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Lutherans ENGAGE the WORLD

November–December 2012, Vol. 1, Issue 2

Gthoing e istanc D e


ENGAGE the WORLD November–December 2012

vol. 1 no. 2





Going the Distance from Missouri to India


Mission Society Grows into “Valued Strategic Partner”

13 18 21

 oing the Distance from Indiana to G Papua New Guinea LCMS Snapshots Missouri Is on the Move!


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. © 2012 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 ( 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)

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.


engage Thanks be to God! You are engaged!

3 2 3 7 9 10 16

Revitalizing Ministry in Rural America 10 Questions L CMS Disaster Response Walks the Long Road Sharing Poster Blessings by the Numbers

Network Enables Missionaries to Be Fishers of Men



+ Pray + Serve + Participate + Listen + Learn + Invest

S TA F F Mark D. Hofman David L. Strand James H. Heine Pamela J. Nielsen Mark R. Bacon Megan K. Mertz Carolyn A. Niehoff Chrissy A. Thomas

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

In fact, the definition of those who receive the print version of this magazine is just that – those who are active in international and national Witness, Mercy and Life Together work. Change is difficult to navigate. Our move to a single publication was decided for two reasons. First, as an engaged Lutheran, you deserve to see the total picture of all the LCMS does to vigorously makes known the love of Jesus in word and deed to make disciples of all nations. Second, it is our deep desire to take steps that result in more of every charitable dollar going out of the International Center to do the Lord’s work. This single publication helps do both. Lutherans Engage the World is more than a newsletter or magazine. It is intended to be an investor-relations publication, delivering awareness and accountability to our donors, rostered church workers and missionaries. You receive a print version because you choose to personally invest in the Lord’s mission. You generously give of your talent and treasure to carry out Witness, Mercy and Life Together work through the national and international efforts of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. We pray this and future issues of Lutherans Engage the World will, by weaving together the many stories that tell of our walking together in Christ, help you see how your engagement impacts people all over the world. As engaged Lutherans working alongside others, you are accomplishing much more than any of us could do if we worked alone. Thanks be to God — for you! .

Mark D. Hofman Executive Director, Mission Advancement EDITORIAL OFFICE 314-996-1215 1333 S. Kirkwood Road St. Louis, MO 63122-7295

Lutherans ENGAGE the WORLD

Gtheoing Distance

Cover image: Papua New Guinea (PNG) tribesman at a baptism, circa 1970s; Images T to B: Lambert & Holt Line Ship carried missionaries to Argentina, circa 1905; Cart and driver, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), circa 1930s; Hospital staff, India, circa 1940s; Worship service, PNG, circa 1970s; Taxi carts, Sri Lanka, circa 1930s. Credit: Concordia Historical Institute

Revitalizing Ministry in Rural America by Megan K. Mertz

Office of National Mission


Members at the three churches have stepped up to lead evangelism programs, and new families have been attracted. Trinity, Hazen, has a Sunday school for the first time in nine years. “We’re not growing by leaps and bounds, but each year we hold new membership classes Trinity Lutheran Church, Hazen, N.D. and baptisms,” RSTM helps Hartley said. eparated by more congregations become Rural and Small than 70 miles, aware of the changing Town Mission, located the North Dakota demographics around in Concordia, Mo., is a congregations them, and it provides ministry of the LCMS of St. John, McClusky; tools and ongoing Office of National Mission. leadership training St. John, Underwood; It started about 10 and Trinity, Hazen, have for pastors and lay years ago to address the formed a partnership leaders. The ministry unique challenges facing called the “Highway 200 also emphasizes the rural and small-town Lutherans.” Rev. Dean importance of working congregations, which Hartley leads all three in partnership and make up more than 50 congregations, with collaborating with percent of the churches the assistance of one districts and other in the Synod. Although lay minister and many congregations, said Rev. each congregation is dedicated members. Dr. Lee Hagan, interim These rural congregations different, many face director of the program. similar problems, such are finding new ways to In addition to its as shrinking populations, work together to survive, national conference aging congregations and thanks, in part, to LCMS earlier this month, lack of hope for the future. Rural and Small Town RSTM organizes events Mission (RSTM). “Rural and Small Town Mission helped us to In 2012, Rural & Small Town look at the cultures [in Mission Held: our midst] and find our strengths,” said Hartley. • 15 webinars “Now members who • 11 Engaging Rural Communities Events thought their church was • 2 events for seminary graduates heading dying are excited again.” to rural and small-town settings This excitement produces real results. • 1 national conference

Rural & Small Town Mission


Annual Investment: $300,000



November–December 2012

throughout the Midwest. In 2012, RSTM began offering webinars that address specific ministry topics, such as outreach to older adults and Hispanic outreach in rural settings. The webinars save pastors and lay leaders the time and expense of traveling to an event. “RSTM is bringing the mission priorities of the Synod to rural and small-town congregations in a way that connects with their unique demographic, cultural and missiological needs,” said Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the Office of National Mission. “RSTM is helping us meet both the challenges and the tremendous opportunities for spreading the Gospel.” To learn more about the ministry of Rural and Small Town Mission, visit

10 Questions with Seminarian Eric Ekong

coaching basketball to becoming an elder and president of a congregation. He put all the maturation experiences in place, so here I am.

4. What did you do before the seminary?

I was a Unix administrator. I worked in information technology for Verizon for 10 years.

by Megan K. Mertz


ric Ekong is currently a fourth-year student at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, where he is preparing for the ministry and following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. But Ekong’s family tree is different from most. His grandfather, Jonathan Udo Ekong, founded The Lutheran Church of Nigeria in the 1930s and spent the latter half of his 101 years planting churches and schools throughout the country. Today, this LCMS partner church has more than 80,000 baptized members. Although he never met his famous grandfather, Eric Ekong knew that he also was called to the pastoral ministry. Ekong hails from Cleveland, Ohio, and he earned his undergraduate degree from Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich. He and his wife, Linda, have five children.

