Good Samaritan Senior Centre

Designated Ministry

The Synod of Alberta and the Territories has had a long-standing relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Colombia (IELCO). Missionaries from Alberta were among the first Lutheran Missionaries in Colombia in the 1930’s. In 2003 the Synod of Alberta and the Territories and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Colombia signed a Companion Synod Agreement. This relationship has been one of mutual support in terms of prayer and solidarity with the opportunity for visits in both countries and learning from one another. Presently the Synod of Alberta and the Territories has a contract with the IELCO in which support is directed to three areas of focus. These include scholarships for students at the four CELCO schools, scholarships for theology students, and support to the Good Shepherd Seniors’ Centre.  


Our congregation of Ascension has had a special relationship with Colombia as we have had the privilege of supporting several of the projects of the IELCO as our Designated Ministry Project since 2006. We visited Colombia with youth from our congregation in 2009 and with families in 2011. We were blessed to visit several of the programs of the IELCO, including a day program for seniors called the Good Shepherd Seniors Centre. 


The Good Shepherd Seniors’ Centre is located in a suburb on the south side of Bogota called Soacha. Soacha has been home for thousands of people forcibly displaced from the countryside by violence as well as more recently a place for Venezuelan migrants. It is an area where for different social reasons many people experience absolute poverty.


The Good Shepherd Seniors’ Centre serves senior citizens some of who have lost touch with their families or whose families are not able to support them as they themselves are struggling. Senior citizens of Colombia are often the ones who suffer the consequences of social inequalities. Many do not have access to a pension and have no social support. For this reason, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia, prioritizes this population in Soacha through the Project of the Good Shepherd Senior Center. 


This holistic care centre responds to several needs of seniors including social, spiritual, mental and physical health. Forty seniors from the Soacha neighborhood walk the hilly, uneven roads to arrive at the centre each day. Devotions are held daily and the Eucharist is celebrated once per month with a visit from a pastor. Workshops, crafts, and games geared toward improving seniors’ wellbeing are enjoyed daily. Activities such as dancing and outdoor walks are regular events. A nurse performs physical health checks with the participants monthly and educates them on their medications as needed. Every day the participants enjoy a nutritious lunch. Home visits also take place to get to know the supports that the seniors have and their unique needs. 


Please keep participants and leaders of the Good Shepherd Senior Centre in your prayers. If you would like to donate to the program this is done through your offerings, specifying “Designated Ministry.”


Muchas gracias!