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Formerly known as “Dutch Guyana”, Suriname lies immediately southeast of Guyana – which was “British Guyana”, and west of the small country of French Guyana.

This country maintains close ties with the Netherlands, and Dutch is still widely spoken, as well as many other languages.  Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana are 3 of the 4 non-Hispanic language countries in South America (the 4th being Brazil whose major language is Portuguese).  Because of their location on the northeast coast of South America, they are grouped with our companion churches in Haiti and Cuba and considered to be “Caribbean”.

The Evangelisch Lutherse Kerk in Suriname (ELKS) elected Pr. Marjory Slagtand as their new President in 2015.  There are 5 congregations and 6 ordained clergy.  Pr. Kevin Jacobson served as ELCA Missionary to Suriname until November 2016, when he took a position with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services in Baltimore, MD.

In November 2016, Danielle Dokman and Urwin Holband were ordained and began serving churches in Suriname.

Pr. Tom Unrath (tunrath@cfl.rr.com) is the chair of the joint sub-committee for Guyana-Suriname.

On September 5, 2016 Pastor Reza Karg wrote:

SurinameLWF“It was an honor for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Suriname, to host the first joint pre-assembly of the Lutheran World Federation for two regions – Latin America/Caribbean and North America (LAC / NA), from the 29th of August to the 2nd of September 2016.

“This was the first time that there was a simultaneous assembly of two regions at once. At times there were joint sessions and at times there were separate sessions. There was actually more going on, because also the youth and the women had their own separate meeting next to the joint meetings. Talking about being efficient!SurinameLWFSusanJohnson

“In the picture you see Bishop Susan Johnson who was about to receive presents that Bishop Eaton had brought with her. It turned out to be a joys and emotional moment for Bishop Susan. She received gift of the indigenous people she is very involved with and presents from her home church. It was most wonderful to meet and greet these two great woman, who put their hearts into the work they do by the grace of God.

“The pre-assembly itself was to get prepared for the huge assemble in Windhoek Namibia in 2017. We are thankful to God that all went well and that our regions are well on their way to Namibia.”