Missionary to speak at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Mocksville on Sept. 18

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 10, 2022

MOCKSVILLE — The Rev. Stephen Deal will speak at the 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday, Sept. 18, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1913 U.S. Highway 601 S. He will provide a special children’s message in addition to the sermon for the day. The service will be followed by brunch.

 Deal has been a missionary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) for over 25 years. From 1992-2002, he served on the pastoral team of the Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala (ILAG), whose faith communities today are concentrated in indigenous villages in the “Q’eqchi half moon” region of Guatemala.

In 2003, he moved with his family to Costa Rica to serve as regional representative for ELCA Global Mission with missionary responsibilities in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In that capacity, he facilitated relationships of mutual accompaniment between ELCA companion churches in the region and ELCA synods, congregations and members interested in supporting and learning from the model of holistic mission which has been embraced by the Central American Lutheran churches.

Since 2014, he has been deeply involved with ELCA’s AMMPARO strategy (see http://www.elca.org/ammparo), helping ELCA members understand the root causes behind the massive exodus of children, youth and families from Central America, then building a network of relationships with Lutheran churches and ecumenical partners in the Northern Triangle of Central America and Mexico who are “welcoming the sojourner” and defending the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees.

Since September 2020, he has been expanding ELCA’s established network of AMMPARO companions to other parts of Latin America where Lutheran churches in Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina are also engaged in migrant ministry with migrants and refugees fleeing the protracted socio-political upheaval in places like Venezuela and Haiti.

Prior to serving as an ELCA missionary, Deal lived and worked for 14 years in Washington, D.C. ,where he was a member of Luther Place Memorial Church. He was born in Hickory and holds an undergraduate degree from Lenoir-Rhyne University and a graduate degree from the University of Michigan. He was ordained in the Augustinian Lutheran Church of Guatemala.

He is married to Marta Julia Girón Rodas, also under call as an ELCA missionary, who is active in women’s ministry of the Iglesia Luterana Costarricense (ILCO) in Costa Rica.

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