Lutherans

ENGAGE the WORLD
January – February 2014, Vol. 2, Issue 3

Lutherans

ENGAGE the WORLD
January – February 2014

vol. 2 no. 3

inspire

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12

2 
6
12 

10 Questions 

Mercy Moment

Serving the Church as a
21st-Century Missionary

15
21

The Horn Family Update

To the Four Corners of the Earth

21
Engaging the Church in the work of witness and mercy across the globe in our life together.
LUTHERANS ENGAGE THE WORLD is published bi-monthly by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
© 2014 The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Reproduction for parish use does not require permission. Such reproductions,
however, should credit LUTHERANS ENGAGE THE WORLD as a source. Print editions are sent to LCMS donors, rostered workers and
missionaries. An online version is available (lcms.org/lutheransengage). To receive the print edition, we invite you to make a financial
gift for LCMS global witness and mercy work. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are property of the LCMS.
1-888-THE LCMS (843-5267)
www.lcms.org

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001
by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

inform

engage
Who’s Your Missionary?
MY CHILDHOOD MEMORIES are dotted with
images of missionaries visiting our church with their
artifacts and colorful clothing from the faraway
places where they had been sent to serve. I recall
special offerings and sending letters and gifts to
missionary families. Missionary support was part
of the fabric of our congregational life together.
Fast-forward 40 years and it’s much the same
today at my congregation, Hope Lutheran Church
in South St. Louis. We have adopted two missionary
families. Each week we pray for them in our services.
We receive their newsletters, and the congregation
has committed to supporting them financially with
a set amount annually.
Recently, missionary support has been woven
into the fabric of my own family as we have
committed to personally supporting these same
two missionary families with our personal prayers
and financial gifts. “Our missionaries” regularly
send us emails and notes about their lives on the
mission field.
On their own, the gifts from our congregation
and my family wouldn’t be enough to send or
keep a missionary on the field. But joined together
with gifts large and small from congregations and
individuals across the LCMS, these missionaries are
able to serve in places like Sri Lanka and Ethiopia. In
the pages of this issue of Lutherans Engage the World,
you’ll read about the changing face of mission work
and the skill sets and number of people needed on
the mission field, and you’ll learn about the road
to missionary service. (Do you know someone who
would make a great missionary?)
It is the moment for mission. Who’s your
missionary?

3
3
10
16
18

The Changing Face of Mission Work

The Road to Missionary Service

Region by Region

Steward’s Corner

involve

8 

Giving from
the Heart

S TA F F
Mark D. Hofman
David L. Strand
Pamela J. Nielsen
Erica Schwan
Melanie Ave
Megan K. Mertz
Erik M. Lunsford
Carolyn A. Niehoff
Chrissy A. Thomas

executive director, mission advancement
executive director, communications
executive editor
manager of design services
staff writer
staff writer
staff photojournalist/editor
designer
designer

8

In Christ,
Pamela J. Nielsen
Associate Executive Director,
Communication Services

EDITORIAL OFFICE
314-996-1215
1333 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295
lutheransengage@lcms.org
www.lcms.org/lutheransengage

Cover image: PHOTO: LCMS
COMMUNICATIONS/ERIK M. LUNSFORD

10 Questions

nspire

with Missionary Caitlin Worden
by Erik M. Lunsford

1. What prepared you for
missionary work?
Many things have influenced and prepared
me for today. When I look back, I see the web
the Lord has woven in my life. Too often we
don't know the purpose for which the Lord
plans our lives, but I truly believe I am now
where the Lord wants me.

my internship while I am here in Peru for my
deaconess program at Concordia Theological
Seminary. In addition, I am working on my
full license for my bachelor’s of social work.
I currently have my limited license and am
working toward a fully certified license.

When I first arrived, every aspect here was
sensory overload. Everything was new and
different and I felt like I spent my whole day
just trying to make sense of things. Because
I live in a large city, there are many days it
feels like a different city away from home in
the United States. There are many other times
when cultural differences and the language
make it very clear that I am nowhere near
anything familiar. A typical day here involves
kisses from strangers, haggling over prices,
great amounts of walking and riding in
broken-down buses, among other things.

2. W 
ho influenced you to
become a missionary?
Many people have influenced and planted
seeds in my life. Pastor Ted Krey [LCMS
regional director for Latin America] and my
father were especially influential.

3. Why Lima, Peru?
I'm here because of the work we are doing,
not because of the place itself. The LCMS
mission has a mercy house where we are
working with children [who are] living and
working in the streets. We help children have
a better life and a better future.

4. C 
an you describe your
work in more detail?

5. W 
hat reward does that
give you?
Working with the children is a joy. However, the
greatest blessing is these children are coming
to know Christ. They are feeling His love and
presence in their lives through us.

8. W 
hat do you miss
from home?

The greatest blessing

is these children are
coming to know Christ.

We serve children and their families
in La Victoria [a part of Lima] with
a three-fold purpose of education,
health and life. We have after-school
tutoring, a reading club and an
event called "Saturday Explosions."
That time is for us to interact and build
relationships. We had health fairs and
clinics, and we spend time educating the
people on healthy living practices. Lastly, we
also have [vacation Bible school] classes,
which give us a chance to teach Bible
stories and the love of Christ.

7. What is life like in Peru?

6. W 
hat educational goals are
you working toward?

I miss my family. I miss a
world that speaks English.
I am learning Spanish and
every interaction here is
learning for me. I miss doing
things with more
simplicity. I also miss
driving. The streets of
Lima are crazy and
you couldn't pay me to drive here.

9. W 
hat advice do you have for
new missionaries?
Be patient with all things, with yourself and
with God. When you are humbled by Him
you will seek your fulfillment in Him.

10. W 
hat one word describes
your missionary work?

„ www.lcms.org/missionarysupport

I am working on two certifications. I am serving

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lcms.org/LUTHERANSengage

January–February 2014

lcms.org/givenow/globalmission

nform

The Changing Face
of

mission
work

PHOTOS: LCMS

The Rev. Theodore Naether and
family, the first LCMS missionary
to India (circa 1890)

The Rev. Dr. Otto Hintze teaches “Jesus
Loves Me” to the indigenous people in Papua
New Guinea (circa 1950). Hintze was one of
the first LCMS missionaries to the country.

by Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver III

W

h at d oe s modern-day
mission work look like?

