Iglesia Luterana Nueva Esperanza (“New Hope”) is located in Sicachique, a small village deep in the Sierra Madre Mountains that is home to a large number of Tarahumara Indians. These distinctive children of God typically have a deep, mocha skin tone and are recognizable in the flamboyantly colors and patterns of their long, layered dresses. They are skilled artisans, particularly jewelry and baskets. The Tarahumaras in Sicachique have a constant need for food, clothing, and adequate shelter. A severe drought and harsh climate only worsen their conditions. YLM seeks to provide both physical and spiritual nourishment in this region, always emphasizing that the sustenance we are able to provide comes not from human hands, but from God, who cares for each of them. Servant event groups have helped by constructing a fish hatchery and rabbit farm as ongoing sources of food for the villagers.
Nueva Esperanza was begun around 1991 to bring the Gospel to the people as well, and about 40 families currently attend regularly to hear the Word of God through Rev. Kaare Hagen, a missionary pastor who was first introduced to the community via Rev. Martin Tovar. These days, he lives there 9 months out of the year, when he’s not at his summer home in Seattle, WA. Under the auspices of an organization known as Friends of Literacy, he provides literacy training to the people. Additionally, he oversees building projects carried out by locals with funding from Albuquerque, NM, based ARTA (Appropriate Rural Technology Assn.), such as expanding the dining hall in the village’s primary school. Currently, missionaries are serving as the school’s teachers. Children who live more than a 1 1/2 hour walk are encouraged to sleep in the attached dormitory, which is also in desperate need of expansion, otherwise they make the commute daily on foot. Pastor Tovar and his wife Blanca rarely make the arduous journey to Sicachique, only when there are donation deliveries to make or a servant event planning to do a work project there.
Opportunities for adoration and education:
- Worship services/Sunday school, every other Sunday at 12:00 pm
- one week of Vacation Bible School every summer
See below for images of this mountain hideaway characterized by its vibrant people who are ablaze for a God that provides for their every need in His unique and wonderful ways. [nggallery id=19]
This post is also available in: Spanish