1. Can you

tell me about your famous roots?


My grandfather came over in 1928 to find the “one true religion.” He bounced around, but once he found the LCMS his search was over. He entered the seminary at Immanuel Lutheran College and Seminary in North Carolina. He was 47 at that Eric’s grandfather, Jonathan Ekong time and had to redo his whole education. In 1936, he traveled back to Nigeria with LCMS missionaries and planted numerous churches and schools. He would later become the first president of The Lutheran Church of Nigeria.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a Lutheran pastor?

5. What type of ministry do you hope the Lord has in store for you?

Parish ministry and anything that involves evangelizing and discipling while crossing ethnic/cultural boundaries. My business degree in leadership also allows me to use those skills in different parts of the church.

6. What advice would you give to fathers coming to the seminary?

Pray, read your Bible and always keep your family first. Make sure they know what the ministry is all about. Your life and devotion to God should not only be transparent to your family, but to others who see you.

7. What are you reading these days?

I’m reading Pastoral Theology by Mueller, Church and Ministry by Walther and Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel. For the most part, I read seminary books because it’s all I have time for at this point.

8. What is your favorite Bible verse?

It’s a tossup between Is. 6:8, the “send me” verse, and Prov. 24:16. A man falls down seven times and gets back up. It’s only by the grace of God that he can get back up and continue on. It’s a reminder that God is always with us, empowering us, picking us up and guiding us down the right path.

9. What does your name mean? My middle name is Ini-obong, which means “one with God.” I am one of God’s children.

10. Any hobbies?

Playing basketball, video games and card games, and just hanging out with the community and getting to know people. MARK R. BACON/LCMS

I knew in high school.

3. What brought you to the seminary?

I don’t have a fantastic story. I knew for some time that I would go. There were circumstances where God was preparing me for my true calling — from being diagnosed with Lupus SLE to

Seminarian Eric Ekong November–December 2012


Going the

Distance from

Missouri to India by Edward Naumann

T to B: Martin and Mrs. Wyneken following an elephant rage, circa 1950s; Missionary Lange with Indian vicar, circa 1950s; Rev. Theodore Naether and family, circa 1890s; Teacher Melm and High School Staff, circa 1900; Lutheran hospital staff, circa 1940s. HISTORIC PHOTOS: CONCORDIA HISTORIC INSTITUTE


November–December 2012

from its earliest days, the Missouri Synod has been a church of missions. The first missions were to the native “Indians” of North America and to the immigrants of the New World. The first overseas missionaries of the Missouri Synod, however, went much farther away. India was their destination. They and many after them in the first part of the 20th century were sent there to proclaim the Gospel to the Indian people. Thanks be to God, today, as a result of their efforts more than 100,000

souls in India believe in Jesus. The fruits of the missionaries’ labors may now be seen in the India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC), an LCMS partner church since 1971. making a difference Earlier this year, I traveled with a group of classmates and professors from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne to visit the IELC. We saw over and over again the visible signs of the long partnership between the LCMS and the IELC in the many churches, schools, hospitals, and institutions of mercy. (Editor’s note:

intense loyalty “Each and every member of the IELC is thankful for the sacrifice of the missionaries,” asserted Rev. J. Samuel, president of the IELC, as he recounted the story of Rev. Theodore Naether, the first LCMS missionary to India. Naether watched two of his children die before succumbing

Darin Storkson, LCMS director for Southern Asia and Oceania, explains that the people of the IELC are everywhere “intensely aware of their heritage.” The result is what he calls an “intense loyalty towards the LCMS.” The School for the Blind in Barugur is but one example. There is a prominent display of signs for “Rev. Naumann Stage” and “Rev. Naumann Park,” in memory of my own great-grandfather’s cousin, Johannes Naumann, a missionary in the region from 1929-64. His daughter, Helen, now a resident of Fairibault, Minn., has fond memories of growing up in India. “I miss the people there,” she told me, “They were always so good to us.”

India Missionaries Group circa 1940s (above); Rev. Dr. J. Samuel, President IELC (below left); Blind Student with Braille book (below right); IELC School for the Blind (below center).

“I am here today [a Lutheran pastor and church president] because of the sacrifices of the missionaries.”


see the International Grant Story on page 12.) Our LCMS contributions make a big difference in India, due in part to the fragile economy and because so many live in extreme poverty. The smallest gifts were most gratefully received, an incredibly moving experience for me when I remembered the luxuries of my own life. Particularly impressive is the Lutheran school system, with its large numbers of students and thus the massive potential it holds for bringing the Gospel to the people of India. The vast majority of students are Hindu, not Christian, and yet all of them get the opportunity to learn about Jesus and the Christian faith. Everywhere we went the Indian Lutherans honored and thanked us, not only for the work that the LCMS is involved in today, but also because of what was done in the past. The many missionaries sent to India over the years are well remembered.

himself to the plague, blessing and preaching to his flock until his last breath. “I am here today

[a Lutheran pastor and church president] because of the sacrifices of the missionaries.” November–December 2012

future opportunities The Missouri Synod does not send missionaries to India any more, at least not to serve as pastors and evangelists, but Indian Lutherans very much want the relationship to continue. President Samuel expressed two hopes in particular. “The first thing that we expect: prayer. The second thing is guidance. Guidance is very important. We believe that today the LCMS is our parent and we look to our parents for guidance.” That “guidance” is exactly what the LCMS is most happy to supply. Storkson explains that



“We believe that today the LCMS is our parent, and we look to our parents for guidance.”

plans are underway to foster a closer partnership specifically with Concordia Theological Seminary in Nagercoil, India, the sole training center for IELC pastors and the backbone of their mission efforts. The partnership includes scholarships for Indian seminarians to study at LCMS seminaries, and in the near future, the sending of LCMS theologians to teach in India as part of the Synod’s Global Seminary Initiative. All of this and more will help secure the close relationship that we


enjoyed in the past and lay the foundation for a long future of cooperation toward our common goal of preaching the Gospel to all nations. Finally, let us respond gladly to President Samuel’s request for prayer by asking our heavenly Father to remember His children in India. Edward Naumann is a fourthyear student at Concordia Theological Seminary (CTS) in Fort Wayne. He and his wife, Monica, have three young children.