Would you describe an image

of men clad in khaki and pith hats,
slashing through thick vegetation, living
in mud huts and teaching and preaching

The Rev. Ted Krey, LCMS regional director
for Latin America and the Caribbean, lays
hands on Willy Gaspar during his ordination
in 2011. Gaspar was the first man from the
Dominican
Republic to become a Lutheran
lcms.org/givenow/globalmission
pastor because of LCMS mission work.

the Gospel to indigenous peoples?

January–February 2014

lcms.org/LUTHERANSengage

3

Left: LCMS missionary Rev.
Mark Eisold (far right) stands
with congregation members
at an LCMS church plant in
Lima, Peru. Right: Seminary
students listen to a lecture at
the seminary of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church of Ghana, an
LCMS partner church.

If so, you’ve given an 1895 kind
of answer. That was the year that the
Rev. Theodore Naether, the first LCMS
missionary, was sent to India. Pastor
Naether was only 27 years old when he and
his family made the long journey overseas
by steamship. After 10 years of sharing
Christ’s forgiveness and peace with sinners,
he died of the plague while surrounded by
his beloved congregation. His work laid
the foundation for our first LCMS partner
church, the India Evangelical Lutheran
Church, which today has hundreds of
thousands of members and a vast system of
schools and mercy institutions.
Or maybe you would describe a time
before the mid-19th century — the early
modern period (the past 500 years) — which
often evokes the black-robed priest living
in a Native American village, teaching the
rudiments of the Christian faith to natives
while trying to survive in harsh conditions.
Perhaps the first thought you have
is boarding an airplane to fly to a Latin
American country, speaking the Gospel
while passing out eyeglasses or building
shelters for homeless people, a more recent
reality. Each of these images helps illustrate
the changing face of mission work in the
Church today.

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lcms.org/LUTHERANSengage

Our concept of “mission work” developed
during the past 300 years or so. The Church
followed where Christian, European countries explored and settled. The late 18th and
particularly the 19th centuries also saw the
rise of international mission societies. These
lay groups organized to send pastors and
others with various skills, helping to spread
the Church to the four corners of the earth.
Today, the face of mission work, although
connected to these past efforts, looks very
different. Inexpensive airfare, cell phones
and the Internet connect people from
different cultures, lands and languages who
interact in a way inconceivable to earlier
generations.
Church groups can easily board an
airplane, traveling to the farthest reaches of
the globe to teach vacation Bible school to
children in Mongolia. In places where no
church existed 100 years ago, some of the
largest Lutheran churches on earth now reside.
The mission field also can now be found
in parts of America that have become the
home of entire African communities, who
only a generation ago would have only been
found in the heart of Africa.
Yet, the goal of mission work is always
the same: to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ
to sinners.

January–February 2014

Today, The Lutheran Church—Missouri
Synod accomplishes this work in several
ways. Church planting — establishing a
Lutheran altar and pulpit — continues to
lead our activity in places where no church
exists. Where we have an existing partner
church, LCMS mission efforts are focused
on providing specific resources that will
help sustain, revitalize and strengthen the
partner church as it proclaims the Gospel.
Together, the local, indigenous church, our
missionaries on the ground and the LCMS
Office of International Mission staff work
to determine the best way to approach the
work on the field.

Help Us Train Our Pastors
The number one request coming from
our LCMS partner churches worldwide is:
“Help us train our pastors.” Our reputation
for robust theological education that
fully equips a man to shepherd a flock is
recognized around the globe.
How we enhance and strengthen
theological education depends upon
the location and setting. It might involve
providing scholarships for men to study at
a local or regional seminary like we do in
Argentina, where nine Latin countries send
their students. In Africa, it might involve

lcms.org/givenow/globalmission

PHOTOS: LCMS

LCMS missionary Michelle
Cagnin leads a microcredit loan
workshop in the Philippines.

the goal of mission
work is always
the same: to bring
the gospel of jesus
christ to sinners

providing assistance at a missionary training
center as we do in Togo or sending a recent
seminary graduate to a local Bible school. Or
perhaps it involves sending a pastor with a
Ph.D. to teach for a few months to strengthen
seminary faculty, as we are doing now in
Ethiopia. Parish pastors who can provide
administrative and teaching support to a
partner church seminary are also requested.
Providing long-term theological educators is
another way the LCMS is instrumental on the
mission field. Although intensive short-term
courses are appreciated, the most frequent
request we get is for people who can teach
for several years.
In Siberia, Russia, for example, the
Rev. Alan Ludwig, serves as a theological
educator. He has taught seminarians,
preached at local Lutheran congregations
and assisted in building up Lutheran
pastors in the region since 1998. Dr. Ludwig
writes: “Missions means planting churches.
For many reasons — including political,
economic and cultural ones — this can
better be done by trained Russians. It is
better to equip 10 Russian pastors than to
send 10 American pastors. This will help
insure the continuation of the Lutheran
church in Russia and other territories. Long
after foreigners have left, the church will
have strong, confessional leaders.”
The Lutheran churches in Africa are
requesting our theological educators to help
train more pastors to serve the hundreds of
new congregations being formed. The Rev.
Dr. Carl and Deaconess Deborah Rockrohr,

missionaries in Ethiopia, currently assist
with theological training. Dr. Rockrohr
instructs seminarians desiring to be pastors
at the Mekane Yesus Seminary in Addis
Ababa, while Deaconess Rockrohr helps
to teach theological courses for women
considering vocations within the Church.
They write: “The EECMY has set big goals for
itself. Concerning the seminary, the church
wants to expand the new graduate program
so that in five years there will be 200 M.A.
students and up to 30 doctoral students. The
challenges to reach these goals are immense.
… Despite the challenges, the students are
very eager to learn!”
In Madagascar, there are not enough
pastors to serve the more than one new
congregation that opens each week. Can
you imagine it? A new congregation serving
between 1,000 and 3,000 people opening
every week! In many cases, congregations or
preaching stations are served by evangelists,
men who still require theological and
practical training.

