2005 Mission Trip
Hello All — The following comes from Missionary David Koenig, who has recently begun his annual “circuit” trave to our mission contacts in India and Africa. Our CLC mission program is supported primarily from local “mission” offerings to the CLC General Fund, as well as through your congregational contributions to the Mission Development Fund (MDF). In Christ — Pastor Bruce Naumann, Chairman, CLC Board of Missions.
First Journal – India – ’05 Visit Aug. 27
Puducheri – Under an extensive effort of the Mission Board to work with the BELC in getting church buildings up, nine were taken on in the combined effort. This village now has a new church building. A building in this case helped with membership. They had 35 members and now have 76. Fifteen baptisms were performed in the last six months. The village has a population of around 500, with no other Christian churches. Paul Raj is the pastor here. Next they would like to put up a parsonage so the pastor can live there. That is not now in our plans, but it is up to the Lord. The pastor does have a bad foot.
Kaipakkam – A dedication service was held for this new building where Pastor Bhaskar preaches. If the same number continue to come for the services as for the dedication, they may have to expand the building. There were 82 at the service in this village of around 500, with no other Christian church.
Pappanoormedu – It was in this village that around 350 attended the VBS that our mission helpers held. Now we are asking the Mission Board to assist in finishing the building where Pastor Novakasi serves. He has joined us after study in the Vaniyambadi District.
Kallarpatti – This is one of the new stations in the Vaniyambadi District. Last week we were able to baptize eight people here. The pastor has started study with us. he has worked in this village for one year. At the baptism a grandmother and her grandson were both baptized. The Gospel is truly for all ages.
The Printed Word – So far nearly 500 Bibles have been purchased. We have now reprinted 1000 copies of the Tamil catechism. These will not be sitting on shelves, but are needed out with the people.
Mission Helper – Paul Stockman, a volunteer Mission Helper from West Columbia, SC, is helping especially our lead pastors in computer work among other things.
With over 150 men preaching in the BELC the Word goes forth. Praise God. — Missionary David Koenig
Second Journal – India – ’05 Visit Sept. 9
Each year I try to visit new congregations or preaching stations in the BELC. They are not hard to find as the church is always reaching out. In Sri Kalahasti District of the BELC there is a new one at Chensulakshimipuram ST Colony. The ‘ST’ stands for scheduled tribes. These people are on the lower end of the caste system. But that sure does not matter to our Lord. They have been meeting in a village balwadi building for about a year. This is a building built by the village for the schooling of the very young. There is no other church in the village. The group numbers 24 adults and 65 children. The attendance at the service spilled way out of the building’s limits with around 124 coming.It is a joy to preach, and an added little joy to preach to an ‘overflow’ crowd.
We have had an exploratory meeting in Chittoor. This was by invitation of a number of independent pastors. They had heard about us from some of our pastors and read some of our literature. We will now have Pastor Bhasker go there every month holding two day meetings to go over our Bible positions. During the initial meeting the men heard briefly about: baptism of infants and not exclusively by immersion, false and true interpretations using the millenium, our Bible position that every Lutheran teaching must be a Bible teaching and every Bible teaching must be a Lutheran teaching, errors of pentecostal/charismatics. When we finally adjourned there were 27 men there. Not all will likely be with us in one year. But a couple of the men remarked on our positions favorably, not due to the eloquence of Pastor D. Paul and me, but due to the constant reference to the Word in what was said. Pray for these men that they will grasp the truths of the Word and that they agree with us that we may work together to expand His kingdom in their villages.
While we also deal with discipline situations, it is though forward despite the devil’s tricks and ploys. The promise of our Lord is that the gates of hell shall not prevail. His Word speeds on and triumphs. Truly at this time God gives us a great opportunity to share in harvest in India.
Third Journal – India – ’05 Visit Sept. 24
Joint English Pastoral Conference Sept. 7-9
We have now had five of these conferences. Thirty men attended and delivered 18 essays. Paul Stockman, mission helper from South Carolina, chaired the meeting. The essays have been improving over the five years. This year we did have one essay that had to be stopped part way through because there were statements made that were not in accord with Scripture. But this is as it should be in a church that wants to be orthodox. The essayist is being worked with on the truth and has expressed a desire to know the truth and learn. What more can one ask for?
There were also reports given on the work of our two sister churches by five of the leaders. This allows the two churches to understand one another better, to cooperate with each other and learn new approaches to the work. Your offerings pay for this time in study and worship.
Assisting in Church Building
This is now the second year in which the MB has been assisting substantially with church building projects. The following example gives you an idea how we work with guidelines to assist our brothers. In the Renigunta District of the BELC at Thandlam Pastor C. Vasu has been working faithfully to gather a congregation around the Word.He used to be a man in the village who gave people a hard time, to put it mildly. Then through the Gospel of the Christ he was converted andnow especially seeks to help the young of the village not to be as he used to be. l) This quality of a pastor and his agressiveness in reaching out is one factor we take into consideration when building assistance requests come to us. And all requests come through our lead pastors on the scene.
2)As Pastor Vasu continued to gather the children to teach them the Word, one lady tooknote of this splendid effort and gave land on which to build a church. Men of the congregation have so far put in a foundation and erected pillars to hold the walls of a structure 15×30. The second consideration of how much a pastor and congregation have done on land and building we take into account. The reason why I say “a pastor and congregation have done”is that we find often pastors giving, donating and setting a fine example in sacrifice for a church structure.
3)In this village of over 1000 there is no other Christian church. This is a very important consideration. If there is a choice between assisting a congregation in a village with other churches or one in a village with no other church, the ‘no other church’ village would have a leg up on getting our help. We want to go where the Gospel is not preached. There were 77 in the worship the other night. This is also one of the places where the mission helpers last summer held a one night VBS with great response of children.
4) The congregation numbers 60. We don’t want to assist to put up a building with a congregation that is not large enough to take care of it. This size and potential for growth are favorable. Also, they have at least a half dozen men to work on the structure.
5) But now we come to a limiting factor. We can only help so much and once (as we have decided) in a permanent construction. The limit now recommended is $1300 per congregation. The pastor and congregation have to look at this. Because the Thandlam congregation has asked for substantially more than the limit, we cannot help them at this time. They will have to pray over this and work out this difficulty. This is how we cooperate with our brothers and sisters in the BELC to erect buildings dedicated to hallowing His name and gathering under a roof more and more people under His gracious rule. D.Koenig
Fourth Journal India – Oct. 8, ’05 A Microcosm
This report allows you to view just one congregation as a representative sampling of the work and situation in India. Though I am leaving the village unnamed, I preached at the service we held last Sunday. Pastor D. Paul, who translates, and I went there about two hours from Chennai. The vehicle rent, driver and fuel cost $30 to go there and return. This cost is a reason why inthe near future we hope to have a vehicle.The village has about 1000 families and one other Christian church, although that church is closed up at this time.
The congregation having 65 members, it was a joy to see 62 in worship that Sunday.But then I learned that there are many more than that who come, though some stayed away purposely this Sunday when the white man came. Why? Twice before ‘white men’ from our synod have preached there. Now if a white man comes, goes the thinking,there must be money that he gives also. Since the building is not being built, that must mean that the pastor is pocketing the money. This is the kind of ignorance one meets with out in the villages. So the pastor has his work cut out for him to train these people in the 8th commandment as well as so much more. This view that the white men have loads of money is prevalent wherever you go, with the resultant disappointment when that money is not forthcoming.
