January 15, 2017
In South Sudan, prior to June 2011, a small group of priests departed the Anglican church in that country to begin a small but growing Lutheran church body. Recently during his visit to Nairobi, John had the chance to meet with Rev Nathaniel Bol, the leader of the South Sudan Evangelical Lutheran Church (SSELC). The SSELC is one of the many new and existing Lutheran church bodies the LCMS is working with in Africa.
In the words of Rev Gary Schulte, the LCMS director for west and central Africa, “there is a need for focus on healing the soul and healing the body” in an area of the world where people are under stains of disease, civil strife, and outside pressures.
Countries have a need to hear the Gospel in their own language, and there are Christian men and women who want to do so. One way is to equip men as pastors as they return to their home countries to teach others about their salvation through Christ. The Center for Theological Studies (CLET) in Togo currently supports seminary students from eight countries and continues to grow. West Africa has also experienced bouts of malaria, ebola, and dingy fever. LCMS medical and mercy missions in partnership with partner Lutheran churches and local medical organizations provide an opportunity to witness and heal both body and soul.
In eastern and southern Africa, the LCMS desires to “walk closely with partner churches and new churches in ways that they request,” per Rev Shauen Trump, the LCMS director for that area. Each church has its own culture, context, and unique circumstances. Some are well-developed churches with 7M+ members and growing like the Lutheran church in Ethiopia. Some are very small and just beginning like the Lutheran church in South Sudan and are eager to do things to reach out to their communities in ways they feel will spread the gospel.
The needs in Africa are great and varied, and it is an honor to meet and work alongside (now and in the future) pastors and congregations who are reaching and teaching those in unreached areas about Jesus Christ, just like Rev Bol. Thank you for your continued prayers and support, and may God bless you as we remember the birth of our Savior during this Christmas season.
Learn more about the growth of Lutheranism in South Sudan by visiting here.
January 19, 2012
Our seminaries are a huge part of what we do in the way of projects! From north to south, east to west, men young and old are learning what it means to shepherd a church; wives are learning what it means to be a support not only to their husbands but to the women in their future congregations! Part of my job as Project Coordinator is receiving final reports when projects are finished. This past week I received a report from the seminary in Accra, Ghana. At the end were several testimonies from some of the students at the seminary there. They blessed me as I read, and I hope they bless you as well!…
My name is Evangelist Johnson Maclean. I am 32 years. I am a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Takoradi, Western Region. I have come to the Seminary with a heart to study Biblical languages and the Lutheran Confessions in-dept. I will be completing my course work by June 2012 and I look forward to that day.
My studies at the Seminary, has equipped me for Word and Sacrament Ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana and for my church to remain committed to the Lutheran Confessions. I am ever grateful to LCMS WM for supporting my Seminary education.
I am Joseph Bentum. I come from Sofokrom near Takoradi in the Western Region. I am a member of Bethel Lutheran Church. Before enrolling at the Seminary, I was an Evangelist at Bethel, my home congregation. I took the opportunity to come to the Seminary in order to take advantage of the learning opportunities students of the ELCG Seminary have. The LCMS-WM is offering support to students to learn THEOLOGY – God’s Word, the Lutheran Confessions, Biblical languages (Greek and Hebrew), Preaching and others to form us to become good Pastors. We are thankful to the Faculty and LCMS-WM for such a wonderful support. My studies at the Seminary will come to an end by June 2012. I am particularly thankful to God and LCMS-WM for the support they have given to the Seminary to make our studies here a possibility.
November 10, 2011
Our church in Conakry, Guinea has had a serious problem, unique to our other churches in the Forest Region. They have had no permanent place to worship since the church first formed back in 2006. It’s been a prayer need and request for some time for them. Last year a team from the Kansas District came out to Guinea and heard about this need. They took it back to the US with them and the District took it on as a project! As of this writing we believe that the entire amount of money has been raised to purchase a piece of land in Conakry that will include two large structures. One will be used as a home for the pastor and an office. The other will be used as a worship and meeting center. We praise God for using the generosity of the good people of Kansas to provide Guinea with this blessing!
On another note, the Africa Management Team met this past month to talk about future projects, so look for some updates coming soon! Thank you for your continued support of projects in Africa!
August 23, 2011
Any of you that have children are probably right now in the throes of shopping for school supplies, figuring out schedules, registrations, and maybe even some tears! Here in Africa we’re going through some of those same things as our seminarians get ready to begin a new year! Many of them are leaving home and traveling sometimes thousands of miles away to study in a foreign country. While the language will be the same (either French or English) often living conditions, food, traditions, holidays and other things are new for them and for their families. But their commitment to serving the Lord is stronger than these physical discomforts, so on they press! Please pray for these men, women, and children that will someday be the leaders of the churches in Africa! Pray that the Holy Spirit works in them during these years to show them what it means to have a servant heart. You can support these families in their endeavors by giving to projects that involve students and seminaries! The following countries have projects having to do with seminary students/study:
Burkina Faso Guinea
Congo Brazzaville Kenya
Cote d’Ivoire Nigeria
Democratic Republic of Congo South Africa
Praise God for His work in these countries!!
August 10, 2011
As the Project Coordinator for Africa, part of my responsibility is to receive and read over reports that come in as projects are completed. I love reading stories of how a certain project has blessed God’s people and His church. Recently these two stories came to me from Kenya after they received money for two chapel roofs from an LWML group:
Mama “J” who is a founder member, who have also contributed land for Golgotha ELCK gave birth to 10 children, one son and 9 daughters. Joyce lost her children at different stages. She is now alone in the home with many orphans. When Joyce joined the church she testified that all along she tried to protect her children through witch doctors and ended in vain. Now that Christians gather in her home for Sunday worship and Bible studies Joyce said “God has increased my children. I have to take care of them not with the witch doctors but with Gods hands. My tears have been wiped and I live happily with the new family, the family of God. Amen”
What a blessing that a church could be put on this land! And what a beautiful response to God’s goodness!! This is from the other congregation that received a roof for their building:
“Mr. N” is a founder members of Nyamage ELCK who was bed ridden for five years. Everybody knew that he will die. All along he said I will die before I build the church for my God. Nyamongo donated land for the church and all of a sudden Nyamongo was healed. When the chapel was done Nyamongo said “Let me depart in peace for I have seen the church I longed for” In response the Christians who returned to Nyamongo said “May your days be increased.” Amen.
How God is working all around the world! Thank you to the LWML groups that continue to support the roofing projects we have all over Africa. Those dollars make a huge difference!!
July 25, 2011
Well, the new year came rolling in as expected and along with it, many new projects were magically ready for funding. The biggest ones, of course, are involving our seminaries in Africa. The new school year will start soon, so students are preparing and tickets are being purchased. We pray for the many student who are working and studying to be able to be good and faithful shepherds in their home areas!! You can pray for our Lutheran students all over Africa: In South Africa, in Togo, in Nigeria, in Ghana. Pray that the Holy Spirit enables them to grow in faith and learning, and that their hearts are those of a servant. Theological Education is a huge need in Africa and we have struggled in the past with having enough funds to finish the school year! If you feel God leading in this way, you can support these students and schools through this website. Go to the country project page and look for the seminary project!! God bless you as you give!