Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature...Mark 16:15
THE FOREIGN MISSION MONTHLY NEWS UPDATE FOR MAY 2017
We invite you to join us at the 2017 Annual Apostolic Lutheran Church Convention July 13th-16th in Esko, MN. For more information click here.
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the things whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
Greeting of Love and God's Peace from Finland and Sweden
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. Psalm 133:1
It was such a blessing as your FM administrator to meet, greet, and share experiences with our Christian friends in Finland and Sweden this month. The relationship we have together is centered around what Jesus Christ has done for us, which compels us to want to share that Good News with others.
Many thanks for the love and hospitality to the Christians in the congregations is Lulea, Sweden, and in Finland at the Näs bönehus in Larsmo, (that word means house of prayer or prayer house) Risöhäll bönehus in Larsmo, Flynängens bönehus in Kållby (Kållby bönehus) and the Punsar bönehus in Esse (Esse bönehus).
I was humbled to be able to be in fellowship with, worship with, and serve in various capacities in about 13 events in two weeks. These included FM talks, youth gatherings and sermons. It was so very busy but I feel so blessed to have felt the love of fellow believers!
The Christians sent their heartfelt love and greetings to all of us, and they ask for prayers. As has always been the case across the world, there are many challenges that each generation of Christians face, no matter which country we live in.
Like your Foreign Mission and the ALCA, the people in Scandinavia are also very involved in mission work. The LFF for instance, which is similar to our Federation in the ALCA for the Swedish speaking Finns, has several full time people. (see below: While here we highlight those people involved in the mission field, there are many other people and even some other full-time personel in their federation also.)
The LFF has its own radio station which broadcasts throughout the local area. They have theologians and councilors in active participation as well.
It is interesting to note that there are somewhere around 6 or 7000 united believers in about a 12 mile radius. This heavy concentration in such a small area gives them many benefits, and it is a joy to see them taking advantage of this.
The Rauhan Sana, which is the organization of the more northern areas of Finnish speaking people also does mission work. Both groups co-operate so nicely and worship together in large conventions where all sermons are translated. Due to the location I spent most of my time in, and with a larger language barrier, I do not know too so much about the Rauhan Sana. I also do not know much about how the Norwegian Christians are organized. In the sermons however, one can very quickly hear that we have the same eternal goals, and we together understand that Jesus Christ is the only Way, the Truth, and the Life!
May God Bless all the work that our dear friends over the seas do in His Kingdom, always looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith!
Meet some of the servants of God in Finland
Vesa Poyhtari is the administrator of their foreign mission work. Vesa served for some weeks in the Spruce Grove, MN ALC, and was the called Pastor for our convention a few years ago. He confronts head on, many of the same issues the FM does as we work in the Lord's Vineyards abroad.
Stig-Erik Enkvist is a full time servant working mostly on domestic mission work. He has been in the USA also so many of you know and love him. He has led groups to Israel, and our group met him there in November. Finland has many people within it's borders that need to hear God's Word, just as we do in the USA.
All Christians are placed by the Lord to be in service within their own sphere of influence. No one exemplifies this better than the dear elder sister Mona Backman. She was very instrumental as a pioneer in mission work from Finland to Russia. Now, though totally blind, she still has such a heart for missions and it is inspiring to visit with her.
This is LFF youth leader Richard Eklund. This young married man is nearly complete with his theological studies and will be fully qualified to be a priest in Finland. He organizes youth events, confirmation camps for the LFF and has other duties.
MEET A FRIEND
(we are excited to include this new section in each Monthly News our hope is that you can feel better connected to some of your brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world.)
