LWF sends condolences to church in Peru over loss of leader

Pastor President Adita Torres Lescano of the Lutheran Church of Peru. Photo: LWF/P.Cuyatti
Pastor President Adita Torres Lescano of the Lutheran Church of Peru. Photo: LWF/P.Cuyatti

Pastor President Adita Torres Lescano “walked with many”

(LWI) - Recalling the faithful and caring pilgrimage of Pastor President Adita Torres Lescano who died on Monday 10 August, the Lutheran World Federation has expressed deep condolences to the Lutheran Church of Peru (IL-P).

Rev. Torres began her ministry serving the church as a youth. Her early involvement with the church as Sunday school teacher and later in the Diakonia Institution, led her to continue her theological interests at a Methodist seminary under the guidance of Lutheran pastors. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Theology from the Latin American Bible University (UBL) in Costa Rica.

Pastor Torres was one of the first five ministers ordained in the church in 1999. Rev. Irene Ponce, Rev. Benjamin Navarro, Rev. Pedro Bullón and LWF Regional Secretary for Latin America, the Caribbean and North America, Rev. Dr Patricia Cuyatti, were ordained with Pastor Torres.  

LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge, sent a letter to IL-P extending sympathy on behalf of the LWF Communion of Churches. In the letter, Junge recounted the calm and pastoral presence Pastor Torres brought to the vocation of justice and peacemaking.

“By smiling, breathing deeply, Adita affirmed a spirituality of care and action. As a world leader, Adita has been a faithful ambassador of her work at the local and national levels” wrote the LWF General Secretary.

“I am grateful for the inspiration in Adita to build up collective knowledge. We thrived to give our church an institutional profile at national and international levels. Unity among diversity has characterized our ministries while trusting God's work even during challenging times when the church experienced division. God's passion helped IL-P to find new pastures,” said Regional Secretary Cuyatti.

“That resilient experience will continue moving the church in God's mission following the legacy of love of our beloved Pastor Adita" Cuyatti continued.

In a memorial service held online from Peru on Monday evening, many from around Latin America and North America attended, including LWF leadership. Testimonies were offered of how God had used Rev.Torres to touch their lives through her pastoral work, empowering and inspiring them to pursue God’s call on their lives.

Many bore witness to the words in the LWF General Secretary’s letter that Rev. Torres “fought tirelessly” for many, even in her final days. Concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic would cause debilitating economic hardship for the country she championed the need for income development programs and food and healthcare assistance.

“In faithfulness to God, Adita has given us an example of faith witness anchored in her baptism. Always depending on the favor and strength of the Holy Spirit, Adita has walked with many people on their baptismal journey,” Junge wrote.