November–December 2012

Our Work in INDIA The IELC Today

Members 114,600 Congregations: 764 Active Pastors: 210 Deaconesses: 18 Seminary: 1 Hospitals: 3 School of Nursing: 1 Schools: 85


L to R: worship service at St Paul Lutheran Church, Ponvila, Kerala; Rev. Theodore Naether; Thali is a meal with many small dishes; children receive health care and educational assistance through an LCMS mercy program in Chennai.

India Facts

Religious Population Hindu 80.5% Muslim 13.4% Christian 2.3% Sikh 1.9% Other 1.8% Unspecified 0.1% Population: 1,205,073,612

Budget Amount for Our Work in India: $187,000

LCMS Disaster Response Walks the Long Road by Edward Grimenstein

Office of National Mission

churches as they reach out to those who are suffering, those who know and remember the painful, deep wounds of a disaster. That’s also why, in the past 10 years, we have awarded 758 domestic and international disaster grants totaling $33,262,018. This assistance created opportunities for relief and recovery work following hurricanes, earthquakes tornados, floods and wildfires. And this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our work together as Synod! LCMS Disaster Response also trains districts and congregations on how to respond to disasters. We’ve even constructed a new Rev. Glenn F. Merritt, director of LCMS Disaster Response, on scene program called “Mercy following the severe storms that hit Henryville, Ind., in March 2012. in Action” in which in a disaster and how to abandon them when the interested people in road is long. districts and congregations provide Christ’s mercy to their community, they are Christ came to us, took attend local training events willing, just as Christ was, on our flesh, bore our sin that encourage them while to walk along with those and still does to this day. caring for those in need. who are suffering and Thanks to Him, we in the With this training in to show them mercy, no Church can continue to hand, members are able matter how long it takes. share with Him in showing to provide lasting care to Following a disaster, mercy to this world from people who need it, for as care for our brothers and now until the day He long as they need it. When sisters in Christ and for returns. people know what to do those who still need to The Rev. Dr. Edward Grimenstein hear Christ’s life-giving (edward.grimenstein@lcms. Gospel may last weeks, org) was recently called to be 2002-2012 LCMS Disaster Response: the director of personnel for the months, even years. But • 508 domestic disaster grants in 32 LCMS districts LCMS Office of International one thing is certain: The $20,758,288 Mission. He and his wife, Tevia, Church doesn’t leave have six children. They are • 250 international disaster grants in 59 countries people when times are members of Hope Lutheran $12,503,730 Church in St. Louis. tough. And we don’t


astor, how long do we need to keep meeting with people in our neighborhood?” “Pastor, how much longer will the volunteers be coming?” “Pastor, haven’t we already done enough?” These words, often spoken in the aftermath of a disaster, echo Peter’s: “Lord, how often should I forgive my brother when he sins against me?” Peter asked. “Up to seven times?” (Matt. 18:21). Peter wanted to know when forgiveness could end, when he could stop. Our response echoes Jesus’: “Just as My compassion and My Father’s compassion for you never ceases, neither should your love and mercy for others ever cease (paraphrase).” LCMS Disaster Response takes the words of Jesus seriously. We believe that the Church’s work of providing mercy in this world should not cease until this earth itself does. That’s why the LCMS has been purposeful in coming alongside districts, congregations and partner

Mercy Corps Disaster Ministry

Annual Investment: $1,960,673

• 3,000 Disaster Kits distributed

November–December 2012




Mission Society Grows into “Valued Strategic Partner”


t was 17 years ago when Tim Heiney began serving as the first Lutheran missionary in Guinea, West Africa. He questioned if he could provide proper theological training while dealing with “all the other problems, frustrations and opportunities” that go along with mission work. But thanks be to God who, through the Jesus Is Lord Mission (JILM) society, ensured that Heiney didn’t have long to fret. The LCMS soon opened the Lutheran Center for Theological Education (which uses the French acronym CLET) in Togo to train pastors for Lutheran church bodies in Frenchspeaking West African countries, including Guinea. Heiney calls JILM’s crucial support of CLET a ministry lynchpin. “For years, JILM has been supporting the CLET and its work in West Africa,” said Heiney, now an area facilitator in that region with the LCMS Office of International Mission (OIM). Today, Guinea is one of 27 countries where JILM has helped share Christ’s love since the mission society began in 2002. Ten years later, the group has provided more than $1.6 million to support the work of its only partner —


the LCMS. Four Texas couples started JILM at a time when the Synod was in a financial crisis, says Dalton Noack, JILM volunteer coordinator. Founders of the Jesus Is Lord Mission society gather for the group’s “Missionaries were 10th anniversary worship service and celebration in June at Zion Lutheran being brought Church, Walburg, Texas. They are, from left, Dr. Larry Meissner, Sandra home and national O’Shoney, Dr. Glenn O’Shoney, Ellen Harms, the Rev. Walt Harms, Lyn Sohns and Dr. Will Sohns. (Another founder, Yvonne Meissner, is not ministry work in pictured.) St. Louis was being incredible network of thankful for their faithful cut,” Noack said. volunteers and supporters partnership which allows Today, JILM has grown who strengthen our LCMS us all to work together to more than 1,000 to support the Great members in 40 states and church body for church planting, theological Commission.” Austria. education and missionary To learn more about Each year, the LCMS JILM, visit www.jilmission. spotlights mission projects service worldwide,” Hofman said. “We are so org or call 512-240-4121 in need of funds. JILM members vote on the projects they will support. This year, along with the group’s current $191,194 mission projects commitment, members Total project commitment: $191,194 plan to make a $40,000 “thank offering” honoring Ministry JILM God for JILM’s 10th Commitment anniversary. That gift will Eurasia, mission work in Georgia $ 10,500 help the LCMS support a missionary with the China Togo, Lutheran Center for Evangelical Lutheran Theological Studies $ 100,579 Church in Taiwan and the India, church planting by development of Lutheran trained leaders $ 42,000 theological training Sri Lanka, church planting materials in Chinese. by trained leaders $ 11,340 A “valued strategic Philippines, partner” is how Mark theological education $ 7,875 Hofman, executive Papua New Guinea, director of LCMS Mission theological education $ 10,500 Advancement, describes JILM. Bible schools $ 8,400 “JILM has built an

