Friends from Costa Rica
In October, our synod was privileged to be host to a delegation of three from our companion synod, Iglesia Lutheran Costarricense (ILCO). The delegation consisted of Pastor Gilberto Quesada, President of ILCO, and lay members of ILCO, María Obregon and Luis Zamora. Pastor Quesada was making a return visit to our synod, but Obregon and Zamora were first-time visitors to N.C. and to the U.S.
The group began their visit in Kure Beach with Pastor Dan Keck (Kure Memorial, Kure Beach) who was host for that leg of the trip. Pastor Keck shares:
After two visits by groups in our congregation to Costa Rica to work with and learn about ILCO’s ministry throughout their country, we were blessed to host them in Kure Beach this past October. Our time with Pastor Gilberto, Maria and Luis was a wonderful opportunity for us as a church to continue strengthening our relationships with them as individuals as well as with the Lutheran Church of Costa Rica. It gave our congregation an opportunity to learn about how important our partnership with them is and how encouraging it is for both our ministries! Their visit also gave them an opportunity to get to know our community and the people that are a part of our ministry. The delegation also had a chance to visit with pastors from the South Coastal Conference as we shared about our ministries. They also visited the Kure Beach Faith Center, part of Agape+Kure Beach Ministries as well as Trinity Grove, one of the healthcare communities of Lutheran Services Carolinas.
Following time at the beach, the group crossed the state and joined the synod’s rostered leaders at Fall Convocation at Lutheridge. Additional visits to the synod office, Lenoir-Rhyne, Lake Hickory, and worship with Christ the King, Cary, filled the rest of their days. Assistant to the Bishop Pastor Phil Tonnesen coordinated the trip and was their host during much of their ten-day visit. Our synod was blessed by the visit of these friends—two brothers and a sister in faith! We look forward to continuing this special relationship with Iglesia Lutheran Costarricense.
Our friends shared these thoughts about their visit.
Pastor Gilberto Quesada: Thank you for the wonderful visit, hospitality, and time of relationship-building. We continue giving thanks to the God of Life for such a beautiful experience.
María Obregon: Thank you for such an incredible experience. I did not know how much alike we are in Costa Rica and in the United States. We are brothers and sisters.
Luis Zamora: It is so wonderful to know there are other churches like ours who care about the diversity community.