Many Skills
LCMS missionaries are often focused on
supporting, revitalizing and strengthening
Lutheran churches around the world. They
frequently serve as “Aarons,” holding up
Moses’ hands. They assist our partners

through a variety of ways — ways specifically
requested by the partner, such as bringing in
doctors and nurses, people to teach English
as a Second Language or by finding skilled
workmen to complete various construction
projects. These lay missionaries, serving
alongside pastors and deaconesses, have
been sent with almost every imaginable
skill and profession — accountants, doctors,
nurses, schoolteachers, farmers and other
laborers.
What is the face of missions in 2013? Your
answer depends on where in the world our
LCMS missionaries are serving and what
they have been given to do for the church
in that place. But no matter where they are
or what their vocation may be, our LCMS
missionaries’ work is always done at the
foot of Christ’s cross and focused on witness
(proclaiming the Gospel), mercy (showing
love and compassion to people in need) and
life together (having a community of people
gathered around Jesus).
The Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver III is director of
LCMS Church Relations and assistant to LCMS
President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison. Learn
more: „www.lcms.org/international

A volunteer treats a child during
a 2009 Mercy Medical Team trip
to Madagascar.

lcms.org/givenow/globalmission

January–February 2014

lcms.org/LUTHERANSengage

5

|

MERCY MOMENT

S

Missionary Sean Harlow

by Erik M. Lunsford

PHOTOS: LCMS/ERIK M. LUNSFORD

ean Harlow, LCMS missionary
to Taiwan and the Philippines,
descends from his seat atop gas cans in
the van’s trunk, dons a floppy militarystyle hat and lands with a pair of flip-flops
on the debris-strewn ground of Tacloban
City, Leyte province, Philippines. He
carries a bag of rice, bound for hungry
families of Christ Lutheran Church.
Across the street, body bags lay in a
sloppy row. “I have never seen the degree
of destruction that I found in Tacloban,”
Harlow said after delivering rice as part
of the initial LCMS disaster-relief effort
following Typhoon Haiyan in November
2013. “Even though it was very hot,
I felt a chill come over me, which
coincided with the sense of death and
destruction that surrounded me from all
angles and directions.”
As part of his role as a career
missionary, Harlow serves as the assistant
to the president of the Lutheran Church in
the Philippines (LCP).
An average student in a family of four
brothers, Harlow grew up in a home rich
in Christian discipline, participating in
nightly prayer and devotionals while
his father studied to become a pastor
in St. Louis.

“I loved reading and memorizing
the Bible, singing Christian songs and
learning the difference between being a
lover of Jesus and a lover of the world,”
he said.
Harlow easily grasped biblical
concepts, and he knew he wanted to share
them with others.
Following graduation from Lutheran
High School North in St. Louis and
Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich.,
Harlow enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.
He fought in the Persian Gulf twice during
his five years of military service.
Harlow said his military career helped
him prepare emotionally and mentally for
disaster-relief work.
“Being able to show compassion
and mercy to those in need is incredibly
important,” he said, “but it is also
important to not let the situation become
overwhelming or overbearing.”
On Nov. 8, Typhoon Haiyan killed
more than 5,000 people on the island
of Leyte and the surrounding islands
that make up the Philippines. The storm
displaced millions and wiped out entire
communities.

Although he was attending a fall
retreat at the time of the storm, Harlow
quickly researched the affected area
and found friends and LCMS partners
who were suffering from the disaster. He
coordinated with LCP Disaster Response
Leader Rev. Antonio Reyes and helped
prepare for the arrival of the LCMS
Disaster Response team from the
United States.
When the St. Louis-based response
team arrived in the Philippines, Harlow
traveled with the group from Manila via
plane to Cebu City then onto Ormoc on
the island of Leyte. Traveling by boat at
night, Harlow marveled when the boat
pulled into port.
“We could all sense the destruction
that surrounded us in the dark,” he said.
“We could see the bare skeletons of many
coconut, banana and palm trees that were
destroyed by the storm.”
One night during the trip, spiders
walked across Harlow as he slept outside
in the rain. During the day, he worked
behind the scenes for the LCMS Disaster
Response team, scouring nearby cities for

On Nov. 8, 2013, the Philippines was hit by Typhoon Haiyan,
leaving thousands dead and millions displaced. Missionary
Sean Harlow joined responders from the Lutheran Church in
the Philippines and the LCMS, bringing food and supplies to
hard-hit communities along with a witness of the hope that is
found in Christ.

6

lcms.org/LUTHERANSengage

January–February 2014

lcms.org/givenow/globalmission

nspire

supplies and coordinating transportation.
“I love that my job is always an
adventure of responsibilities that lead to
serving Jesus and others through being
a witness, showing mercy and building
relationships with both those who know
or don’t know the Lord.”
Missionaries around the world are
not only engaged in witness but are often
called upon to lead and bear mercy in
their regions.
Harlow said he is saddened at the
horrendous devastation from Haiyan,
but he cherishes the opportunity to help
others who have lost everything.
“I feel that this is what the Lord has
called me to [do],” he said.
Erik M. Lunsford is staff photojournalist and
editor for LCMS Communications.
Video update: „www.lcms.org/video/
PhilippinesUpdate
Photo gallery: „www.lcms.org/photo/
PhilippinesUpdate

lcms.org/givenow/globalmission

January–February 2014

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7

nvolve

f ro m t h e h e a rt
T O

S U P P O R T

M I S S I O N S

A N D

M I S S I O N A R I E S

D

o n o r s l i k e Ron and Evelyn Harman and
Kelly and Cheryl Keithly are vital to the national

and international witness and mercy work of The

Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).
But the way the two couples
support the church’s work is
quite different.
The Harmans directly
support three LCMS career
missionaries who are based in
different parts of the world.
The Keithlys regularly give
to the LCMS Global Mission
Fund, which supports the
Synod’s Gospel proclamation,
disaster response and humancare activities. Global Mission
funds are distributed where
they are needed most,

8

lcms.org/LUTHERANSengage

nationally and internationally.
“Every donor brings a
unique, distinctive blessing to
our work,” said Mark Hofman,
executive director of LCMS
Mission Advancement. “Both
those who desire a deep
personal connection to the
missionaries doing the work
and those who are willing to
let the LCMS determine where
their gift is most needed out in
the field are equally treasured.
“What our donors all share
is a deep love of Jesus and a

January–February 2014

passion for sharing the Gospel
with the world, combined with
the immense trust of a heavenly
Father who provides for their
every need. Together they take
action as the body of Christ to
bring hope and healing to those
who are lost, weak or new in
the faith.”
Here’s what the Harmans
and the Keithlys have to say
about why they give the way
they do.
Ron, 81, and Evelyn, 79,
Harman live in Phoenix and
have been supporting LCMS
missionaries for about a
decade.
Each month they write
checks to the LCMS that
directly support Shara

Cunningham, who serves in
Kenya; the Rev. Stephen and
Maggie Oliver, who serve in the
Asia Pacific region; and another
missionary family.
For Ron Harman, a retired
Lutheran school teacher, the
motivation behind his support
of missionaries is simple.
“They’re doing what the
Church ought to be doing,” he
said. “According to the Great
Commission, that is No. 1.”
The LCMS trains, sends
and supports called and
appointed career, long-term
and short-term missionaries
worldwide where there are
mission stations, partner
churches, schools or mission
relationships.

lcms.org/givenow/globalmission

PHOTOS: LCMS

by Melanie Ave

Opposite page, left: LCMS missionary Shara Cunningham hugs a girl who has
just received her first pair of eyeglasses at a church-sponsored eyeglass clinic
in Kenya in 2012. Right: A Mercy Medical Team volunteer takes a woman’s
blood pressure during a 2010 trip to Kenya.