Meet Pastor Jean Claude Maniragaba from Rwanda. Pastor Maniragaba and his wife Ernestine live in the Eastern Province of Rwanda and have two children: Murerwa Teta Claudia and Abera Darlene. Although the foreign mission has not had a the opportunity to travel to Rwanda Pastor Maniragaba was able to join a team from the US in Kenya last fall for the convention there. Pastor Maniragaba shared a little about Rwanda
"My wife is called Ernestine and she is a survivor of Genocide of Tutsi which happened here in Rwanda in 1994. And over one million of Tutsi died. In 1990 when the war started, she had six (6) years. In October 1990 after the war started, her father was taken by the people in our local village and took him to the district office to be killed, and her mother and the children went to hide so that they could not be killed. Many people died because of how God created them. Sometime, we people do not understand why they died in such way. Why over one million can die in three months only (100 days). Why God allowed that bad action to happen? The killing started in 1959, in 1973, in 1990 but when it reached in 1994 over one million of Tutsi people killed in three months. In this Lutheran Church we have church members who are the survivors of this Genocide, both male and female. Many people still, their hearts are broken; need to be restored. Many people are in prison because what they did. Others because of this Genocide have lost their parts of the body (they are handicap people: they live with disabilities). People need God’s word; because for me I see the Word of God as the greatest gift you can give to them. This is the reason we contacted the Leaders of Apostolic Lutheran Church of America so that we can learn on the feet of Pastors and Missionaries of ALCA."
News From the Field May Update
God's peace to you!!
May you please continue to hold that request from the country of Rwanda. We have seen well that your work on the world is good and great.
So, come to Rwanda (Eastern Africa). Come and preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Rwandan people are willing to hear Good News from you servants of God.
God bless you and God bless your country of USA.
Yours in Christ, Jean Claude
Children Service[ Sunday School], Children are being taught the Bible stories each Sunday morning by the teacher under the supervision of the Preacher or the Pastor, They also meet during the week to practice songs and do the coloring of the lesson previously taught.It very important to have well trained teachers, that is why there is a need for us here to conduct more seminar[training ] for Sunday school teachers. More material : Books are needed for the teachers
Below: God has blessed Thusanang congregation with a building to gather together on Sunday after they have been attending services in a home of a Sunday School teacher.
Below: Ikageng congregation attend two services on Good Friday, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.
Other Highlights of the Month
* Bibles were sent to Pakistan this month. (Bible Fund is low on funds now)
* The FM's Emergency Medical fund helped 2 different people in 2 different countries this month. One of those helped was the grandson of Pastor Giovanni in Guatemala. Your donations to this fund are saving lives.
* A new musical device was provided for Guatemala from private donations this month.
* Bible sticks are being sent to military men and women currently serving. If you want to donate for these. Click Here
The Foreign Mission fully understands that nothing can be accomplished except that God through His Holy Spirit would move His children to help in their individual capacity. We certainly give all Honor, Praise, and Glory to God. Items are put here only so you can see the various ways that you can help in the Lord's Vineyard, even if you cannot leave your home! Prayer is of top importance of course!
Would you like to join us?
Trips this year that have availability for you to join!
Russia, (Summer) Kenya (fall) India (January 2018) and possibly South Africa and Nigeria in late 2017 or early 2018
All other trips are already full! There is always a need for your prayers and input of course!
> Please be in prayer for the services and meetings at the 2017 Annual ALC Convention. Specifically prayer for the ministers meetings, the general delegates meeting and the FM delegates meeting. Most of all that the Word of God would be preached in Truth and Purity.
> Pray for safe travels for our friends coming from abroad to the convention. We will have guests from Guatemala, India, and Ghana. Some of these will be arriving in June already.
> Kenya is being hit hard with Malaria right now. Pray for guidance as to how to help, and that their weather would be good to help with this problem as well as with their harvests! Food is scarce this year in Kenya driving the price of provisions much higher.
Mailing address for DONATIONS:
The Foreign Mission of the ALC
1601 NW 4th Avenue
Battle Ground, WA 98604
Mailing address for CORRESPONDENCE:
The Foreign Mission of the ALC
63 Poor Farm Road
New Ipswich, NH 03071