Southeastern Synod ELCA We are proud to announce our new synod logo - CLICK HERE for details

"GRACIAS!!!!" ~ Pr. Karen Castillo 


Click the button below to donate:


9/21/2020 - Gala Follow-up:

What a night!

Thank you for your support of the Virtual Guatemala Gala 2020!

The Southeastern Synod has sent over $36,000 to MILAGRO plus $10,000 raised in one hour the night of the GALA. We anticipate another $30,000+ in pledges, with additional gifts still coming in.

More importantly, an estimated 1,800 viewers tuned in to the Virtual GALA on September 12th. Eighteen Hundred! That means1,800 people heard the message of ILAG and learned first-hand from the young women of MILAGRO about the opportunities they are embracing due to this ministry. Yes, MILAGRO, which means miracle in Spanish, is the perfect name for the Women's Education Center of the Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala (ILAG).

As companion synods, the Southeastern Synod and ILAG accompany one another in mission and ministry. Though we can’t physically be together right now, we continue to support one another with prayer and financial gifts as we are able. God is using your generosity to create miracles for these young women, their congregations, their communities, and their country.

We humbly thank you for this generous support,

Your Southeastern Synod Guatemala Gala Team 

It’s never too late to make a contribution to MILAGRO.  Just scroll below this video for any financial gift you would like to make.


Click the button below to donate:



You may also mail donations to:

ELCA Southeastern Synod
Attn:  GALA
PO Box 400
Decatur, GA 30031

Simply return to this page on the night of the Gala, and the video will be displayed here, as well as on the Southeastern Synod Facebook page.

Congregational Promotional Materials

Here are some materials for your e-bulletins and e-news:


Make an authentic Guatemalan Meal!



What better way to enjoy the Virtual Guatemala Gala 2020 than with an authentic Guatemalan Meal at home!

Our friends Julie and Steve Belfield from Epiphany Lutheran Church in Suwanee, GA created a video just for us, using recipes from Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard, a native of Guatemala. Julie demonstrates how to make Amalia’s authentic dishes, including:

Carne Asada con Chirmol – orange and onion-marinated flank steak (a Guatemalan BBQ basic);

Chirmol – charred tomato and mint salsa;

Arroz Negro con Chile Pimiento – black rice with red bell peppers;

Postre de Atol de Elote  - fresh corn pudding; and

Sangria a la Amalia – red wine and citrus punch.


Click here for printed recipes!


The Virtual Gala is September 12th, 7:00 pm. Fix some of these delicious Guatemalan dishes and enjoy your meal as you watch and learn about MILAGRO Educational Women’s Center.

Come back to this page to access the Virtual Guatemala Gala 2020 on September 12, 7:00 pm.

Thanks to:

Julie Belfield, Caterer/Personal Chef; Steve Belfield, Production Assistant/ chief Taste Tester

Recipes courtesy of Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard,

Follow Amalia on Instagram or Facebook: Amalia Moreno-Damgaard




The Southeastern Synod has hosted a Guatemala Gala the past two years to raise funds for the MILAGRO Women’s Education Center. We won’t be able to gather in person this year, but the Guatemala Gala 2020 will continue! The virtual gala will be held Saturday, September 12th at 7:00. Watch from home while enjoying your favorite Guatemalan food. Invite friends to join the virtual gala. You won’t want to miss this exciting event!

The virtual Guatemala Gala 2020 will include:

  1. Music Premiere of the Aurora Octobre 8 Marimba Band of Guatemala
  2. Message from Bishop Kevin Strickland
  3. Updates from ILAG: Pastor Karen Castillo, Diego Gil and others
  4. Updates from the young women studying at MILAGRO
  5. Experiences and stories from Southeastern Synod members who have shared time with our friends from ILAG and the young women from MILAGRO
  6. And more!



Commitments Continue Despite Pandemic

While the response to the pandemic has forced all of us to live life differently, some things have remained the same, including the ILAG’s commitment to education and our commitment to walk with ILAG.

While our goal is to raise money to support  ILAG and MILAGRO, we also know these are difficult economic times for many of us, so give as you are able. Your interest and prayerful support are welcome!

Click HERE to DONATEor mail a check to:

ELCA Southeastern Synod

PO Box 400

Decatur, GA  30031

(in memo line, write Gala or Gala 2020)


The ELCA Southeastern Synod and the Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala (ILAG) are companion synods—we offer mutual care to one another through relationship building, prayer, and program support. Since its founding in 1991, ILAG has ministered to people living on the margins of Guatemalan society, particularly the indigenous poor. One of ILAG’s key programs is the MILAGRO Women’s Education Center, a school dedicated to empowering rural Guatemalan women through education. 


The Southeastern Synod has hosted a Guatemala Gala the past two years to raise funds for the school. This year we are going VIRTUAL, so save the date and stay tuned for more details about how you can support this work. #MILAGROGALA2020



Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala

Since its founding in 1991, the Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala (ILAG) has always been about ministering to people living on the margins of Guatemalan society, particularly the indigenous poor. From the lowlands of Petén in the north to the ravines of Guatemala City, the ILAG works to make God’s grace known to all. Currently, the Lutheran Church in Guatemala has more than 2,000 members in 17 congregations.


Southeastern Synod and ILAG

The Southeastern Synod and the Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala have been walking together as companion synods for many years, teaching us what it means to be Lutheran in our global church. Through visits to ILAG, receiving the ILAG pastoral team as guests here in the Southeastern Synod, prayerful support, financial support, and living through the values of accompaniment, all of us have grown more deeply in our faith.



In Spanish, Milagro means Miracle. The MILAGRO Women’s Education Center is located in the Lutheran Center in Guatemala City. Sometimes called Casa Milagro, MILAGRO is also an acronym:

          M – Mujeres (women)

          ILAG – Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala

          RO – Ropiendo paradigmas (breaking paradigms)

At Casa MILAGRO, young women receive an education and develop a wide range of skills vital to a future with great possibilities. They learn skills to start a sustainable business and prepare them to be leaders in their families, churches, and communities.


CLICK HERE to view the Southeastern Synod’s Give Guatemala a High Five Campaign to support ILAG’s COVID-19 Response


Synod Contacts: Assistant to the Bishop Rev. Jill Henning and Rev. Stephen Friedrich

The Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala (ILAG) is our companion synod in Guatemala.

Click here to visit the ILAG website. 

If you have questions about our companion synod in Guatemala, please contact our synod contacts above, or call the synod office at 404-589-1977.