JESUS IS LORD MISSION PROJECTS July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013

November–December 2012


by Kim Plummer Krull


National Mercy Grant

Enables Sustained Rebuilding Efforts in Flooded Areas by Megan K. Mertz

RECIPIENT: Hope Village, Minot, N.D. AMOUNT: $400,000 TOTAL SINCE APRIL 2012: • 198 Volunteer Groups • 1,743 Volunteers • 62,766 Volunteer Hours teams were driving 25 to 65 miles to their job site each day because of a lack of nearby housing. Hope Village opened on the grounds of Our Savior Lutheran Church April 1, 2012, with the capacity to provide housing and meals for up to 250 volunteers a day. Staff estimate that over the summer, the center helped to facilitate approximately $1.1 million worth of volunteer labor. But Hope Village provides more than just a place for volunteer

teams to sleep. The program also includes a spiritual care component for flood survivors and volunteers. “As the people of God respond with the acts of mercy that restore a physical home, God Himself is at work with acts of grace, opening the doors that bring Gospel healing and restoration of the spiritual soul,” said Rev. Paul Krueger, pastor of Our Savior. For the city of Minot, recovery is a slow process that is estimated to take three to four years. But even as other sources of disaster funding run out, the LCMS will still be there, providing physical and spiritual care to the people who need it. Megan K. Mertz is a staff writer for LCMS Communications. She and her husband, Jonathan, are members of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Brentwood, Mo.



ore than 4,100 families from the Minot, N.D., area lost their homes and possessions when the Souris River rose during the spring of 2011. Heavy rains caused flooding there and in many parts of the Midwest, forcing thousands of people to evacuate. Since then, the LCMS, through its Disaster Ministry, has given several grants to help sustain long-term recovery efforts. Initially, grant money helped congregations in Minot provide meals, gift cards and other financial assistance to help cover unmet needs of families affected by the flooding. In addition, almost $400,000 has been given to establish Hope Village, a volunteer-services center that coordinates the relief efforts of faith-based organizations. Before Hope Village opened, volunteer

Scenes from Minot, N.D., following the spring 2011 floods. November–December 2012


Blessings by the Numbers

Our Work in the World North America

Latin America


How is budget money used? Depending on the country, budget dollars are used for witness and/or mercy projects, programs and people in keeping with the Six Mission Priorities of the Synod.


$10,200,000 National Mission Budget

$3,648,328 Eurasia Budget


Africa Budget


Asia Pacific Budget $1,556,339 $1,532,702

Latin America and Caribbean Budget

Southern Asia and Oceania Budget




1847 United States


1900 Brazil 1905 Argentina

Six Mission Priorities

1. Revitalize and Plant Churches

1930-1939 1936 Nigeria 1937 Paraguay

1911 Cuba 1913 China


1882 Denmark



1895 India 1896 England


1927 Belgium 1927 Sri Lanka 1928 Finland 192? Czechoslovakia

2. Expand Theological Education

November–December 2012

1950 Hong Kong 1950 Lebanon 1951 Taiwan 1952 Venezuela 1956 Portugal 1958 El Salvador 1958 South Korea


1940 Mexico 1941 Panama 1943 Poland 1946 Philippines 1947 Guatemala 1948 Australia 1948 Japan 1948 Papua New Guinea

3. Enhance Education

Past and Present (


MaP indicates countries where the LCMS is currently working. TiMeline indicates countries where the LCMS has worked.


Asia Pacific

Southern Asia and Oceania

Partner Churches For a complete listing of the partner churches of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, visit


1990 Czech Republic 1991 Hungary 1991 Ivory Coast 1991 Slovakia 1992 Russia 1993 Haiti 1993 Jamaica 1993 Kazakhstan 1993 Puerto Rico 1995 Indonesia 1995 Uganda 1995 Vietnam 1996 Benin

1970-1979 1972 Germany 1975 Eritrea 1978 Guam 1978 Liberia


1960 Chile 1960 Ghana 1960 Uruguay 1961 Honduras


1980 Togo 1982 Botswana 1982 South Africa 1983 Sierra Leone 1984 Congo (DRC) 1986 Thailand 1988 Macau 1989 Canada

4. Enhance Mission Effectiveness

1996 Estonia 1996 Ethiopia 1996 Guinea 1996 Latvia 1996 Lithuania 1997 Angola 1998 Bolivia 1998 Kenya 1998 Kyrgyzstan 1999 Laos 1999 Myanmar 1999 Spain 1998 Sudan

2010-Present 2010 Cameroon 2010 Malawi 2010 Mali


2000 Burkina Faso 2001 Belarus 2001 Cambodia 2001 The Gambia 2002 Afghanistan 2002 Cayman Islands 2002 France 2002 Pakistan 2002 Tanzania 2004 Dominican Republic 2004 Georgia

5. Nurture Church Workers

November–December 2012

2004 Mongolia 2005 Congo (ROC) 2005 Madagascar 2006 North Korea 2007 Mozambique 2007 Senegal 2008 Burundi 2008 Peru 2008 Turkey 2009 Zambia

6. Human Care alongside 11 Word and Sacrament ©2012 LCMS

International Mercy Grant

Still Bringing Mercy to 2004 Tsunami Survivors by Megan K. Mertz


RECIPIENT: India Evangelical Lutheran Church AMOUNT: $659,212 RESULT: Child and family development center and projects The grant will fund the development of a child-care center in a village in southern India, where the tsunami destroyed the cultivated land. The program, with the help of the newly planted Lutheran church and the community, will reach 100 families by providing education, food and health care. The program will also train mothers in hygiene and job skills, such as pickle making, tailoring and embroidery. The grant will also continue to provide the operating costs for a child-care project among the Irula people that began in 2008.

