Thursday, September 22, 2011

Katelynn update from South Africa

Update from our Friend Katelyn Hiett pictured with 
Serving her Deaconness internship in South Africa

Sabona! (Hello in Zulu) 

Zulu is just one of the many official languages here in South Africa. The country boasts 11 different national languages, including Zulu, Afrikaans (a muddy mixture of German and Dutch) and English just to name a few. I, unfortunately, only know one of the eleven, and though I like to think I have good command of English, I am often not its master.

One might suspect that with so many different languages, progress and partnership may be a little inhibited. Those suspicions prove true when observing the complicated history of South Africa. Communication is essential to building relationships and especially building a country. That is why the major work of mission work is building relationships. Different language and different culture complicate this task greatly. Mission work is about relationships and communication. I am learning the delicacies of building and maintaining partnerships across that vast cultural line that is often so hard to bridge. 

The team I have joined in South Africa has done an excellent job of bridging that gap. For two years Shara and Julia have been working alongside Pastor Thwala of Shongweni, Lutheran Church building outreaches and programs that the church sees as its own. Their method is one that I will surely take with me back to Sudan. 

Much of my work here in South Africa is focused in Shongweni parish. My role is assisting Pastor Thwala with making visitations, teaching the youth when needed and especially ministering to women in the community. South Africa has never really ever had the advantage of a “deaconess” so my job description is often made up on the fly and is uniquely African. It is my daily challenge to shed my western predispositions and trade them—if momentarily—for African sensitivities. 

But there is one thing that I can be sure of and rest all of my confidence in. No matter our differences of speech and culture, we are united by the universal and eternal Word of God. The love of God spoken to us through the incarnation of Christ is a Word every heart can understand. It would seem that the gospel needs no translation, except for when it is mistranslated through the imperfect actions of imperfect people. 

Vigilant of my sin and shortcomings, I pray that as I share the Word—my highest task as Christian and missionary—God will use the weakness of my words and the failure of my flesh to sow good seed into ready hearts

Think about how you can support KatelynK 

For further information contact:
Bob Allen


Friday, August 26, 2011

Christina's baptism...

This area was not one we planned to visit.  A group had been near that area the previous year, but by Gods grace we were directed to this location and were fortunate to meet Christina

Christina appeared to be in her 80's and blind. She waited by her hut for the truck  to take her to church. She had been  invited by a neighbor who is a member of the congregation. Her husband named Daudi  was a Muslim. He came home a few weeks earlier and told  her he had been baptized as a Christian, she cried because she wanted to be baptized.
When she heard that a  US team was in the area going to homes and baptizing she was unable to walk to find us . Her neighbor knew we were coming to the church service and asked for the van to come and pick up Christina. The church was so crowded we could hardly walk through the aisle but she was led to the front and when the invitation for baptism, she was the first in line to be baptized to join the family of believers and have her sins washed away.

The average life expectancy in Tanzania is 49, God blessed us with this opportunity.
There are more Christina’s out there waiting for someone to share the gospel message.  Come join us on our trip in may 2012
Bob Allen
208 Peachtree St
White house,tn  37188

Friday, August 5, 2011

Finding significance in service

I attended a conference in 2010 and heard something that called my name. Bob Allen was making a presentation about the need for teachers and other lay people to go to Tanzania to teach ESL (English as a Secondary Language) or other subjects such as Math, Science, Home Economics etc. Retired people are excellent candidates for this adventure  to stay one week, one month, one year....or anytime in between. Age is no barrier.

As  a commissioned LCMS lay minister and former  ESL teacher in Japan, Slovakia and the United States,  I retired to Arkansas and was  widowed. Was this for me ?  I found Bob to start the discussion leading to one of the most meaningful volunteer activities of my life. I went to Mwadui Lutheran Secondary School  in Tanzania for one month in May of 2011. The students were polite and eager to learn. They were the liveliest during chapel. All classes are taught in English with the exception of Swahili. What more could a teacher ask?  I thought I had died and gone to teacher heaven.  Not only did I feel I did a lot of good during the month, I made many friends. My lodging was adequate and I was completely safe. At the end of my adventure, I joined the mission group from the US for several  days of village evangelizing and a safari adding to my memories of a lifetime.

If you do this and do not come away feeling that it was one of the most meaningful activities of your life, I will gladly buy you dinner.

