Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Lutheran Church Mission in Uganda

The Lutheran Church Mission in Uganda (LCMU) is about 15 years old and they've never before had as many pastors as they have right now. As we were preparing to go to Uganda for the first time, the church had only one ordained pastor. By the time we arrived in Uganda a year and a half ago, the church was served by two ordained pastors and three brand-new vicars. Today, the LCMU has five ordained Ugandan pastors and five vicars. And next month, five additional vicars will be returning from Seminary. It's a great time for the ministerial staff from across the country to start meeting together for mutual encouragement, to raise and address opportunities and challenges in the church, and to advise the LCMU Board of Directors on issues of ministry and theology.

"So, on April 9, with great joy, the LCMU convened its first ever Ministerial Conference. In attendance were four of the five ordained pastors, four of the five current vicars, and the two missionaries-Rev. Jacob Gillard and Shauen. Rev. Gillard hosted the conference at his home in Kampala. The conversation over the course of the two-day conference ranged from the assignments of the new vicars arriving next month to the strengthening of church records collected from each region, to the care and support of pastors who work in the remote parts of Uganda and are able to come together in fellowship with other pastors only a few times a year.

"Praise the Lord for the workers He has brought up in this land-and for their first ever Ministerial Conference. May this mark the beginning of a new era in the Lutheran Church Mission in Uganda."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Church at Nyangokolwa....Tanzania

Nyangokolwa  is  located about 15 miles from Bariadi.  We drove to this little village after the church service in Bariadi, some of the villager people were waiting for us under some large shade trees.  The church adult choir sang and danced  for us,  the choir director led the group my making clicking noises to get the group in rhythm later the youth choir sang and dance. (Maybe Jodie should consider a little dance number for the Holy Trinity choir) 

We all introduced ourselves and share our testimony with Pastor Mkaro preaching to this group of 100 members which seemed to grow and grow as the service went on.
Pastor Mkaro pastors the church in Bariadi and has 11 other sub parishes that have started through the work of the church planting ministry and the area evangelist who go into the surrounding areas with Pastor Mkaro. 

After the service we divided into 3 groups- children, youth and adults.  We shared Bible stories and they asked questions about America and how we live here. They were fascinated to learn how we cooked our food  They told us about the church they were building, they had poured the foundation and  made bricks for the walls but needed to make more.  The congregation did  all this work cleaning the spot, breaking rocks for the foundation, making bricks  by hand.  No power tools or equipment only strong backs and hoes.   They told us that they did not have enough money  for wood for the roof trusses or steel sheets for the roof.   I gave them $200 of the to be used for the roof..  This will not be enough to finish the job but will get them started.  (They will probably need $300 to $500 more)

They also asked if we could help them get Bibles as very few people have Bibles or Hymnals. 
We had previously purchased bibles with part of your money and gave them to the Pastor Mkaro when we first arrived.  He gave them to the confirmands.  The thought this was a good way to get them into the hands of all the family groups.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A month in Tanzania....a report from Cliff Herd

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? Here am I
Isaiah 6:8

Cliff and Nancy Herd, members at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Chattanooga, have returned from a 4 week mission trip to the East of Lake Victoria Diocese of the Lutheran church of Tanzania in Mwanza, Tanzania. Cliff is a retired pastor (pastor emeritus) in the Mid-South District taught two courses (New Testament & Church History) to 34 men who were preparing to serve as deacons. This diocese is experiencing tremendous growth and there are only about 80 pastors to serve over 70,000 members.

Lay evangelists received 3 months of training and were commissioned as deacons to serve in Word & Sacrament ministry. Many of them have 4-5 congregations with one serving 8 congregations. Nancy and Cliff were honored to participate in the Palm Sunday service commissioning the deacons. It was a 5 ½ hour long service as the Bishop commissioned each deacon personally. It was most inspiring with 5 different choirs from area churches. Cliff had previously returned to the USA in November, 2009 from Indonesia. There he taught a 4 week intensive course on the Lutheran Confessions (Book of Concord) to 8 pastors who were chosen for their leadership skills and training as future leaders in their church body, Batok Lutheran Church of Indonesia.

Your God given gifts can also be used in Tanzania

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nancy Herd...report from her month in Tanzania....

Open my eyes Lord...I want to see Jesus....

 Nancy Herd, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Chattanooga, recently accompanied her husband Cliff, on a month long trip to Tanzania. While he was teaching a deacon class she worked at Nakato Clinic run by International Health Partners of  TZ  a partner of  the East of Lake Victoria Diocese  (ELVD) .

Nancy was given the task of sorting over 3,000 pairs of eyeglasses that had arrived in many boxes via a large shipping container.  She classified them according to male/female designs and by lens strength.  She used discarded cardboard boxes and arranged them so they could be easily dispensed.

She tested the vision of all the deacons and their wives and also saw another 200 people that came to the health center from the village.  Nancy brought a set of  5 “flippers” for vision testing  and trained a nurse who works full time at the health center to use the “flippers” and dispense the glasses.

“This was a most rewarding mission trip as we both felt we were serving our Lord and helping make more and better disciples for Jesus.  What a blessing to serve in this area of East Africa and see how the Lord is growing His Church,” said Pastor Herd.  

God can also use your gifts and talents in Tanzania.  Contact the District office to find out how your talents could be used.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tanzanian prayer needs and upcoming trip 2010

   This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him.

    1 John 5:14-15

Four weeks from today the Tanzania Mission Group will be leaving for our trip of a life time to Tanzania.  We ask you prayers for us as we travel and as we reach out to the Sukuma People in the East of Lake Victoria Diocese of the Lutheran Church of Tanzania.  We plan to reach out to the area of Mwadui  and Kahama  3 to 6 hours  south and east of Mwanza.

Africa is a huge continent that is almost 3 times larger than the USA.

Tanzania has a total area of 364,900 square miles, it is slightly larger than twice the size of California. Tanzania is located on central east side of the Continent.
We ask that you pray that God uses our word and actions to bless those we contact. We ask that you pray for the hearts of those hearing the words be touched and drawn to Christ our Savior.   Consider making The ministry of the ELVD a priority in your giving outreach.

The mission group, from Memphis    Mike, Cindy, Cathleen and Cassie Jurgensen,  Kirk Neugebauer, Steve Owens,  From Arkansas, Laurie Gent, from Middle Tennessee,  Tom and Naomi Bolt, Bob And Susie Allen

  • Pray for the continuing work of the Pastor and evangelist in the ELVD
  •   Pray for the Church Planting Ministry (CPM) in the ELVD
  •   Pray for the district mission trip to Tanzania in June of 2010
  •   Pray for hearts to be stirred

Check out our new missions blog.   www.lcmsmidsouthdistrictmissions.blogspot.com