The Irula live in a poor fishing community, where they can fish only eight months of the year. The program provides nutritious food, school uniforms, shoes, books and medical care to 75 children. The center is served spiritually by the pastor of a local IELC congregation. “Many families are moving toward the Christian faith by the Gospel work undertaken by the manager and staff of this center,” said Rev. Dr. J. Samuel, president of the IELC. “It’s important to communicate that we are still working eight years after the tsunami and will be working another five years,” said Darin Storkson, LCMS regional director for Southern Asia and Oceania. “We are in it for the long haul, to build relationships and build the capacity of our partners.”


early eight years after the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami claimed some 283,000 lives and countless livelihoods, LCMS Disaster Response is still bearing mercy, providing aid and changing lives, all the while pointing people to the One who can save lives for eternity. The Synod’s disaster arm has provided $659,212 for a five-year grant that will wrap up in 2017, nearly 13 years after the 2004 tsunami. The grant allows the India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC), a partner church of the LCMS, to operate two programs to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of the children and families in the most devastated areas. This grant is one of many made possible by the generous donations of members of the LCMS, who gave $5,776,942 to the Indian Ocean Tsunami Relief.

Women in tsunami-affected areas receive skills training and sewing machines so that they can help support their families.


November–December 2012

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

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


Going the Distance from Indiana to PapuaNew Guinea

by Kim Plummer Krull


Above (R to L) Rev. Dr. Timothy C.J. Quill, LCMS director seminary education, and Rev. John Mehl, LCMS regional director for Asia Pacific, with a leader in the Gutnius Lutheran Church. Above right: two members of the Gutnius Lutheran Church.

(CTS) in Fort Wayne, he and Lora decided the parish provided a better fit. He loved serving in the parish, Horn says, but conversations about Papua New Guinea with Rev. Dr. Timothy C.J. Quill, director of LCMS Theological Education, and Rev. Dr. John L. Mehl, LCMS regional director, Asia Pacific, reignited a longsimmering aspiration. Lora was not surprised when Film-reel photos (T-B) circa 1970s people gather for a worship service; 1978 patients waiting to enter a Lutheran hospital; 1978 native workers with nursemissionaries Denman and Kremeyer and Dr. Klomhaus. Rev. Ron Rall, pastor, Timothy Lutheran Church, St. Louis, Mo. and former missionary to Papua New Guinea. HISTORIC PHOTOS: CONCORDIA HISTORICAL INSTITUTE ALL OTHER PHOTOS: LCMS


November–December 2012

her husband expressed interest in Papua New Guinea. Even when the couple was dating, she knew Horn wanted to serve as a missionary. Likewise, she felt a pull toward the mission field. “It’s the ability to meet my brothers and sisters in Christ across the world,” Lora said. “It’s giving that experience to my children, too, that I think is important.”


hen their parents first told Chris, 15, and Maggie, 10, about the call, the siblings understandably needed time to adjust. “I’m excited about it, but I’ve been in Indiana all my life, so it’s a bit hard to leave,” said Maggie, who accompanied her parents at the missionary orientation this summer at the LCMS International Center in St. Louis. Maggie said she knows Papua New Guinea is a tropical country near the equator. “That’s so-so,” she said, “because I like

playing in the snow.” Her greatest uncertainty is leaving behind the family’s dog and two cats. (“Papua New Guinea has restrictions about pets entering the country,” Horn said.) Jeff Horn understands that the family’s move, scheduled for May, poses a huge transition for the children. Maggie and Chris have shown “a lot of courage,” he said. “It hasn’t necessarily been easy for them, but they have adjusted very well and have taken up saying, ‘If this is what our family is going to do, then let’s do the best we can.’” new opportunities A resurgence of a false teaching called the “spirit movement” looms in the Enga province, the home of many congregations of the Gutnius (Good News) Lutheran Church (GLC), an LCMS partner church. “The Gutnius Lutheran Church leaders understand that if they do not raise the theological

Rev. Jeffrey and Lora Horn with their two children, Maggie and Chris

mountains and jungle to be among the tribes and bring the Gospel” at the invitation of the Enga people. The missionaries “worked and worked for nine years” to prepare the Enga for the first group baptism, Horn said of the Rev. Otto Hintze and the Rev. Willard Burce, the first LCMS missionaries to reach out to the Enga,

god will provide Along with learning the Pidgin language, Horn is working to raise financial gifts to help support the family while they serve in Papua New Guinea. (See story below.) Horn says he and Lora feel comfortable “knowing God will provide.” At the same time, they understand that “a lot of hard work” is needed from a missionary couple even before they leave home. “If it comes down to a choice between saying there’s no money [to support a missionary family in Papua New Guinea] and staying home, we’d rather be out raising the funds,” Horn said. Kim Plummer Krull is a freelance writer and member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres, Mo.

