Missionary Monthly News
Pastor Joel and Clarion Fritsche-Dominican Republic: Pastor Joel writes how an Uber driver was brought to Jesus. “It is always a joy to report about baptisms here in the field. On Sunday, January 6, the Epiphany of our Lord, Ayla Sofia was brought by her parents to the waters of Holy Baptism. We didn’t baptize six or ten or twenty people that day, just little newborn Ayla Sofia. Sometimes in the field we do several baptisms on the same day, sometimes we simply rejoice in one. It’s not really about the numbers. It’s about Jesus! HE is the One who is at the heart of this new family of faith! Ayla’s parents, Carlos and Giselle, were invited to church a little over a year ago by missionaries Pastor Jonathan and Deaconess Cheryl Naumann. Carlos is a driver for Uber. Not long after the Naumanns arrived on the field, they met Carlos, who had responded to their call for a ride with Uber. A relationship was forged that day, and Carlos became a regular driver for them, as well as a friend and helper for getting things done. It’s always a blessing to have a local friend to help with getting things done around town, especially when you are first learning the language. Along with Carlos, the Naumanns met Giselle, his girlfriend. Through the encouragement of the Naumanns, Carlos and Giselle began coming to church in Pueblo Nuevo. I was still serving in Las Americas. Pastor Sergio Maita was the pastor in Pueblo Nuevo. He began catechesis, as well as premarital instruction. Carlos and Giselle were married in the church. Not long after they were confirmed in their Christian faith and began partaking of the Lord’s Supper. What comes next? BABY! I had the privilege of visiting this couple the few months leading up to the birth of their child. We heard Scripture speak of the blessing of children, the vocations of mother and father and the gift of Holy Baptism. God blessed Carlos and Giselle with the birth of Ayla, and soon after, her new birth through the water and Word of Holy Baptism.”
Pastor Tim and Beth Heiney-West Africa: Beth requests prayers for Tim’s weekly visits to the local hospital. “For a while it seemed like some people were getting a little snippy about his praying for patients. However, since you started praying he hasn’t come up against any of that again! In fact, the other day after he prayed for one patient a man came up to him and sternly asked, ‘What are you doing?’ Tim thought trouble was coming but when he said that he was praying for this patient the man immediately led him into another room and asked him to pray for his friend there. Praise God!” The Heineys are awaiting the birth of another grandchild. Pray for mother and child.
Dr. George Naeem-Throughout the World: BOLM reaches 12 countries in Africa. BOLM was blessed by 42 converts in December. “All of them, with their families, were baptized and proclaimed their faith. Please pray for Africa.” Many doors have been opened in Europe. “Please pray for Europe and all seeking Christ!”
Pastor Tim and Heidi Norton-Navajo: At Christmas the young people at Shepherd of the Valley passed out boxes, sang carols and prayed with senior citizens and their families. Tim writes: “We had a wonderful group of 40 children that worshipped with us on Christmas Eve. Some came with their parents and others came on their own. Many of them returned from activities we had over the summer, like Vacation Bible School. We had a Christmas program with Angels, Wise Men and Shepherds. It was a great celebration of Christ’s birth, the good news of great joy for all people. In between major events our days are filled with being a part of people’s everyday lives and showing them how God is present through it all. This includes going with them as they haul wood, sporting events (volleyball and basketball), Miss Navajo pageants, kinaldaa (coming of age ceremony for young women) and our main focus of worship and Bible Study. Two more people were baptized this past fall, and for that we praise God.”
Iantha Scheiwe-Hong Kong: Iantha continues to develop the Concordia Mission Institute initiative of Mission of Christ Network and Lutheran Bible Translators. The next CMI will take place in Concordia, Missouri in July. She writes: “Another, growing aspect of my service here is to support missionaries in the area. I have really enjoyed all of the team members that God has led to serve in the place, and the privilege for me and Joel to be encouragers, cheer leaders and productive listeners for these new team members.” Iantha visited the Thursday Morning Bible Study Class in March and shared her ministry and the progress that has been made.
Doug and Tricia Stoner-Austria: The Stoners have returned to Austria. An additional position for Doug will be interim leader for Iberia (Spain and Portugal) until a replacement can be found for the previous Area Leader. Prayers of thanksgiving for Tricia’s Mom’s recovery from a heart attack and complications thereafter. Doug and Tricia were able to celebrate her 80th birthday prior to their departure. We also pray that they have found a car and a home upon their return to Austria.
Dr. Wilhelm Weber-Wittenberg: Dr. Weber writes: “Africans see one of their own installed in Wittenberg: During Lutheran leadership course for African bishops, presidents and other leaders, I was installed as managing director of the International Lutheran Society of Wittenberg by the executive of the International Lutheran Council Bishop H-J. Voigt and Dr. Collver. The “Wittenberger Sonntag” had it covered in its Sunday posting. In the morning I preached in English during Matins for the international guests ‘From Macedonia to Wittenberg’ based on Acts 16:6-15 and Vespers in German.” Attending were Bishops and pastors from Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Madagascar and South Africa.
PRAY for all missionaries, that the Holy Spirit will open the hearts of the peoples throughout the world to know and hear the love of Jesus and the path to eternal life. Also pray for the health and safety of all missionaries and their families.
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.