I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
We are finishing another year of service in the Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala, and we want to praise and thank God for giving us the opportunity to tell of his wonders. The wonders he has done in the Lutheran family in Guatemala, in the United States, and throughout the world have been innumerable.
On seeing the construction process of the Milagro Women's Education Center, we recognize that it is a marvel, and it is a miracle.
When we started construction, we saw how the chicken coop, home to the hens and roosters who accompanied many of you visitors in your dreams, began to change into a center for women. It is a wonderful transformation that is very difficult to describe. Pouring the cement foundations, seeing the walls rise and now seeing construction as tall as a fortress, one which will bear witness to change - it leaves us breathless. When we hear the voice of women who have been silenced giving their testimony of how this program has changed their lives, and how they can now tell others about the wonders of God, it is an indescribable joy.
We give unending thanks to God and to all of you for the effort you have made to continue this program. We thank God for the faith of you who have collaborated so that this Center rises in the middle of a chicken coop, and serves to give testimony to the most vulnerable people in our society.
We thank the Lord because he has filled us with blessings and has done wonders in the ILAG, not only with the beginning of the construction of the Milagro Education Center, but also through the leaders who carry out tireless pastoral care work in the churches in the rural area and in the city; Through the health promoters who dedicate their time and knowledge; Through the Sunday School teachers who teach and relay the wonders of our Lord Jesus Christ to the children; Through the women who care for their families, their entire community, and their churches tirelessly; Through the musicians who fill others with hope by their songs; Through the teachers of El Mirador School who are preparing to welcome 100 students next year; Through the entire ILAG pastoral team; Through young people who, despite their circumstances, still dream of a better future for themselves, their families, their church, and their community; And through the children who are always happy and, with their smiles, make us forget the problems of daily life. We also give thanks for the people who came before and were part of our lives and even though they are no longer here, we trust in the promises of God that we will meet them again.
We give thanks to God for all of you who, in one way or another, collaborate so that God's mission in Guatemala is possible, and we can reach far and near places sharing the good news that "God is with us," no matter our condition. He came to this world to give hope to all without exception. God is always with us.
May our God of love, mercy, peace and life be with all of you this Christmas, and that next year we can all continue to tell others of his wonders.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and grant you peace. Amen
Numbers 6: 24-26
The Rev. Karen Castillo Echeverria, President
Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala