Each year these summaries of our work in various areas are sent to the CLC Mission Board to allow us to get an overview of the year’s work with our overseas brethren.
While the missionary is on the specific field Bibles are purchased or money is left for their purchase. Following we have the countries and the languages for the Bibles purchased:
India – 1425 in Telegu and Tamil, Nigeria – 80 in Efik, DRC – 70 in Swahili, Kenya – 14 in Masai and 22 in Swahili, Ghana – 5 in Ewe.
While we still value the small catechism as an excellent teaching tool, this is not so in many of the Lutheran churches overseas. We seek to find the old catechism in a specific language and print it if out of print or buy it for our people if it is in print. In one case in the DRC our men have translated the catechism into Swahili and we have printed it.
–Togo/Ghana – We have found out that there is not an Ewe catechism available. We are sending French and English catechisms.
–Kenya – We are supplying Kisii and English catechisms. Most recently one of our pastors in Tanzania located the Masai catechism and we have purchased copies for the work among the Masai.
–Tanzania – We have not been able to obtain the Swahili catechism from Nairobi and continue to wait for its new printing for our people in Tanzania.
–Congo – The translation team here has done a new translation of their Swahili. Finding out that it would be cheaper to print it in the USA than in Lubumbashi(where our sister church is centered), we have made an initial printing of 500 and they are being sent to Congo. French catechisms are also being sent.
–Nigeria – Efik catechisms are purchased for our work in Akwa Ibom State, while English catechisms are sent for work elsewhere.
–Uganda – In connection with exploring a new field at Mbale and Kampala, we are sending over English catechisms. At the same time we are seeking to find out about availability of catechisms in local languages.
–India — 2003 and 2004 were big years for catechism purchase and printing. With coninued growth in the BELC we anticipate still sizeable numbers of catechisms needed. One thousand Hindi catechisms were printed, as well as several thousand Telegu and Tamil catechisms either purchased or printed.
We are on a two track approach to assisting our overseas brethren to have solid pastors to serve them. One approach is through the normal seminary or Bible institute training and the other is through theological education by extension. Through TEE we have regular classes where the men are located. They remain with the congregation and family and continue to learn to be better pastors.
Togo – Pastor Kossi continues to work on the TEE booklets and when the missionary is present(twice a year) we go over the material and try to cover new ground. We now have a couple new men who are French speakers to whom we are sending materials.
Ghana – Pastor Gideon had previously studied in a Reformed school. He has done many of the TEE booklets with us and continues. He has one associate who wants to join with us who will be receiving French materials.
Kenya – This last year no classes were held due to the disruption with the removal of the pastor from the congregation at Etago and the meetings that were necessary. Several TEE booklets were handed out to certain men who preach and some were corrected from the previous year. We have five men working on these booklets.
Congo – We continue to rely on Pastor Muzakuza having the weekly/monthly studies at Lubumbashi for the South Katanga men and visiting the others with TEE. French materials are sent regularly for him to use. Most recently we are planning to send over Mueller’s Dogmatics in French for the pastors.
Tanzania – The seminary at Himo has ten men studying in the LCEA. The CLCEA might be sending one or two men to school there in the three year program. This is the year they plan to increase to three years.
Nigeria – The five year program of the Bible institute has eleven men.
India/CLCI – The three year program of the institute has 23 men enrolled.
India/BELC – The BELC has eight districts where monthly studies are held by our lead pastors. The Nagalapuram men want to start a seminary approach with at least fifteen young men who are not in the TEE meetings. This we will discuss, study and pray over next summer. We admitted six new men over all into the existing TEE programs. At Nagalapuram we ahve divided the study (over 40 men) into Tamil and Telegu groups on different days.
We do not want our overseas brethren to be dependent on us over many years. In our expanding self-help program we are seeking to assist them to be self-supporting. The two approaches we take on this are: 1) loans to individual pastors, 2) projects that benefit the whole church body.
Togo – Pastor Kossi will be starting to repay a loan for sugarcane production next year. Ghana – Pastor Gideon, due to his wife’s illness, had to use the money for problems dealing with that and does not have a loan at this time.
Kenya – No loans have been made yet.
Tanzania – One loan as a pilot project was made to Pastor Jeremiah to be followed up accordingly. We have only talked about the possibility of some small scale mining projects.
Congo – We continue to hope we can purchase the ‘farm’ that the church now leases. The cost is $5700. From this they hope to continue raising corn as well as do some lumbering and possible mining.
Nigeria – Loans have been made to all pastors. When a loan is repaid a larger loan can be made.
India/CLCI – They purchased this year 12 more water buffaloes for pastors from the money repaid from previous water buffalo loans. Now 25 sewing machines are being made available to those who do not have the other loans.
India/BELC – As of this time Nellore District pastors have loans and among the other districts 45 ‘new’ pastors have been given loans as well as 8 ‘old’ pastors. We continue to work to have all pastors in the tentmaking frame of mind like Paul.
We do not put up a church building for our brethren. Instead we work in conjunction with them to see what they can do and how we can help. One size does not fit all. We look at each field to see how we can help and not make dependent. We are trying to tailor our help to each specific area’s needs, abilities and conditions. On the one hand buildings have a long term benefit, and on the other we don’t want to much emphasis on buildings as the church is people with the Lord.
Togo – A zinc roof was put up by us over the worship place at Vakpossito.
Kenya – Kinship sent money for the first classroom for the orphan school at Etago. This amount of $2000 will be sent each successive year until a school of eight classrooms is set up. We are dealing with requests for roofing for satellite congregations of Etago.
Congo – This year we are roofing seven churches. They have completed either hard or soft brick construction to the roof level in each case. Some estimates had to be reduced. In this first effort with them we want to have them be modest in a structure, which can be added onto later.
Nigeria- We are not using any budget money for building here. With ‘extra’ money we were able to complete two projects. The church buildings are not finished, but with walls and roof provide a dry worship site.
India – The CLCI has requested that we help them with 2-3 prayer sheds a year. These cost R. 10-15,000 a piece. Exchange rate is 45:1. The second floor for the seminary students hostel and quarters for male orphans was completed and dedicated. In the BELC we have started the approach of giving help once to a congregation in one of three areas: land, walls or roof. The help we provide allows for a building that is not finished but a sturdy one for worship. The cost limit is $1200 for us to help with.