After the service there were individual prayers by the guest preacher for around 30 people. One can learn a lot about the physical, material, and spiritual condition of the people by listening to their prayer requests. It is not always for alleviation of sickness that prayers are requested, though that is undeniably a need. There were several women who asked to have prayers said for their husbands who were in unbelief or drunkards.There were a couple of new converts who sought prayer to remain faithful and grow in faith. Two young men came forward for prayer together who had just started to come to church and spoke mostly Hindi. Thanks to the Lord and your offerings we could supply them with Hindi catechisms for the pastor to instruct them from. There were also prayers of thanks for what God had done in lives. Basically the whole panoply of causes for prayer was covered. And I feel it is important to hear each prayer circumstance and then to speak to God for that individual. When you consider the variety of people for prayer it reminds how God’s house is “a house of prayer for all peoples.” Is. 56:7
One prayer of thanks was for the successful surgery on the pastor’s wife, who had been seriously ill and passing blood. Four hundred dollars from you had been given previously to take care of this necessary operation. That may not seem like a large amount when you consider an ‘operation’ in the USA, but then remember we are trying to help 157 pastors in the BELC with more coming online. “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Gal.6:10
After the service and prayers D. Paul and I had a discussion with the pastor who had made incorrect statements in an essay he had presented at a conference, an essay that I had to stop due to the incorrect statements. This pastor asked previously to be instructed in where he was wrong. He had read some material we had given him. Now he gladly backtracked and asked to be instructed further. He accepted what I said and looked forward to learning more. So he was in effect like the Bereans, who “received the Word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Acts 17:11
Please notice that it is a case of brothers working together for Him. There is ignorance, superstitution, jealousy in that village because the sinful flesh is common to all. We who are in the ministry, beset by the flesh ourselves, know the lost condition. And our heart goes out to the people. Local pastor, district leader and missionary work together to bring both conviction of sin and elation inthe Gospel to these people.
FIFTH JOURNAL — Kenya Oct. 16, 2005
Aside from the disaster of my being robbed in Nairobi , the work is going forward with our brethren.
We have prayed for the thieves in a couple of the meetings in the stations that they repent. Trusting
in Rom. 8:28 we work.
The church in Kenya is now registered with the government. Within two weeks they should receive
the registration papers. The church is registered as the Church of the Lutheran Confession of Kenya.
It has two wings as of now. They will be submitting a letter to the next CLC Convention asking for
recognition of the fellowship relationship.
The Etago CLC has 150 communicants plus many children. There are five preaching stations besides
Etago. One is in Masai land. This is of special interest to us as barely ten per cent of that tribe believe
in Christ. We gave the people at this station 70 Masai catechisms to study. The Mission Board has
assisted this wing of the church with metal sheets for a roof under which to worship in two of the
stations. The Masai station at Olegumi still worships under a tree in good weather. A school is
supported with 88 children at Etago. Of the 88 children attending most are aids orphans. Part of
the money that was stolen from me was the $2200 for the next classroom in the Kinship
The other wing of the CLCK is centered in Nairobi. This group started as a Bible study fellowship
meeting on Thursdays begun by the driver I had last year. It has grown to 125 adults plus many,
many children. There are five stations where the meetings have moved from Thursdays to Sundays
now with the government registration which allows this. There are also several men in Mombasa
who are working to start the church down there. This is of special interest to us as it is a heavily
Muslim area where we want to bring the Gospel. All the preachers and people in this wing are
going through the catechism. The pastors will also have to go through the 14 pamphlets in which
we show our differences with other churches, as well as go through Mueller’s ‘My Church and
Others’ and take an examination.
A joint seminar will be held in Nairobi on Oct. 26th by the mission board representatives
with the pastors in Kenya, representatives for Tanzania of the CLCEA and two pastors from Uganda
who are seeking to join the CLCEA. Pray for the further development of our fellowship relationship.
Before the service at the Kenuchi station I had the opportunity to look into the eyes of a woman
who has aids. She is a member of the congregation. Her husband is dead and she knows what
awaits her. Due to the robbery I was only able to give her $25 for medications. If eyes are windows
on the soul, what I saw was a sadness coupled with fear. Pray that the sweet comfort of the
Gospel crowds that out.
At the Masai station at Olegumi after the service twenty or so of us went down the road to the hut
of a woman (age 48) who had just been buried. The pastor had spoken to her on her death bed
and she confessed Christ. The devil lost again. He may have succeeded in getting a lot of our
offering money earlier in the week, but this soul would not be his in hell. The members sang and
spoke the Gospel and prayed for the family gathered there.
Hello All — The following comes from Missionary David Koenig, who is
now with Larry Hansen and I, while on his annual “circuit” travel to
our mission contacts in India and Africa. Our CLC mission program is
supported primarily from local “mission” offerings to the CLC General
Fund, as well as through your congregational contributions to the
Mission Development Fund (MDF). In Christ — Pastor Bruce Naumann,
Chairman, CLC Board of Missions.
SIXTH JOURNAL — Uganda
One of the pastors we met with in Uganda came down to our
conference on Oct. 26th. This Pastor Joseph has a congregation of
about 150 members in Kampala. Charles, Alex, Jeremiah and I also
met in Uganda with men who had also been previously visited about
the CLCEA. Near Mbale and near Mt. Elgon Pastor Dasani Wanade
serves 17 members at Bumuduia. Pastors Dishon serves two
stations: at Mutufu with 10 adults and 15 children, at Butandaiga with
15 adults and 25 children. Catechisms will now be sent to these men.
We also provided them with doctrinal materials to study. It remains
to be seen if they finally arrive at agreement with us and are in
fellowship. Something for you to pray about.
Meetings to Study the Word
Oct. 26th the Mission Board was represented by Pastor Naumann and
Larry Hansen as we met in Nairobi with 15 men to study the Word and
discuss His work. One pastor from Uganda, three from the CLCEA, four
from the Etago CLC, and seven from the Nairobi group seeking
fellowship with the CLC attended. After several essays presented by
us, we divided up into groups to discuss the work.
Oct. 27th a meeting with the MB representatives was held in Arusha,
Tanzania with 17 men in the CLCEA who are applying for fellowship
with the CLC at the next Convention. While the leaders are well
known to us and in agreement, we gave 14 pamphlets, catechisms
and Mueller’s “My Church and Others” to the other men and stated
they would have to study these and take an examination on them.
This is the same thing we presented and stated to the Nairobi and
Oct. 28th a meeting was held in Moshi, Tanzania with the leaders of
the LCEA to discuss the work. And on the 31st we have a study
meeting with the pastors. These men all came from the large united
Lutheran church in Tanzania. In our meetings we have essays or
studies to go over and discuss as it all centers on the Word.
We had offered a meeting on Nov. 5th to the United Lutheran Church
of South Africa to discuss our differences which are in the area of
fellowship and separation. In our investigation of this church group,
however, we have found that in a number of ways they had
misrepresented themselves to us, so no meeting will take place.
While we continue to respond to those who come to us with
information and an open mind, we must also be wary of those who
Muslim and Masai
In Kenya and Tanzania our thrust is to reach out, in particular, to the
Muslims and the Masai. In Tanga and Karoyo, Tanzania they have
baptized 13 adult and 11 children Muslims. Throughout our sister
church’s work the Masai are being reached. Although the Mission
Board is purchasing 600 Masai catechisms, we now find that that
number is not enough. In the Etago area, in Nairobi, in both districts
of the CLCEA and in the LCEA there are literally hundreds of Masai
who have joined and also preachers, with more opportunities. This
tribe has been a particularly resistant tribe with only 10% believing
In Christ, Pastor David Koenig
SEVENTH JOURNAL – October 20, ELCC
(Our Sister Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo)
The church has increased over last year to 2063 souls served by 38
pastors and 36 assistants as well as 7 catechists.While they do have
some congregations in distant areas such as Kinshasa and Kasai/
Oriental Province, most are located in Katanga Province. Many of the
pastors have been lacking in training in Lutheran teaching, as they
are so new. Pastor Muzakuza has been trying in trips to train his men
as well as having Sunday afternoon classes for the men nearby. Now
we either have or will have very soon a lot of materials for the pastors
to study in French and Swahili. The pastors must then do an
examination on: the catechism, Mueller’s “My Church and Others,”
14 pamphlets that explain our differences on various teachings.
