Missionary Monthly News
Pastor Edmund and Cherrie Auger: Pastor and Cherie have just returned from 13 days in Guatemala. “We were blessed to return for a visit to the village of Santiago Zamora where God blessed us to plant a church during the first 10 years of our missionary service, 1985-95. It was a wonderful experience to make acquaintance with the second generation of Lutherans in the community.”
Pastor Tim and Beth Heiney:
Pastor Heiney’s mother died on Easter Day. In his recent newsletter Pastor Heiney reflects on how his “Mom set the tone for what our family life would be. Church was the center of our lives. Choir and singing were her first loves. She often came to our rooms after lights out and sang songs to us in the night, (a practice that I continued with my family on the mission field.) The LWML was also huge for her. She was always going to LWML this and LWML that. When I was little I always thought that Mom and her friends were always going off to see some elderly uncle-type guy name L.W. Mel. Mission Festivals were very big at our church too.” Our prayers go out for Pastor Tim, Beth and their family for peace and comfort with thanksgiving knowing that his mother is at home with the Lord.
Greg and Sinuon Holz: Greg and Sinuon welcomed their third child Elena Chankhieu Holz on April 26, 2017. “Richard and Julianne love having a new baby sister around and are thankfully eager to help with chores around the house if I means they get to hold her…..” He writes: “A huge thank you to everyone who donated towards our new truck! Just before Cambodian New Year we found a truck in our price range and were able to purchase it! We have built a roof and now Sokly uses it to go out and pick up children and take them to school!” Greg has written previously how the kids move away or decide to go another direction and not continue in the Crossing Cambodia program. They were blessed to have two children return recently. “Please continue to pray for these kids that we can serve them, and please pray for the other children who are still gone, that the time they spent with us will have an affect on them and their understanding of Christ’s love.”
Tim and Heidi Norton: Tim writes: “The news from Navajo is good! The Lord has been giving us joy and strength in His mission. We had a baptism on June 4, and two young people were confirmed – – our first confirmation class since we arrived in 2013. Heidi and I were able to go to training called ‘Beauty For Ashes’ that helped us to help people who have had some kind of trauma in their lives (suicide, physical abuse, sexual abuse, etc.) We have been using this approach in our ministry as you may remember that these sorts of things are experienced acutely by the Navajo. We so appreciate the many years of prayer and support from Shepherd of the Hills, and all the things you have done to proclaim the Good News of Jesus to the Navajo. Lord willing, we are looking forward to hosting the youth from Shepherd of the Hills next summer. Please greet everyone on our behalf. I don’t know if anyone will be at the LWML convention, but I would love to connect with anyone coming.” Tim will be ordained on August 27, 2017.
Iantha Scheiwe: “According to the Pew Research Center on religion & Public Life, the percentage of people in Asia who are Christian is just over 7%. Lutheran schools in Asia are providentially established in the midst of these communities who don’t know who Jesus is and don’t know the grace and love that he has promised to them. Christian families seek out Christian schools to enroll their students, when proximity and financial means make it possible. For those families who are not Christian, why would they enroll their child in a Christian school? I’ve been blessed to observe the high quality standards and student care that is poured on the students by the faculty and staff of our Lutheran school. This certainly is a factor. Another important factor, though, is a sense of character that is understood to be present in a Christian school setting. This perception of integrity, respect, and kindness that attracts parents is the observable of the good works that Christ has prepared for us. It is easy, however, for an educational environment to shift from a focus on Christ and the observables of character as an outgrowth of what Christ has done to us to instead see them as actions that we learn how to execute as good members of society.”
Joe and Viya Stoltenow: Joe and Viya write: “In the last month and a half Viya and I have been hard at work and we have made some huge progress for Ray of Hope. First of all we finally found a center for Ray of Hope where we will bring our kids every morning before school. Located in a prime location, the center will be our base of operations here in Battambang and our goal is for it to become a comfortable and safe place for our kids, where they can learn about Jesus and give them hope for a better future in Christ. Our second big update is that we now have five street kids enrolled into Ray of Hope. The kids will start coming to our center regularly starting early July for half days until school begins in October. While we wait for the school year to start we will be tutoring the kids in Khmer (Cambodian language), Math and English. We will also have daily Bible lessons and devotion time. We will also start getting them used to an early morning schedule by giving them baths, teaching them to brush their teeth, and feeding them breakfast. We will also provide lunch before they go home around noon.” While the Shepherd of the Hills Cambodian team dentists were providing dental service to our new kids and families and some of their neighbors, the other team members helped clean the new center. The team also provided a mini VBS for the street kids at Crossing Cambodia and Ray of Hope. “Kids and their families came to play games, sing songs and listen to Bible stories acted out by the team. The kids loved it and asked the team to please come back again soon.”
Doug and Tricia Stoner: Tricia writes that the “conference she and Doug have been working on and planning for almost two years was a success and many people were encouraged. She is in a group that is developing a European support for our missionaries who have come out of or want to come out of addictions. We continue to meet with, guide, and encourage our team in Italy, Slovenia, Austria and the Czech Republic. Doug meets regularly with the other area leaders in Europe but I am still praying for a community – a group of encouraging friends to enjoy Jesus with. I have an option I am exploring this summer but would appreciate your prayers with me as I ask my loving Father for this need.”
John and Jenn Wolf: There is tremendous Lutheran church growth in Africa. Pastors teach so many children and families about their salvation in Christ. There is a project “Tin Roofs for Africa”. “Since that time, many African congregations have benefitted from generous gifts provided by VBS children and their churches. One particular church is in a refugee camp in Uganda. Recently, we shared the story of Rev. Oti Charles, a Lutheran pastor from South Sudan who as a child escaped with his family to Uganda and learned about Christ while in a refugee camp. Although Rev. Charles now serves in South Sudan, there are still many from that country living in refugee camps in Uganda, and who can learn about Christ through congregations and pastors there. By February, a congregation in the Nakivale refugee camp had already formed many of the bricks needed to build a church building. By working with the Lutheran Church in Uganda funds from the Tin Roof in Africa project is now helping the congregation procure cement for mortar, timber and metal sheets to build the roof structure. Through Tin Roofs in Africa, eight congregations in four countries are roofing their locally-made church buildings, and nine more will be soon.” On May 17th, the Wolf Family joined Norwegian missionaries to celebrate the Independence Day for their country. Norwegians from around Kenya and Tanzania participated. Anna rode a camel and Jenn played fiddle live on Norwegian television.
MISSIONS/Missionary Support Ministry
All missionaries must raise their own living expenses. The funds are received from churches and individual donors. You or your small group may, at any time, give to a specific missionary by marking their name on “Other” on your Shepherd offering envelope. Consider individually or as a group adopting one of these missionaries. More information on the missionaries can be found on the church website, or contact Maynard Buck, Mission Ministry Leader.