Bob Oetetel(third from right)

Interested in learning more. Contact us:

Bob Allen

Deacon Robert Oettel
Rev. Yohana Nzelu, Principal,
Mwadui Lutheran Secondary School

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tanzania: 1000 baptized among the Sukuma

Mwanza, Tanzania: The Evangelical Lutheran  Church in Tanzania (ELCT) is well established
in urban centers but in the  arid lands around Lake Victoria, many—if not most—of the Sukuma
people have yet  to hear the name of  Jesus Christ. The East  of Lake Victoria Diocese (ELVD) of the
ELCT is intentionally reaching out to this large people group  and has invited friends and partners to walk
with them in this work.
In June the Trump Family traveled to Mwanza where we met up with a small team led by Bob Allen of the LCMS’s Mid- South District. An excellent partner in mission,  Bob was open to serving however the ELVD requested. When he first came some years ago, they asked him to do door-to-door evangelism among the Sukuma.

While Krista and Josiah remained in Mwanza Town, Shauen traveled with the team as they
broke into groups of two or three with local guides, translators, and evangelists
and set out into the villages. Shauen shared the Gospel Story with small gatherings, visited with people who had never been to church or had fallen away, and prayed  over an alcoholic in his home.

Shauen’s group even walk to the edge of the village to try and witness to the witchdoctor!  The witchdoctor wasn’t home  at the time (as is often the case when Christian Missionaries are around) but
Shauen spoke to his household, emphasizing the former clarity mankind had in speaking with God in the
Garden of Eden, how that was lost, how the damage was repaired through one sacrifice for all time and all people, and how God clearly speaks to us today through His Word. Those hearing the message were hesitant to act without their head of household present but they requested an evangelist visit them again!

After door-to-door visits in the mornings, the afternoons often featured a gathering at the church to share the message one more time. In one village, even after 150 people had been baptized in their homes, Shauen was asked to preach outside the church and following the message dozens more came forward seeking baptism! 

In one week of door-to-door evangelism
and open-air preaching,  over 1,000 Sukuma people were called to Christ  and regenerated in the
waters of baptism!  Praise the Lord for His work among the Sukuma!

Come join us in 2012

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tanzania 2011 mission trip

We can only imagine the impact in Jerusalem of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

A team of people from the Mid-South District had a experience during the week of Pentecost of the Holy Spirit working through the Word to touch the lives of thousands in Tanzania .
This year’s team went into a remote area Southeast of Mwanza that has been impacted by a serious drought reducing the harvest crops of corn, sunflower, millet and garden produce by over 85%. One man told me that he had planted a acre of Maize (corn) and did not even get a bowl of grain during the harvest. The lack of rain has dried up most water holes that has resulted in much of the day being spent searching for water sources miles and miles from home.
In one village a man came to me and said “you must help us, we are starving”

The lack of water and food did not hinder the response to the Gospel.

We went into 7 villages in the Negezi/Kishapu district to share a gospel message. In each village, 4 teams of two members of the Mid-South Team went with an area pastor and village elders walking house to house sharing the message by using the EvangeCube of our Savior Jesus Christ and baptizing in the Name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit. In some cases, the message was translated from English to Swahili and to Sukuma.

After the morning and afternoon of evangelism each group would return to a designated location for a worship service and lunch with the people from the local village.

Results: 1056 men, women and children were baptized.

• We left hundreds of Bibles in Swahili for the Pastors to distribute
• He donated 4 bicycles to Evangelists who cover many villages
• We started a fund called the Negezi/Kishapu Famine Relief fund and presented money that can be used  to purchase food for those most impacted by the drought.
• 21 evangelists were installed and commissioned for service in a church service after completing to two year training program to minister to the villages.

On Safari, two Lutheran women from Germany was amazed to hear what had happened in the villages. One exclaimed to us that the time for evangelism is past!
No, there are 1056 new lives in Christ that would dispute that comment.

The Harvest is plentiful but the workers are few
Matthew: 9:37

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Good news from Rev. Shauen and Krista Trump in Kenya.

Good news from Rev. Shauen and Krista Trump in Kenya.

"Twelve pastors look at Shauen expectantly. He remembered again that he's not in Uganda anymore.  He's in Kenya now, filling a different role. As he idly thumbs his Bible and feels that special anxiety that comes when speaking before a group, he began, 'We don't have time today to cover the entire Gospel of Luke, or even just those parts emphasized in the Mission Training Center (MTC) book. But, I think we can learn a lot about Luke by looking closely at one chapter.'