Photo provided by Ron and Evelyn Harman

always tithed, even when, as
annually or annually, becoming
my husband says, we were too
partners with the LCMS in
poor to pay attention.”
ministry. The minimum annual
The Keithlys are delighted
commitment is $300.
to be a part of the larger global
The Keithlys have strong
mission and ministry of
beliefs about the importance of
the LCMS.
Christian stewardship.
The Keithlys, who own a
For Cheryl Keithly, giving to
vegetable seed sales business,
the church has been part of her
have been married 48 years
entire life.
and have four children and 13
“I was raised tithing,” she
Because missionaries
member to be a part of
grandchildren.
said. “The first dollar I earned I
must raise 100 percent of the
Christ’s Great Commission,”
Cheryl Keithly said by giving
put a dime in the Sunday school
funds necessary to support
Grimenstein said, “actively
to Lutheran causes she and
plate. It comes naturally. It’s
their overseas work, they
ensuring the Word of God is
her husband feel a sense of
always the first check I write.
need individual — and
spoken throughout all nations.”
Always has been.”
congregational — supporters
The Harmans feel a special
Like Ron
like the Harmans, who have
connection to missionary Shara
Harman, Keithly
been married 56 years and
Cunningham, who is a member
said giving is a joy.
have four children and 15
of their congregation.
“We believe
grandchildren.
Supporting her and the two
everything we
“Nothing is more important
other families is an honor, Ron
have comes from
than sending missionaries out
Harman said.
God, not just
into the world,” said the Rev.
“The Lord has blessed me
our money, but
Edward Grimenstein, director
with enough money since I
our health, our
of Missionary Services for the
retired that I can do all this,”
material goods,
LCMS. “This is one reason why
said Harman, a member of
jobs, everything,”
the LCMS exists — to speak of
Christ Church Lutheran in
said Keithly, who
with her
husband
are
Every donor brings a unique, distinctive blessing
Photo provided by Kelly and Cheryl Keithly
members
to our work. Both those who desire a deep
of Christ Lutheran
personal connection to the missionaries doing the
ownership and belonging to
Church in Yuma, Ariz.
a larger ministry that extends
“They are a gift and we
work and those who are willing to let the LCMS
beyond their immediate
are the stewards.
determine where their gift is most needed out in
church family.
“It’s all from Him.”
“It’s a joy knowing we can be
Giving also is an act
the field are equally treasured.”

a
small
part of it,” she said. “It’s
of
faith
for
the
Keithlys.
— Mark Hofman, director of LCMS Mission Advancement
the least the rest of us can do
Keithly said she
from the comfort of our homes,
remembers writing
Christ to all nations.”
Phoenix. “I have the resources
share the gifts God gives us.”
checks early in the couple’s
Grimenstein said people
now. It’s a joy to do.”
marriage that they really
who support missionaries
Kelly, 68, and Cheryl,
couldn’t afford, but they always
Melanie Ave is a staff writer
get regular updates from
70, Keithly are part of the
trusted God would work it out.
for LCMS Communications.
them while the missionaries
Ascending Roots sustaining
“We’ve learned through the
Support a missionary: „www.
serve overseas. They also are
giving group that supports the
years that faith is intimately tied
lcms.org/missionarysupport
encouraged to pray for the
LCMS Global Mission Fund.
into stewardship and our ability
Support the LCMS Global Mission
missionaries they support.
Members of the group send
to give faithfully,” she said.
Fund: „www.lcms.org/givenow/
“This allows any LCMS
gifts monthly, quarterly, semi“You can’t out-give God. We’ve
globalmission

“

lcms.org/givenow/globalmission

January–February 2014

lcms.org/LUTHERANSengage

9

THE
START—contact recruiter

ROA

D TO
MIS

Rev. Dan McMiller
414-882-1530
Daniel.McMiller@lcms.org

FORMAL ASSESSMENT
with a counselor helps place
candidates in fitting locations.

FILL OUT

APPLICATION
from recruiter

REFERENCES
are reviewed

Theological
Interview
with LCMS Office of
International Mission leadership

POSITION MATCH
Candidates are matched
with the needs of the field.

Fie

with the
the nee

The Mission Field Ne
ect Manager
Proj

10

lcms.org/LUTHERANSengage

ological Educator
The

January–February 2014

Teacher

munication Specialist
Com

nter/Evange
rch Pla
list
Chu

lcms.org/givenow/globalmission

rC
untee
Vol

E
S
Y
SSIONAR

E
C
I
RV

Executive
Interview

nform

ORIENTATION/TRAINING
provided by:
• LCMS Missionary Services
• LCMS Communications
• LCMS Mission Advancement

with executive director
of the LCMS Office of
International Mission

DO

BE

CALL OR SOLEMN
APPOINTMENT

NO

GIN

S

R-

NE

TW

OR

K

B
U

is issued by the LCMS Board
for International Mission and
accepted by the missionary.

IL
DI
NG

eld Interview

e regional director who helps match
eds of the field with a candidate’s skills

PLACED IN THE MISSION FIELD

A missionary is deployed to the field when roughly
75% of his/her donor network is built.

eeds You!

Coordina
tor

iness Manager
Bus

tegic
Stra

Mission Develo
per

Deaconess

dical Missionary
Me

©2013 LCMS

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January–February 2014

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11

nspire

Serving the Church as a

21st-Century
Missionary
by Melanie Ave

— James Neuendorf,
LCMS missionary to Latin America

12

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January–February 2014

lcms.org/givenow/globalmission

PHOTOS: LCMS

“This is not a temporary thing
or a stage in our life. It’s not
two years of the Peace Corps
as a resume booster.”