Tackling Challenge Before Leaving Home


ven longtime LCMS members may be surprised to learn that part of an LCMS missionary’s work involves fundraising. Before Rev. Jeffrey Horn heads to Papua New Guinea this spring, he must raise $164,000 — a sizable chunk of the ever-growing cost to support a missionary family in the field. While Horn calls the figure “somewhat intimidating,” he also views it “as a very effective investment in the life of the church.” He’s spending a lot of time these days visiting

congregations and individual members throughout the country, talking about ministry needs and opportunities in


level of their clergy, the church is in danger of losing her Lutheran identity and will cease to exist — that is, it will be Lutheran in name only,” Quill said. Horn’s “combination of extensive experience as a parish pastor along with ongoing theological studies have prepared him well for this missionary position,” Quill added, noting that Horn completed a master’s in sacred theology at CTS. The new missionary’s call is to train and support GLC pastors, teaching at Timothy Seminary and traveling to villages to provide continuing education. “Rev. Horn will have the opportunity as a seminary professor to teach what he has done. He will be able to bring real examples into the classroom,” Mehl said. As Horn learned more about LCMS work that began in 1948 in Papua New Guinea, he was amazed by the courage and persistence of pioneering missionaries who “went into the

a primitive people who still used stone axes and whose only religion was a cult of the dead. On a single day in 1957, the missionaries baptized 79 men, women and children; a second group baptism followed, of 298 people, both milestones in the life of the GLC. The church now operates health centers and schools and has grown to a baptized membership of more than 54,000 in some 550 congregations. Horn bid farewell to Zion Lutheran Church in July in order to prepare for the mission field. Zion congregants were sorry to lose their pastor but supported his desire to serve in the mission field. “I think they really have helped train me to go,” Horn said of the Zion congregation.

November–December 2012

Papua New Guinea. “There’s really a lot of joy in it, getting to know people, visiting them in their homes and at potlucks, building relationships and, hopefully, encouraging them to join us in the good work that needs to be done to train pastors to preach the Word,” Horn said. To learn more about the Horns and mission work in Papua New Guinea, visit, email or follow Horn on Facebook.



Network Enables Missionaries

to Be Fishers of Men


by Pamela J. Nielsen


November–December 2012



From our earliest days, a portion of the offering dollars and donations to the Synod was budgeted to cover missionary expenses. Key groups like the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League and the Lutheran Laymen’s League eagerly provided additional funds for mission work. Missionaries home on furlough visited congregations, made presentations and encouraged missionfocused gifts for the Synod. Individuals, congregations, church groups and various Lutheran organizations have always provided a network of support for LCMS mission efforts.


Behind each missionary stands a team of prayer partners, financial sponsors and ministry partners from every corner of the Synod. The NSM model works like this: Each LCMS missionary works to build a personal network of financial supporters. They visit with

individuals, congregations and groups to share the story of their work and encourage people to engage in that work with their prayers and financial gifts. Their message is “Help our Synod send me to share Christ with the world.” Once deployed, our missionaries stay connected with their support network through regular communication. Then, every two years, a missionary comes “home” for an extended period

supplied by individuals, congregations, and strategic partners. These gifts are received by the Synod and credited to the individual missionary’s account and are used only to cover the missionary’s salary, benefits and living expenses.

> $13.3 MILLION

The LCMS set aside $13.3 million in its 2013 annual budget for mission work, most of it funded by designated gifts. These

Individuals Congregrations [Mission [Together-inSenders] Mission) [Mission Central, Iowa]


Salaries, Benefits, Living Expenses

B Projects, Program

Logistics, Resources, Communications, Fundraising

of time that includes vacation, reconnecting with family and touching base in person with their network supporters. By God’s grace, they also connect with new individuals and groups who join this important network of support. What is the result?

> $6.2 MILLION

This year, $6.2 million in donations will directly support individual LCMS missionaries as a result of their personal fundraising. Offerings are

officers in each of five world regions along with funds for program and projects. This $13.3 million is provided to the LCMS by individuals, congregations, districts and other groups who desire to walk and work together as a Synod in our global witness and mercy efforts. “I know from my own family’s history and from seeing this work firsthand, it

> + >

= $19.5 Million


oon, 29 new LCMS missionaries will venture out onto mission fields across the globe. Standing behind them is a network of support designed to go the distance in meeting each missionary’s needs so that nothing impedes the proclamation of the Gospel. Why does the LCMS rely on this network?

Strategic Partners

$6.2 Million Direct Missionary Sponsorship Q

Synod Mission Budget

$13.3 Million

(Districts/ Foundations)

dollars fund the logistics, planning and resources for the recruitment, training and launching of missionaries onto the field. A dedicated team back home at the LCMS International Center supports our missionaries with strategic guidance, communication and fundraising assistance along with logistical aid including dealing with foreign governments and, at times, personal security issues. Synod budget dollars also cover senior directors and business November–December 2012

Missionary SupportB

takes a Synod,” says Mark Hofman, executive director of Mission Advancement, as he describes the benefit and need for a broad, strong network of support for LCMS mission work. Reflecting on the reasons for forming the Synod in 1847, Hofman says, “We came together to do what no single congregation or individual could accomplish alone. Together, we share Christ with the world.”



witness, mercy, life together Vacation Bible School leaders at Our Savior Lutheran Church, Minot, N.D., got “slimed” after children raised more than $3,000 for North Dakota outreach projects, including Hope Village.

Rev. Peter Bender sings the National Anthem at Chicago’s Wrigley Field before a Cubs-Astros game. Bender was given this opportunity after returning the ball from a player’s first home run earlier in the season. He has served as the pastor of Peace Lutheran Church, Sussex, Wis., for 21 years. The Rev. Nelson Rodriguez (center front) was ordained into the pastoral ministry on the same day his wife, Perla Gil de Rodriguez, was commissioned as a deaconess. The two serve Comunidad de Gracia Lutheran Church, an urban church plant in Houston, Texas.


November–December 2012

Students use American Sign Language to interpret portions of the liturgy during the Church Interpreter Training Institute (CITI). CITI is a two-week program held on the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, that equips students to share the Gospel with the deaf.

A team member from Messiah Lutheran Church, Lakeville, Minn., helps a woman fit new glasses during a short-term mission trip to Guinea, West Africa. The team of eight held eyeglass clinics through Mission Opportunities Short Term (MOST Ministries) and gave out nearly 600 pairs of glasses during their trip.

Patti Anderson and Susan Hawthorne fill bowls with food for Haitian children with special needs. The two women were part of an 11-person team from Iowa District West that traveled to Haiti to share God’s love through Vacation Bible School and other activities.