"Theological Education is among the top priorities for LCMS partnerships across Africa. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya (ELCK) has numerous partnership opportunities in this area. They have a four-year seminary issuing bachelor's degrees for pastors, a two-year Bible school issuing certificates for evangelists and the Mission Training Center program dispersed across the country, which trains laity as helpers in congregations that don't have a pastor or evangelist of their own. With almost 20 MTCs across Kenya, it's certainly beyond Shauen's capacity to teach at them all.

"The ELCK has a coordinator for the MTCs and each center is managed by the pastor overseeing the area. So Shauen is privileged to participate at this point in the training of the trainers. Four times per year, the MTC managers come together for two days of encouragement, fellowship and a review of the two books to be covered in months ahead. Managers' training is led by the MTC coordinator, along with those he calls on to assist him, generally one or more of the MTC managers, or for at least one day of this training, Shauen.

"Addressing the group of pastors, Shauen continued, 'So let's look at Jesus' parables of the lost things in Luke 15.' With the Scriptures open before them, as is normally the case, his nerves settle and as heads bow down to peer into the text, Shauen's anxieties are replaced by that special joy of gathering around God's Word. Soon, the group is deeply involved in discussion and debate that occupies them for most of this second day of training. As the afternoon turns to evening, the thoughts of these servants again turn toward their parishes and the five to 15 congregations they oversee. Pray for these shepherds of God's people in Kenya!"

Shauen, Krista, and Josiah Trump
Your Missionaries to East Africa
through LCMS World Mission

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chattanooga Church partners with church in Gambosi, TZ....from center of witchcraft to thriving Christianity.

Partners in Ministry – Tanzania
Nancy Allen
Cross of Christ in Chattanooga, TN has begun a partnership with the congregation in Gambosi, TZ(see April’s article about Roofs) to help them spread the Gospel.  Two projects were chosen to aid them in their ministry.  The first was to sew little dresses for the girls in the congregation and send them with the 2011 Mission team to Tanzania.  With a goal of making 50 dresses, 2 workshops were held and several worked from home to complete more than 66 dresses. 

Nancy Allen hands over several of the more than 66 Little Dresses to Susie Allen at Cross of Christ Lutheran, Chattanooga, TN

Little Dresses Workshop #1 – Cross of Christ Lutheran, Chattanooga, TN

The second project is to raise funds to Raise the Roof on the church in Gambosi.  Our goal is $5000.00 and we are getting close to half way.

(Note from Bob and Susie: Nancy Allen has visited Tanzania several times and uses her  creativity and talents  to expand the gospel of Jesus.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rev. Shauen and Krista Trump in Tanzania.

“Six days after we landed in Nairobi, Shauen was on the road again for a two-week trip into Tanzania. Over the initial days of the journey, short-term agricultural missionaries Delano and Linda Meyer stood in corn fields, looked at cattle in stables, asked questions about plants, fertilizers and land practices and learned everything they could about the farming techniques employed in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. All this was to establish the background for the program they brought to the people of the Lutheran Church of East Africa (LCEA), a small church body currently exploring opportunities for joint mission efforts with LCMS World Mission.

“This amazing team-teaching duo spent decades farming in the United States before ‘retiring’ to mission service in West Africa. There they continued to do what they knew best, infusing instruction on soil conservation, nitrogen fixation and small-business management with solid Law and Gospel proclamation through discussions on Christian stewardship, marital fidelity and the two kingdoms. Years of fine-tuning their two-day program has resulted in a polished presentation of information in an intuitive teaching style.

“Each section begins with questions, ‘Tell me how…’ that are discussed in groups. Well-versed in some of the sweeping generalizations we can make about African culture, the Meyers divide discussion groups by sex and age and solicit responses in this order: young women, old women, young men and old men. Were the old men to speak first (which is the regional social custom), no one else would speak to contradict them. The Meyers know that their class may be the first time some women have ever been publicly asked their opinion and they lavish praise on them.

“After learning from those gathered before them, the Meyers begin pointing out opportunities for improvement. ‘If fast-moving water will carry away the soil, how can we slow it down?’ ‘How can we put more hummus into the soil so we need less fertilizer?’ ‘How can we take advantage of the yearly cycle in the price of maize—is it possible to sell later?’ Together, the class explores ways to improve the life of the soil, the yield of their crops and their quality of life.