The 21st-century missionary is a skilled and trained individual who comes from all walks of
life, often lives in a city and helps LCMS partner churches do what missionaries have always
done: share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

O

ne month into their marriage and
fresh out of college, James and
Christel Neuendorf packed their
earthly possessions into a handful of
suitcases.
They were leaving Michigan to become
LCMS missionaries in Panama.
That was five years ago.
So much has happened since then, said
James, a creative outreach specialist, and
Christel, a business manager for the LCMS
Latin America region.
The couple, both 28, said God has used
their experiences on the mission field to
shape them just as much as He has shaped
others through their ministry.
“You get to be with people in some
very dark places in their lives,” said James
Neuendorf, now based in the Dominican
Republic. “You see some very ugly things
and there is nothing romantic about poverty,
violence and sin. The enemy is very real and
he makes people hurt and hurt a lot.
“It’s rough going through the thorny
ground, but then you think about what you
are doing and Who you work for and it’s
almost like you won the lottery to be
doing this.”
Despite Neuendorf’s enthusiasm,
missionary work is not for everyone, said
the Rev. Dr. Edward Grimenstein, director
of LCMS Missionary Services.
It is a sacrifice as well as a spiritual and
physical commitment, Grimenstein said.
Today’s missionary is much different from
missionaries of the past.
The 21st-century missionary is a skilled
and trained individual who comes from
all walks of life, often lives in a city and
helps LCMS partner churches do what
missionaries have always done: share the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. The LCMS places
two main types of missionaries — career
missionaries, who serve five years or longer,
and Globally Engaged in Outreach (GEO)
missionaries, who typically serve one to two
years — in five regions around the world.
“A lot of people think we’re going to
parachute some person in with a Bible and

lcms.org/givenow/globalmission

they’re going to walk through a village and
tell people about Jesus,” Grimenstein said.
“That situation just isn’t reality on
the ground.”
Because many people already have been
reached with the Gospel, the image of a
missionary sharing Christ with children in a
mud hut is not the most accurate picture, he
said. God’s Word is frequently shared while
teaching adults English or helping children
in the schoolyard.

Field-driven Mission Work
With the changed landscape of mission
work has come a greater need for educated
and skilled missionaries. Missionary job
titles include careers such as theological
educators, teachers, business managers,
medical workers and project managers.
One LCMS missionary in Papua New
Guinea is an electrician. Another in Eurasia
is a farmer.

The Rev. Dr. Carl Rockrohr,
an LCMS missionary to
Ethiopia, teaches secondyear students at Mekane
Yesus Seminary in Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia.

That was one thing that surprised Caitlin
Worden, 24, a deaconess intern who is
serving as a GEO missionary. She works
with children at the Casa de Misericordia
— Castillo Fuerte, a community center in
Lima, Peru.
“My living conditions have been
the easiest part of being a missionary,”
said Worden, a student at Concordia
Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.
“The city of Lima is a modern city.”
In a recent newsletter to her supporters,
Worden included a picture of herself and
members of a visiting short-term mission
team enjoying a study break from Worden’s
daily four-hour Spanish class.
“Thankfully, they still have Starbucks
here!” she wrote.

LCMS missionaries include church
workers and non-church workers, those
who are married and single, retirees and
new college graduates, and couples with
several young children and others with
grandchildren.
“I need people who can teach English,”
Grimenstein said. “I need people who can
run mercy projects. I need people with
business experience. I need people who are
willing to do more of the grunt work, people
who are willing to get down and dirty with
manual work.
“We need a wide variety of people and
skill sets.”
It is the field — partner churches and
other entities abroad — that determines the
type of missionaries needed from the LCMS.

January–February 2014

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13

The Rev. Dr. Carl Rockrohr and his wife,
Deaconess Deborah Rockrohr, began new
positions in Ethiopia in 2013 after
the fast-growing church in Africa requested
help with theological education. The
couple had been serving as missionaries to
South Africa.
Carl Rockrohr is now serving as dean of
the school of theology at the Mekane Yesus
Seminary of the Ethiopian Evangelical
Church Mekane Yesus, the second-largest
Lutheran church in the world. The church
has 8,000 congregations but only 3,000
ordained pastors.
Rockrohr is overseeing the training of
3,000-plus pastoral students. In August, he
“led the graduation procession and was
the leader of the graduation program,” the
couple wrote in a newsletter. “How happy
were the … graduates and their families!”
In Latin America, James Neuendorf
develops resources for laity and generates
and promotes the creative expression of
the Lutheran confessional faith using local
resources. He also produces multimedia
resources such as books, films, websites
and Web video series for missionaries and
national churches to use in evangelism.
Being flexible, he said, is an important skill
for a missionary.
“We have committed to lifelong, eternal
service to the Gospel and the Lord of that
Gospel, with all of our gifts and abilities that
He has given us and every moment of our
existence,” he said. “This is not a temporary
thing or a stage in our life. It’s not two years
of the Peace Corps as a resume booster.”

Nairobi, Kenya

Steps to Missionary Life
The process of becoming a missionary
typically takes about two months. It often
begins with an application, which is
followed by a series of phone and inperson interviews and an assessment by a
counselor to make sure the missionary-tobe would fare well overseas and work well
in team environments.
The candidate must pass an interview
with one of five LCMS regional directors,
a face-to-face interview with the Office of
International Mission in St. Louis and a
review by the LCMS president’s office.
It is then up to the LCMS Board for
International Mission to formally issue a call
to church workers or a solemn appointment
to non-church workers. Once accepted,
missionaries attend an orientation, offered
twice a year.

Caitlin Worden serves
as a GEO missionary in
Peru. She works with
the children who come
to Casa de Misericordia
— Castillo Fuerte, a
community center where
LCMS missionaries and
Peruvian Lutherans care
for the physical and
spiritual needs of the
community.

They can then begin fundraising. Once
missionaries raise 75 percent of the funds
necessary to support their first year of
service, they are deployed to the field.
Phil Jaseph, 23, a graduate of Lehigh
University, will soon head to Nairobi, Kenya,
where he will serve as a communication
specialist for Africa. He has been reading
about the African culture, finishing
vaccinations and fundraising.
The prospect of raising money was
stressful at first, he said, but God has
provided.
“There have been great days and difficult
days, but I have experienced a big shift in
perspective during preparations for service,”
Jaseph said. “I had two or three other
missionaries remind me that God’s work,
done in God’s time in God’s way, will never
lack God’s supply.”
Grimenstein said the importance of
missionaries, even in this technologysaturated world where many people are a
cell phone or Internet video message away,
cannot be understated.
“It comes back to St. Paul,” he said. “Faith
comes by hearing. We cannot and must
never downplay that relationship between
people and the speaking of the Gospel.
It takes time and it takes warm bodies of
people who are willing to sacrifice for that
Gospel to be spread.”