Rev. Clarence Pannier, 90, of Davenport, Iowa — a 1962 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Ill. — has gone the distance, leading a breakfast Bible study each week for 30 years in a local restaurant.

Murell Sanders (center) describes Fuzzy Friends for Haiti, the mission project of the Vacation Bible School at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Memphis, Tenn. This organization, which was started in 2010 by Meredith Johnson (left), collects stuffed animals for children in Haiti. During the last three years, 3,235 toys have been collected.

Rev. Shauen Trump, LCMS missionary to Kenya and Tanzania, preaches at a worship service in Uganda. Shauen and his wife, Krista, have served in Africa since 2008. They have two sons.

#TELL US YOUR WMLT STORY... Please send your parish or district photos to: OR Lutherans Engage the World 1333 S. Kirkwood Road St. Louis, MO 63122 November–December 2012



pray + learn + listen√ + participate + invest + serve


Lord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen Pray for Us monthly prayer calendar: prayforus z Missionary Prayer Cards: prayercards


New magazine to debut in September

August 2012 reporter >



report on conventions



Czech Lutheran, LCMS leaders sign agreement


Page 1

augusT 2012

Synod commissions 29 new missionaries for service

LCMS Communications/Frank Kohn

LCMS First Vice-President Rev. Dr. Herbert C. Mueller Jr. congratulates deaconess student Rachel Powell during the July 6 “sending service” for new missionaries at the Synod’s International Center in St. Louis. Powell, a student at Concordia University Chicago, will be serving her internship as a missionary in Lima, Peru.

missionaries; the others, as GEO (Globally Engaged in Outreach) missionaries, serving one- to twoyear terms. The latter group includes two deaconess students who will be serving internships on the mission field. Rachel Powell, a 22-year-old from Concordia University Chicago, will serve in Lima, Peru, and Katie

Ziegler, 27, who attends Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind., is headed to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Both will serve human-care ministries — caring for the physical and spiritual needs of the poor — and both say God “opened doors” for them to serve as overseas missionaries.

Powell said “the idea of serving in the foreign mission field is something that’s been floating around in my mind and my heart for some time,” but that “God orchestrated the whole thing” to make it happen when she met a missionary at the Synod’s 2011 Beautiful Feet mission conference for college students. She kept in touch with that missionary, Bruce Wall, who encouraged her to apply for mission service. Ziegler said her interest was sparked by a seminary presentation by the Rev. Ted Krey, regional director for Latin America with the Synod’s Office of International Mission. She thought the timing was right for overseas service, since she’s young and single, and the idea of working with a mission team rather than on her own appealed to her. Both said the orientation was very helpful because it answered a lot of questions and because of the personal connections they now have with other missionaries — “a neat support system, even if it’s not face-to-face, definitely in prayer,” said Powell. (See Missionaries, Page 4)


Black ministry’s ‘new song’ envisions new engagement

By Joe Isenhower Jr. GREENSBORO, N.C. – Participants in the 2012 Black Ministry Family Convocation here July 11-15 heard plans for a new association of congregations and individuals in black ministry to stay connected and remain as a driving force in the Synod’s mission and ministry. This convocation — sponsored by the LCMS Southeastern District Coalition of Lutherans in Black Ministry and drawing some 225 registrants – was the first one since restructuring resolutions adopted at the 2010 Synod convention led to elimination of the Synod’s Board for Black Ministry Services (BBMS). Previously, that board planned and sponsored the biennial convocations, which would continue with the new association. “Sing to the Lord a New Song” (from Psalm 96:1) was the theme as convocation-goers gathered at North Carolina A&T State University for worship, Bible study and hymn singing, presentations by speakers including Synod President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, interest centers, meals and other fellowship opportunities. The A&T campus holds

special significance as the site of Immanuel Lutheran College (ILC) and Seminary, a school of the former Synodical Conference, which closed it in 1962. Many ILC alumni (including graduates of the college’s high school) were at the convocation. Also participating, in their own convocation youth-track activities, were about 18 young people. Harrison, speaking on the last full day of the convocation, led a Bible study on the Synod’s Witness, Mercy, Life Together emphasis and provided an update on a wide range of topics of interest in the Synod. Touching on “countless struggles” and concerns of AfricanAmericans down through the years, Harrison told the assembly, “I find it amazing that you are in the Missouri Synod and that you love it. I thank you for being Lutheran.” Other speakers included: n the Rev. Donald Anthony, pastor of two LCMS congregations in North Carolina and chairman of the LCMS Black Clergy Caucus. n Martha Mitkos, LCMS

campaign director of the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI). Mitkos spoke about LMI after the opening Communion service – at which the offering was designated for the initiative. n the Rev. Dr. Lawrence Rast, president of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., who gave a detailed historical overview of black ministry in the Synod. n the Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the Synod’s Office of National Mission (ONM), who described that office and how it exists to serve the needs of congregations and districts. Day said he thinks the new black-ministry director position with the ONM — expected to be filled by later this year — “is a great opportunity to sing a new song, expand and integrate black ministry into parts of the Synod

where it has never been before.” n the Rev. Gregory K. Williamson, the Synod’s chief mission officer. Williamson spoke about the Synod’s mission statement, its Witness, Mercy, Life Together values, its mission priorities, and its vision (with goals of being “globally integrated, culturally focused and seamlessly unified”). n the Rev. James McDaniels, pastor of St. Luke Lutheran Church, High Point, N.C., who was instrumental in planning and making the convocation a reality, along with his wife, Janis. n the Rev. Dr. Victor Belton, pastor of Peace Lutheran Church, Decatur, Ga., and a member of the Synod Board of Directors. n Nikki Rochester, chair of the Southeastern District Coalition of Lutherans in Black Ministry. She (See Black convocation, Page 4) 800-325-3040, ext. 1414 >

LCMS Communications/Joe Isenhower Jr.

Members from several congregations sing in a choir for the opening Communion service of the 2012 Black Ministry Family Convocation, July 11-15 in Greensboro, N.C. “Sing to the Lord a New Song” was the convocation theme.


