eta has been limited in your area, I’m including this link to a CNN news story with dramatic images from a few of the affected areas.
Barely two weeks later, the same three countries are bracing for the impact of Hurricane Iota which, like Eta, strengthened quickly into a Category 5 hurricane last weekend as it moved west into the Caribbean Sea.
Just before Iota made landfall last night along the coast of Nicaragua, it weakened slightly back to a Category 4 hurricane. As it moved inland this morning, it weakened further to a Category 1 hurricane and will probably be downgraded to a tropical storm later today.
Even without hurricane-force winds, Iota will continue to dump record rainfall levels in some of the same areas that were barely beginning to recover from the catastrophic flooding caused by Eta.
Please pray for our brothers and sisters here in Central America.
Catastrophic material losses are unavoidable at this point. We just pray that everyone will be safe and that no additional lives will be lost.
Once the worst of Iota passes and the full scope of the damages from both hurricanes are clear, please consider sending congregational/individual offerings to Lutheran Disaster Response to help support the hurricane relief response plan that we are developing with our companion churches and ecumenical partners in Central America.
Thank you in advance for your concern, your prayers and financial support.
(Received Sept. 15, 2017)
Dear Friends in Christ,
Greetings to all of you on Central American Independence Day here in Costa Rica. The long holiday weekend gives me a chance to send a missionary update that I’ve been trying to complete for some time.
For our sponsoring congregations in the mid-Atlantic region, this is not the first time that you have heard me refer to ELCA’s comprehensive AMMPARO strategy – adopted overwhelmingly at our Churchwide Assembly in August 2016.
It was the central topic of my home assignment visits in August 2016 (mostly in the state of PA) and again at the beginning of 2017 (in the Washington, DC, area).
For those of you in other parts of the U.S., I hope you have heard about AMMPARO through other channels. If not, I have the privilege of being the bearer of this Good News. If you are interested in more information read the AMMPARO News from Central America newsletter (pdf) or feel free to ask.
Finally, Marta and I continue to be grateful for your prayers, offerings & other expressions of support that make it possible for us to serve as ELCA missionaries here in Central America.
AMMPARO News from Central America newsletter, Sept. 2017 (pdf)
Visit the ELCA Global Mission website to learn more.