PHOTOS: LCMS

Lima, Peru

Philip Jaseph, a GEO
missionary in Kenya, serves
as the communication
specialist for the Africa
region. In this role, he
helps to share the story of
what God is doing in Africa
through missionaries, partner
church bodies and all
believers.

14

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January–February 2014

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nspire

The Horn Family

Update
by Megan K. Mertz

“There is so much work to do here,” wrote the Rev.

by Kim Plummer Krull

before rev. jeffrey
Horn accepted the call to
serve as an LCMS career
missionary in Papua New
Guinea, he considered the
challenges:
z leaving the parish
ministry and a beloved
flock after 15 years.
z ensuring that his wife,
Lora, also wanted to make
the dramatic leap from
their Garrett, Ind., parish
— Zion Lutheran — to
a remote mission field
with a new culture and
more than 900 spoken
languages.
z asking the couple’s
children to say goodbye
to friends, grandparents,
pets and snow.
But even as Horn, 42,
weighed the hurdles, he
says “a pressing need”
weighed on his heart.
“The need in Papua
New Guinea is strong,”
he said. “Their system
for training pastors has
broken down in many
ways, and if . . . they don’t
find a way to get that
going again, they won’t
have pastors to help the

The Rev. Jeffrey
and Lora Horn,
above, were
featured in
Lutherans Engage
the World last year
as they prepared to
begin missionary
service in Papua
New Guinea.

churches; the churches
then will struggle, and lots
of the people who came
to faith in the last 20 to 40
years might not have that
faith preached to them.”
longtime desire
Since his childhood in
Los Angeles, Horn has
longed to serve as a
pastor and a missionary.
He remembers hearing
a sermon when he was
around age 6 about the
need to reach all people
with the Gospel. He felt
the pastor was speaking
directly to him.
Growing up with an
international mix of
friends fueled his desire
to be a missionary, Horn
says, making him a person
who enjoys “other cultures
and people from all over
the world.”
But when he graduated
from Concordia
Theological Seminary

The LCMS began work in Papua New Guinea in 1948, at the invitation of a Wauni
tribal leader in2012
Yaramanda,
Enga Province
November–December
lcms.org/lutheraNsengage

istock; lcms

Going
the
Distance
from
Indiana
to
PapuaNew
Guinea

13

DID YOU KNOW?
The LCMS began work in Papua
New Guinea in 1948, at the invitation
of a Wauni tribal leader.
In 1971, the Gutnius Lutheran
Church became an LCMS partner
church. The church has grown to
a baptized membership of more
than 54,500 in approximately 550
congregations.
MALAYSIA
SINGAPORE

INDONESIA
EAST TIMOR

PAPUA
NEW
GUINEA

AUSTRALIA

Jeffrey Horn, an LCMS career missionary to Papua New Guinea, in
a recent newsletter. “Preaching Christ crucified. Teaching good
doctrine. Preparing solid new Lutheran pastors. Edifying pastors and
evangelists in the field. Confronting false doctrine. Protecting the
little sheep. Building relationships.”
Horn and his family arrived in Papua
New Guinea in August, where they have
continued the work first started by LCMS
missionaries to the country in 1948.
Horn serves as a theological educator,
teaching new pastors at Timothy Seminary,
the seminary of the Gutnius (Good News)
Lutheran Church, an LCMS partner church.
He also travels around the country and
offers continuing education to pastors and
evangelists in the field, many of whom
have been working for years with very few
educational resources to help them through
challenging times.
After their arrival, the Horn family spent
the first few months learning Pidgin, a
common language used by the country’s
different tribes. Now Horn is preaching in
that language and he will begin using it in
the seminary classroom in February. He
also plans to study Enga, the language of
the Enga people, with whom he works.
His wife, Lora, and their two children,
Chris, 17, and Maggie, 11, are adapting
to their new life in the Highlands. Lora
homeschools Chris and Maggie, tends a
garden, leads a women’s Bible study at the

seminary and plans to begin teaching an
English class next year. Chris has started
learning how to play the guitar, while
Maggie makes friends everywhere she
goes. The family also has adopted two
cats and a dog.
“Almost everything is new,” Horn wrote.
“You have to learn how to go to the market,
how to cook new foods, how to deal with
having electricity for only a few hours a day,
how to drive, how to do banking, how to
deal with bugs and other critters, and many
more things.”
Despite the challenges, Horn says the
family has pulled together and the work
among these brothers and sisters in Christ
is worth it.
“There are many faithful Christians here
and they are excited to work together,” he
reports. “They are grateful for the ongoing
commitment the LCMS has made to work
with them to strengthen the church in
Papua New Guinea and spread the Gospel.”

Megan K. Mertz is a staff writer for LCMS
Communications.

NEW ZEALAND

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January–February 2014

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15

Region
by
Region

UNITED
KINGDOM

DENMARK

GERMANY

BELGIUM
FRANCE

PORTUGAL

CZECH
REP.

SPAIN

An Overview of LCMS Mission Work Around the World
A
KIN
BUR FASO

THE GAMBIA

BELIZE

GUINEA

PUERTO
RICO

VENEZUELA

PANAMA

MALI

SIERRA LEONE

by Megan K. Mertz

IVORY
COAST

LIBERIA

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
has a long tradition of international
mission work that dates back to the
1880s. This work has encompassed many
different witness and mercy projects over the
years in some 80 countries around the world.
Today, LCMS efforts focus on training pastors,
planting churches and starting schools, all while
working in collaboration with partner churches
in the five mission regions. God has enabled
and blessed the far reach of LCMS mission
work through you, the LCMS members who
support this work with your prayers and gifts
to the Global Mission Fund and through direct
missionary support.

Latin America and
the Caribbean
The LCMS began work in Latin
America and the Caribbean in 1900
at the request of German immigrants
who were living in Brazil. Since that
time, the LCMS has expanded its
witness and mercy work to many
other countries in the region.
Current LCMS projects in the region
include providing scholarships
for seminarians from six countries
to study at Concordia Seminary,

lcms.org/LUTHERANSengage

NIGERIA

TOGO

BRAZIL

PERU

BOLIVIA

CHILE

PARAGUAY

URUGUAY
ARGENTINA

Africa

Buenos Aires, Argentina, and
church planting in eight countries
with mercy houses alongside.

From the earliest days of the LCMS’
mission work in Africa, church planting
and evangelism has been a top priority.
As the Lutheran church in Africa
has grown, the churches established
by missionaries have planted new
congregations. These African-initiated
Lutheran churches are emerging all
over the region and provide a great
opportunity for theological education
and partnership with the LCMS.