800-325-3040 LISTEN:

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PARTICIPATE: Youth Ministry Symposium Jan. 7–8, 2013 Irvine, Calif. symposium


National NADCE Conference for Directors of Christian Education Jan. 8–10, 2013 Irvine, Calif. LCMS Life Conference (with special youth track) Jan. 25–26, 2013 Washington, D.C.

November–December 2012


OUR FINANCIAL GIFT is an investment in the global mission and mercy work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. To make a gift, please use the enclosed envelope, contact mission. or call 800-248-1930.


Official Newspaper Of The luTheraN church—MissOuri syNOd

By Paula Schlueter Ross Twenty-nine new missionaries will soon be starting work in more than a dozen countries on behalf of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. The missionaries — who range in age and experience from recent college graduates to mid-career couples — completed a two-week orientation at the Synod’s International Center in St. Louis that focused on training, equipping and encouraging them under the theme “Credo: Created to Live ... Forever!” (from 1 John 5:11). The orientation ended with a July 6 “sending service” at the International Center chapel. Preaching at that service, LCMS First Vice-President Rev. Dr. Herbert C. Mueller Jr. told the missionaries, “You are sent by Christ Himself. He has filled you with His precious Gospel. ... In His strong name, you are sent. You are never alone, for the living Lord Jesus will never abandon you. Confessing His name, you can go, knowing that you are not the one who builds the church. Jesus is.” About half of this year’s group will be serving as long-term career


Care and Compassion Teams Complete human-care projects — experience life in remote areas — work sideby-side with locals. Average trip cost $2,500-$3,000 per person + project costs. Teams needed year-round — more in the spring. Teaching Teams Host youth camps — teach the faith to young people — teach specific skills (English, music, etc.) Average trip cost: $2500 per person. Teams needed year-round — more in the summer. Contact Jennifer Prophete: 314-996-1311 or Jennifer. The LCMS is accepting applications for ALL missionary service! Opportunities exist for 1-2 weeks, 2 months, 1 year or career missionary service. For more information: Questions? Contact mission. or 800-THE LCMS (843-5267). National Association of Lutheran Mission Agencies Conference Jan. 31–Feb. 1, 2013 St. Louis, Mo. 314-780-3553 Contemplate For those college age or older considering church work; March 7–9, 2013

2013 Mercy Medical Teams Medical professionals/ students — service abroad — clinical and health-related settings. Primary Care Clinical Teams (PCC): Clinical experience — pharmacists, physical therapists, general volunteers and ordained LCMS pastors are needed. Community Health Education Teams (CHE): Health or medical educators — public health educators — ordained LCMS pastors are needed. • Madagascar, March 14–24 (PCC) • Kyrgyzstan, April 11–21 (CHE) • Haiti, May 10–19 (PCC) • Kenya, July 11–21 (PCC) • Madagascar, Aug. 1–11 (PCC) • Peru, Oct. (CHE) • Kenya, Nov. 7–17 (PCC) Learn more: Contact: or 800-248-1930 ext. 1278.

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis: 800-822-9545 LIVELOVE[D] 2013 National LCMS Youth Gathering July 1-5, 2013 San Antonio, Texas registration

by Randall L. Golter

may seem excessively confident. I would agree if The Lutheran Church— Missouri Synod were left to herself. Our congregations, pastors, teachers and missionaries are not isolated entities apart from the Triune God. Missouri is owned by Him, bought with the Son’s own blood and empowered by the Spirit through the Word. Where is Missouri moving? Toward the lost. To be sure, we can rightly complain when evaluating the ineptness and frailty of the LCMS, both the past and the present. People did the same when viewing the Savior from beneath His cross. But God does His work through the most unlikely of means: His Son, the Gospel, His Church, His people.

“We have no other reason for living on earth than to be of help to others. If this were not the case, it would be best for God to kill us and let us die as soon as we are baptized and have begun to believe. But He permits us to live here in order that we may bring others to faith, just as He brought us.” This issue of Lutherans Engage the World details Christ’s work through Missouri over the years, from America to Papua New Guinea to India and beyond. This movement by Missouri presents a cause to rejoice and give thanks, and it encourages the same aggressive work now and into the future. The Lutheran Church— Missouri Synod has confidence because Christ owns her and the mission. He is the One planning, doing, working, fretting as a mother hen over wayward chicks (Matt. 23:37). What a distinct privilege and absolute joy to follow, to work alongside the Master! Rev. Randall Golter is the newly installed Executive Director of the LCMS Office of International Mission. He is the former president of the Synod’s Rocky Mountain District and served as parish pastor for four LCMS congregations.


Missouri Move! is on the

Such an assertion

Missouri moves toward the lost because she is connected baptismally to the One who is moving. Let’s get this straight: Mission for Missouri is not done because she is commanded to do so, to follow the Great Commission. “Look at the Great Commission. You’re not doing it. Jesus has forgiven you. Now you need to get out there and do it!” Christ’s goal for the Church is not greater obedience to His commandments but faith in Him, an explicit trust in the One who gives Himself freely. Owned by such a Savior, Missouri from its beginning could not — and cannot — but give of herself to others, in witness, mercy and life together. That is how it is when owned and enslaved by this gracious God (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 12:1–2; Acts 8:4; 9:31)! Luther writes in his 1 Peter commentary (AE 30:11):

November–December 2012



You have a voice. You can be theirs.

Don’t let another 40 years pass with another 54 million babies aborted. Join us for the LCMS Life Conference, Jan. 25-26, 2013, in Washington, D.C. Learn how to use your voice through specially designed adult and youth tracks! You, your friends, your youth group — get ready to take your stand on this milestone 40-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Register Today! #lcmslifeconf Learn more: Give now:


November–December 2012

Now’s the time to speak— to pray– to support.

2012 - Lutherans Engage the World — November-December  
2012 - Lutherans Engage the World — November-December  

Going the Distance