December 2010 – CLC Monthly Mission News
December 2010 – CLC Monthly Mission News
Christmas Mission Work
The month of December is well known to us as the special time for Christians to celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world. In the Christmas gospel of Luke we hear of mission work being done already at the very beginning of Jesus’ life. Our memory from childhood reminds us that it was the lowly Bethlehem shepherds who carried out this outreach effort – “Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.” (Luke 2:17) This serves as a good reminder to us that mission work is first to begin in our immediate area and then also to extend to the farthest reaches of the earth.
Outreach Efforts in Nepal
Pastors JB and Raju Bhitrakoti recently sent a report concerning outreach and evangelism being done by the Himalayan CLC of Nepal near the border of Tibet. Pastor Raju reports that they conducted a 2 day seminar for those interested in the true teachings of Lutheranism in Chaku, which is just 9 KM from Tibet. They had 200 people in attendance. The pastors and evangelists who were in attendance showed great interest in what was taught and asked them to return. The vast majority of the population in this part of world is either Buddhist, Hindu, or a combination of the two. There are very few Christians in Tibet and the government has very strict rules against evangelism by outsiders. Pastor Raju is encouraged that the Lord has apparently opened a door of opportunity to spread the Gospel in Tibet through the contacts they have made. Since Tibet is officially a Chinese province or territory, this could also serve as an inroad for spreading the Gospel in an area of Asia that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Pastor Raju and his father JB are excited and encouraged that a few of the pastors and evangelists from Tibet attended (at their own expense) the monthly pastoral training seminar that was held in Kathmandu on November 23-25. Your offerings to the CLC and the MDF serve to support these types of Gospel outreach efforts in Nepal along with the ongoing monthly pastoral training seminars, correspondence courses, and translation of theological books. Just recently the HCLC-Nepal completed the translation and printing of 1,000 copies of Luther’s Small Catechism (Sydow edition) at a cost of $1.67 each.
Please continue to pray for your brothers and sisters of the HCLC-Nepal as they continue to proclaim the Gospel. Also pray that the Lord will bless the preparations of the 2011 Mission Helpers as they get ready to travel to Nepal in July.
On Sunday, November 28th, Messiah Lutheran Church in Eau Claire held an Evangelism Workshop. It was attended by about 70 participants from Messiah and from congregations in Middleton, Hales Corners, and the Twin Cities. After observing two “actors” role‑playing a witness opportunity, they broke up into smaller groups to discuss their own experiences in similar situations. They also talked about how they might better use their future opportunities to speak about their faith. The witnessing scenarios they discussed included speaking about their faith to an atheist, a believer in a generic “god,” to a person who is in mourning, and to an acquaintance who belongs to a false teaching church. The mutual encouragement to do this important work for our Lord was a great benefit to all involved. Messiah’s Outreach Committee plans to hold a third annual Evangelism Workshop in 2012.
The Board of Missions considers it important for our synod to be kept informed about the mission efforts in our domestic mission congregations. Rather than providing you with just a brief paragraph of each congregation twice a year, our monthly mission newsletter will feature a mission congregation. In this way we hope to provide you with an in depth picture of the work you are supporting through your offerings and prayers. In the month of January, we plan to share a report from St. Paul Lutheran Church in Vernon, British Columbia. As you learn of the mission efforts taking place in each of the mission congregations, offer your prayers and petitions on their behalf seeking the Lord’s blessing.
Myanmar Report From Missionary Koenig
Myanmar presents to us a different situation in the fellowship relation between us and the CLCM. The government does not allow foreigners to enter Chin State, where the 56 congregations of our sister church are located, only one congregation is not located in this area. This means we cannot visit with the pastors and congregations in Chin State. Instead we ask them to send at least one representative to a seminar we conduct in the city of Kalay. This year all congregations were represented among the eighty plus participants in the four day seminar. Your offerings allow us to bring the representatives to this study.
Topics covered in the seminar were: history of Luther with pictures, homiletical studies, the Unit Concept in fellowship, Christ in the Old Testament, a study on customs in the Bible, Using the three ‘I am’s’ of John Gospel to teach Law and Gospel, study of the apostles, Greek words’ meaning in Fruit of the Spirit and Works of the Flesh in Gal. and Col. 3 putting on certain virtues, the Will of God, Why we are not Pentecostals, wrong teachings on the end times( rapture, millennium, warfare, all Israel saved). At our subsequent executive meeting I took suggestions as to what to present next year. The suggestions are enough to fill a couple four day seminars at least.
The Lord has apparently opened another door through an invitation of a Lutheran pastor in Yangon who was inquiring about the CLC. Through this contact I had the opportunity to have a seminar with 40 some people on Baptism, Communion, Fellowship, What is a Lutheran? and some other topics. We pray the Word works on the people.
Myanmar (aka Burma) Statistics:
Religions: Buddhist 89%, Christian 4% (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Islam 4%, animist 1%, other 2%