First mission field: Brazil, 1900

First mission field: Nigeria, 1936

Missionaries: 18

Missionaries: 24

Missionaries needed: Pastors, Deaconesses,
EFL Teachers (English as a Foreign
Language)

Missionaries needed: Area Facilitators, Mission
Facilitators

Partner church bodies: 8

Partner seminaries: 5 Non-partner seminaries: 21

Partner seminaries: 2

Partner congregations: 7,840

Partner congregations: 2,600

Mercy projects: 16

Partner church bodies: 7

Mercy projects: 10

16

BENIN

January–February 2014

lcms.org/givenow/globalmission

PHOTOS: LCMS

GUATEMALA

DOMINICAN
REPUBLIC

CAYMAN
HAITI
ISLANDS
JAMAICA

GHANA

MEXICO

nform

FINLAND

RUSSIA

ESTONIA

LATVIA

LITHUANIA

POLAND BELARUS
UKRAINE

KAZAKHSTAN
MONGOLIA

SLOVAKIA
HUNGARY

GEORGIA
KYRGYZSTAN

CHINA
TA

N

SOUTH
KOREA

JAPAN

P

A

K

IS

AF
GH
AN
IST
AN

TURKEY

INDIA

TAIWAN
HONG KONG
MACAU

SUDAN

THAILAND

PHILIPPINES
VIETNAM

S OUTH
S UD A N

ETHIOPIA

CAMBODIA

CON
GO

SRI LANKA
DEM. R EP.
OF CON G O
(DR C )

M AL AY S I A

DA
AN
KENYA
UG
SINGAPORE

INDONESIA

TANZANIA
PAPUA
NEW
GUINEA

BURUNDI

UE
IQ
MB
A
Z
MO

BOTSWANA

MAD
AGAS
CAR

ANGOLA

SOUTH
AFRICA

Eurasia
The Synod’s work in Eurasia is focused
on connecting the people of the region
to the resources of the LCMS so they
might hear the saving Word of God.
The missionaries’ work is focused on
those who have never heard of Christ
and those who have heard but do not
yet believe in Christ as their Savior.
Missionaries are involved with church
planting, theological education, music
instruction, agriculture, human-care
needs and prison ministry.
First mission field: Denmark, 1898
Missionaries: 25
Missionaries needed: Area Facilitators,
EFL Teachers (English as a Foreign Language)

Southern Asia and
Oceania
The Southern Asia and Oceania region
is home to 1.5 billion people. It also is
the site of the earliest LCMS mission
field and some areas where Lutheran
groups are just starting to emerge.
Through this renewed commitment in
this region, the LCMS plans to provide
the guidance and support necessary to
help fellow Lutherans in Southern Asia
and Oceania overcome obstacles and
become strong witnesses for the Gospel.
A critical priority for future work in this
region is the recruitment and sending
of missionaries to work alongside
indigenous pastors and church leaders.
First mission field: India, 1895
Missionaries: 11

Partner church bodies: 10

Missionaries needed: Theological Educators,
Deaconesses, EFL Teachers (English as a Foreign
Language)

Partner seminaries: 4

Partner church bodies: 3

Partner congregations: 250

Partner seminaries: 3

Mercy projects: 4

Partner congregations: 2,269

lcms.org/givenow/globalmission

Mercy projects: 2

Asia Pacific
The Synod’s mission work in the Asia
Pacific region began in the early 20th
century and escalated following World War
II. During the last 60 years, the LCMS has
been involved in many acts of witness and
mercy in diverse areas of the region, from
remote villages in Thailand to the modern
metropolis of Hong Kong. The LCMS,
whose rich heritage includes a strong
emphasis on education, also has helped
start Lutheran schools in many countries
of this region.
First mission field: China, 1913
Missionaries: 50
Missionaries needed: EFL Teachers (English as a
Foreign Language), High School Teachers, Outreach
Coordinators
Partner church bodies: 5
Partner seminaries: 7
Partner congregations: 312
Mercy projects: 34

January–February 2014

lcms.org/LUTHERANSengage

17

|

STEWARD’S CORNER

nform

Giving
Simplified
by Erik M. Lunsford

Throughout his career as
a fundraiser, the executive
director of LCMS Mission
Advancement has seen the
joy drained from the hearts of
generous donors because of
complicated giving options.
His advice for keeping
the joy in your giving? Be
intentional, Hofman said,
and “spend time thinking”
about what you want your
gifts to achieve.
Hofman said he tailors
his approach to donors to
maximize his relationship
with them. “They are trusting
us to accomplish some very
important work on their
behalf,” he said.
He advises donors to
focus their gifts on issues

that really matter to them.
But when donors make a
major contribution, they
should consider granting
the LCMS some flexibility in
how to spend the gift since
the organization best knows
how to use the funds most
effectively.
“We accomplish more
working together than any
of us could if we went at it
alone,” Hofman said. He
urges donors to commit
to a routine contribution
schedule throughout the year
as a way to increase their
giving and decrease end-ofyear “cramming.”

Hofman said charitably
minded people, especially
Christians, are willing to give
because they know the Lord
will sustain them and they
see themselves as stewards of
God’s gifts.

Donors are an important
piece of the church’s mission.
“You can’t do anything
without good people so
when we send missionaries
overseas, that’s immediate
impact,” he said. “The gifts are

“You can’t do anything
without good people …”

“They love the Gospel,”
he said, “and they love their
Lord.”
Hofman said gifts to
the LCMS have immediate
and long-term impact. The
ultimate goal is to bring
people into the body of Christ,
allowing them to receive the
Word and Sacraments on a
regular basis.

—M 
ark Hofman, executive director
of LCMS Mission Advancement

what provide the resources
and materials to do the
Witness, Mercy, Life Together.”
For donors on the fence,
Hofman is passionate about
earning their trust and
their gifts.
“We want people to give,
but what we want most is
not the money but for each
donor to experience the joy
of something wonderful,”
he said. “We’re the Synod’s
advocate to ask for support
but at the same time we’re the
donor’s advocate. We’re here
to help them get to the feeling
of joy.”

Mark Hofman, executive director
of LCMS Mission Advancement,
plays with his 4-year-old son,
Matthew, at his office at the
LCMS International Center.

18

lcms.org/LUTHERANSengage

January–February 2014

lcms.org/givenow/globalmission

LCMS/ERIK M. LUNSFORD

M

ark Hofman wants to simplify
the lives of people who give
to the LCMS.

