The countries of Belize, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama have been hardest hit by back-to-back hurricanes. Eta made landfall as a category 4 hurricane in Nicaragua on November 3rd, then lingered for two days over Central America before intensifying and moving on to Cuba, where flooding was already a growing problem.
In spite of the pandemic, Lutherans in Panama continue to reach out to those in their communities with the hope we have in Christ. On August 29, 2020, LCMS missionary, Rev. Arthur Rickman, in conjunction with Christ for all the Nations (CPTLN-Lutheran Hour Ministries in Latin America), had the opportunity to serve their neighbors with a workshop on family relationships.
Sixty Lutheran pastors and church members from Guatemala and Honduras gathered online for four days of Disaster Response Training last week. Pastor Alejandro Lopez presented the virtual classes from his location in Panama. Missionary Deaconess Cheryl Naumann from the Dominican Republic coordinated the instruction through the Mercy Center, an institute of Concordia the Reformer Seminary in the Dominican Republic.
As this pandemic has continued to spread, over the past several weeks, Panama has rapidly become the worst-hit country in Central America according to infections per capita, and second only to Chile in all of Latin America.
In this video, Missionary Pastor Brian Gauthier gives a quick update on the quarantine, how his young family is coping, and how the mission work is continuing to move forward in Panama.
For the first time in two years, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Panamá hosted a Luther Academy conference. Luther Academy provides continuing theological education courses in intensive formats to strengthen and assist pastors and leaders throughout churches in Latin America and around the world.
The Lutheran Church of Panama (IELPA) bears vestiges of
congregations founded during the U.S. ownership and
operation of the Panama Canal as well as congregations
planted by LCMS missionaries working throughout the