The Mission Board also has sent a lot of books including Mueller’s
Dogmatics in French to the brethren here. More now have to be sent.
On last Sunday afternoon we had a meeting with around 25 of the
pastors and assistants answering their questions on a variety of topics.
We also studied the Apostles Creed as to where each phrase is drawn
from Scripture. We are meeting with the catechists to assist them in
better teaching the children the truths of God’s Word.
The ELCC has a number of problems that require prayer to God, one of
which is the government’s required church registration which is
outrageous in its fee requirements. These people are very poor as are
most of our overseas brethren. Hab.’s inspired words are: “Though the
fig tree do not blossom, nor fruit be on the vine, the produce of the
olive fail and there be no food in the fields, the flock be cut off from
the fold and there be no herd in the stall, I will yet rejoice in the
Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Let us include our
brothers and sisters in the Congo in our prayers for spiritual strength
EIGHTH JOURNAL – Togo and Ghana
November 30, 2005
Eglise Evangelique Lutherienne Confession du Togo
Pastor Kossi heads this outreach effort. The church is registering in Togo
to conform with the government’s requirements. They have 29 members at
Vakpossito and 36 at Segbe. Both of these stations are on the outskirts of
Lome, the capital city. This last year they opened the new station at Segbe.
They have tried outreach through the showing of the Jesus film, which
brought many people to see it. A new pastor, Jerome, having left the Baptist
church is going through the Lutheran catechism and other materials in study
to be one in the faith with us. Since he is a French speaker, most of the
materials we are supplying him with are in French. People at Vakpossito
are progressing toward being able to take communion soon. People at Segbe
are studying the catechism to be baptized.
Crown of Glory Lutheran Church of Ghana
Pastor Gideon has been preaching in the village of Denu near the Togo
border, but the Charismatics and Pentecostals are in the vast majority and
it is slow going to show them the error of their ways in emotionalism and
misinterpreting of Scripture. Half a dozen people come faithfully to the
worship and study at the back of his house. In the village recently Pastor
Agossou, a French speaker, has been investigating the Lutheran church with
Pastor Gideon and has found that what we teach is always supported with
Scripture. We pray that before long he will find complete agreement with us.
Pastor Gideon has been making trips to the Tema area outside of Accra, the
capital. About half a dozen people are studying the catechism with him when
he goes there. He hopes to do more work up there as time passes. The four
men in Togo and Ghana are initiating monthly meetings to study together and
consider the Lord’s work.
— Pastor David Koenig
NINETH JOURNAL – Nigeria
December 15, 2005
The Nigerian Church of the Lutheran Confession had the joy of
witnessing the graduation on Dec. 10th of three men from the five
year training program to become pastors. Matthew, Joseph and
Sunday Thompson will be assigned stations by the NCLC Board
when it meets this week. We pray for God’s blessings on the
ministry of these men.
This is also the time that begins the change for the Nigerian church
from having a missionary present for long periods of time to
having a one to two week visit each year, as do all the other
African fields. At Lagos and Port Harcourt the congregations are
saving up money to purchase land, which is very expensive in these
large cities. The other two outlying missions of the NCLC are at
Bauchi in the Muslim north and at the border with Benin in
Badagry. Pray for those men working in these areas to continue to
reach out in difficult situations.
When I arrived at the compound in Efa there was a young man
about 25 who was busy sweeping and tidying up around the Bible
Institute building. It did not take long to determine that he was
mentally unbalanced. He had just come over one day from a
neighboring village to work around the church and institute having
been “sent by his people” whoever they might be. He is
harmless evidently, but definitely one whose elevator does not reach
the top floor. The church gives him a little money now and then,
and he is faithful in his manic cleaning procedure. The joy of this
is not that the grounds are
cleaned for little or nothing, but that he attends church every Sunday.
Praise the Lord.
— Pastor David Koenig