Medical Professionals
Needed for Short-Term Service
2014 Mercy Medical Trips
March 13-23, 2014: M 
adagascar, Africa
(Clinical Team)
May 5-12, 2014: D 
ominican Republic, Caribbean
(Educational Team)
June 6-16, 2014: Kenya, Africa (Clinical Team)
July: MMT Alumni and Leadership Reunion and
Retreat, Dallas, TX (Date to be determined)
Sept. 13-23, 2014: Kyrgyzstan, Eurasia
(Educational Team)
Oct. 16-26, 2014: Madagascar, Africa
(Clinical Team)
Additional Mercy Medical Team dates are
currently being scheduled.
LEARN MORE HERE: www.lcms.org/mercyteams
800-248-1930, ext. 1711 mercyteams@lcms.org

Contact our recruiter: Daniel.McMiller@lcms.org | 414-882-1530

A COLLECTION OF FIVE PROGRAMS FEATURING FRESH TALK ABOUT
LUTHERAN CHRISTIANITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY.

2-3

P.M. CST

MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY.
M o n d ay

T u e s d ay

Cross Defense

Concord Matters

Host: Rev. Rod
Zwonitzer. Dig into
Christian apologetics to
get answers to the hard
questions skeptics ask
about the faith.

Hosts: Rev. Rod

Cross Edges

Zwonitzer, Rev.
Craig Donofrio, Rev.
Charlie Henrickson
& Rev. Joshua
Scheer. Join in a
lively, roundtable
discussion for
the layperson
on the Lutheran
Confessions.

!

t
u
o
t
i
k
c
che
We d n e s d ay

T h u r s d ay

F r i d ay

Culture and
Christianity

The God
Whisperers

Book Talk

Host: Lori Lewis.
Featuring a look into
the vocations and
lives of today’s top
musicians, artists,
scholars and more,
the program addresses
the place of Christians
in modern culture as
they serve God and
neighbor.

Hosts: Rev. Craig
Donofrio & Rev. Bill
Cwirla. This offbeat
program features
observations
of the everyday
life of Christians
with humor and
intelligence.

Host: Rev. Rod
Zwonitzer. A look
at literature and
how the writings
of today’s best
authors intersect
with the faith.

Streaming and archived at www.kfuo.org. Like us on www.facebook.com/KFUORadio.

lcms.org/givenow/globalmission

January–February 2014

lcms.org/LUTHERANSengage

19

Who’s Your

Missionary?

Support
LCMS Witness and

nvolve

Mercy Work Worldwide

If sharing Jesus Christ with the world is your passion, the LCMS stands ready to be your partner.

} MISSION SENDERS

} GLOBAL MISSION FUND

www.lcms.org/missionsenders

www.lcms.org/globalmissionfund

Do you or your family want to directly
support a specific overseas LCMS
missionary?

Learn more about how making an
annual cost-effective gift in any
amount can vigorously make known
Christ’s love in word and deed
throughout the world.

Contact: Tani.Berner@lcms.org
800-248-1930, ext. 1047

Contact: Kathy.Wakeman@lcms.org
800-248-1930, ext. 1648

} TOGETHER IN MISSION
www.lcms.org/togetherinmission
Together In Mission (TIM) is a way for
your congregation to directly sponsor
one or more specific overseas LCMS
missionaries.
Contact:
Debra.Feenstra@lcms.org
800-248-1930, ext. 1651

} ASCENDING ROOTS
www.lcms.org/ascendingroots
A giving society for those committed
to the Global Mission of the LCMS,
through the Global Mission Fund.
Contact: Kathy.Wakeman@lcms.org
800-248-1930, ext. 1648

} Mission Central (Iowa)
www.missioncentral.us
Individuals, families
and congregations in
Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and other
Great Plains states may also contact:
Gary.Thies@lcms.org
712-882-1029

} SPECIFIC PROJECTS
www.lcms.org/givenow/projects
Learn more about specific witness or
mercy projects intended to grow and
strengthen the body of Christ.
Contact: Leah.Sieveking@lcms.org
800-248-1930, ext. 1655

Find your missionary at

www.lcms.org/missionaries
LCMS Mission Advancement Donor Care Line: 888-930-4438
20

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January–February 2014

lcms.org/givenow/globalmission

to the four corners of the earth

F

erdinand Sievers and Theodore Naether. Two
men you have likely never heard about. Yet they
loom large in the long, faithful story of LCMS
mission efforts around the world. Sievers was
sent to Michigan in the 1840s by the German pastor
Wilhelm Löehe. He became a missionary to Ojibwa
Indians who were native to the Northern Great Lakes
region. And because of Sievers, many, many Lutheran
congregations were planted in places like Frankentrost
and Frankenmuth, Mich.
You’ve already read about the Rev. Theodore Naether,
who more than 100 years ago was sent with his family
to be a missionary in India. Who would have thought
that the result would be our first international partner
church? Our first mission plant is now a church body
with hundreds of thousands of believers in Christ.
Naether gave everything he had, including his life for
this work.
What an amazing, amazing effort. And as you’ve read
in this issue, efforts like his are still going on all over
the world. We have missionaries in the four corners
of the earth — laypeople and pastors, teachers and
deaconesses — who with their families are sharing the
Gospel of Christ and teaching about His salvation. They
are doing all kinds of activities in service to the Gospel
and having mercy on people in the name of Jesus. And
that is just what Jesus wanted. The Bible tells us that
Jesus had compassion on the multitudes and then He
said, “Pray that the Lord of the harvest send workers.”

The moment is right for us. Because of the

PHOTO: CONCORDIA HISTORICAL INSTITUTE

Missouri Synod’s strong biblical position, the Lutheran
world is coming to us. Huge church bodies are looking
to us for help in theological leadership, in training
their own missionaries, in training their own pastors
and deaconesses. And that’s just one big part of what’s
happening worldwide in mission. These churches want
help with mercy work, teaching English, medical clinics
and so much more. We need people right now serving
all over the world. And we need people like you to pray
and support this work with your financial gifts.
One day when his wife, Katie, was complaining about
him giving money away, Luther said, “Look Katie, the
hand has been made with holes in between the fingers
so money can fall out easily.” What an observation.

lcms.org/givenow/globalmission

Rev. Theodore Naether

It’s our time and it’s your chance to support the
global witness and mercy work of the LCMS. It’s a time
to personally support one or more of our wonderful
missionaries who carry out this work overseas.
The gift is acceptable according to what a person
has, Paul says. But be generous. Be generous and the
Gospel message shall fly out all across the world for the
salvation of many souls.
God grant it,

Pastor Matthew Harrison, President
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

January–February 2014

lcms.org/LUTHERANSengage

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