“The Meyers masterfully present a compelling and interactive opportunity for these subsistence farmers to give their farms a boost while hearing the Gospel message. Shauen was privileged to travel with the Meyers and Rev. Claude Houge for this program, taking an opportunity to meet the leadership of the LCEA for the first time. He also participated in the program by leading a Bible study called ‘Honor God with Your Body.’ On Sundays, they worshiped with many of the participants attending the agricultural sessions. The first Sunday, Rev. Houge preached and they witnessed the church grow through Baptisms. The second Sunday, Shauen shared the message and witnessed the confirmation of three boys. Praise the Lord for His work in this part of Tanzania!”

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2011 Mission Trip to Tanzania

Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, he [Jesus] has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear
Act 2:33

We are making plans for our 2011 trip to Tanzania at the end of May. Come join us, and see this outpouring of the Holy Spirit that Paul talks about in this verse.  What we do does not seem like much but it touches the life’s of the Tanzania pastors and evangelists  we work with; it energizes the communities and impacts the lives of the children we  reach through the  stories we tell or through the Bibles or mosquito nets we give out.


Here  two comments I received today from pastors we have worked with  “When are you going to visit us your presence  gives us more power to continue working hard. And another,  “we all remember your service (evangelism house to house in  Mwamandi) now this church is growing at Mwamandi and the villages around there.  We now have  two churches close to Mwamandi,  NYAMIDIDI AND MWANASE . These churches spread  from the work started at Mwamandi .  We thank GOD very much for you  because you are the source of planting church in Mwamandi’s areas. GOD bless you and all the team that  were together at Kahama and Mwamandi and everyone who was shared with us for everything.   Mwamandi was over 35 miles from the nearest church and many people had never heard the name of Jesus.  One teacher encouraged the Pastor Gacha to bring us and that day 285 people were baptized.  Now two other churches have started in that area.

I saw a new book this weekend “The Calling, Live a life of Significance”  This same Holy Spirit has been poured out on you also,  Come with us, make a difference in the life of you someone if Africa.   Come let your light shine. 
Come join us this year. We want to finalize the team in February.

Bob Allen
Mid-South District LCMS
Mission Coordinator

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2011 Short Term Mission Trip Opportunities

Come join us for the adventure of a life time. You may have an opportunity to :

  1.     Teach, witness, and share house to house in the villages in groups.  Translators are with us and  the people are very welcoming. It is a safe environment.
  2.       Visit the medical clinic, birthing center, and isolation hospital
  3.       Teach and share in the villages
  4.      Read and teach bible stories and songs to children
  5.      Visit Schools
  6.      Teach in Christian elementary or secondary school

February 23-27                  Visit Schools in the Port a Prince area
March 5 – 12, Northern districts of Haiti    We plan to visit schools in Arcahaie, Gonaives and the Central Plateau.
March 19 – 26, Southern districts of Haiti    We will definitely be going to the Jacmel district and then to either Les Cayes or Jeremie 
March 5 – 12, Northern districts of Haiti, led by John Hall. We plan to visit schools in Arcahaie, Gonaives and the Central Plateau

May 7th to 15th 2011 - PERU - "English/Read" 7 missionaries from USA to Manchay, Peru to teach English and to set up a church library. 5 of the team are ready to go. Passion Peru

July 30th to August 7th - PERU - "Jungle Mission Peru" 5 youth from USA join 10 youth from Manchay, Peru and do a mission trip to the jungle of Peru. This will be exciting mission work for teenagers. Passion Peru

Fall 2011   (exact date to be determined)- PERU - "Come to the Corner" 7 missionaries from USA to work with 7 missionaries in Lima, Peru to go to Manchay, Peru and help them bring people into their new church. Passion Peru


May 21-June 3  (the exact dates to be determined)  group of 6-11 missionaries/teachers from the Mid-South District will visit  the Negezi district and the Mawudi school to outreach to the villages in the area.  We will work with pastors and evangelist from the East of Lake Victoria Diocese (ELVD)

Mid June   Group will be visiting the Mwanza are with an intitial focus of repairing the home of “Mama Bomini”  wife of deceased Bishop Bomani .  Group also plants to outreach into the villages with  Pastors from the ELVD.

A group from Northwest Arkansas will be leaving in Feb to tour the country and minister

If you are interested in any of these opportunities contact the following for more information.
Bob Allen                                             or                                                                            Peggy Krohn
Mission Coordinator
Mid-South District LCMS                                                                                               Mid-South District Office
615-672-0923                                                                                                                     901-373-1343