Did you know that there are over 16 million Lutherans in Africa? To put that in perspective, that’s more Lutherans than in all of North America, and if you only count strictly Lutheran church bodies, and not Lutheran-Reformed Union churches, Africa is the center of Lutheranism worldwide. Not only that, but unlike the Church in Europe and North America, Africa as well as Asia is seeing phenomenal growth in membership.
With this growth comes a great need. Besides the typical financial needs that is necessary for mission work, an even more pressing need for the Lutheran Church in Africa is for trained pastors to adequately serve the new congregations that are being formed.
Recently Rev. James May, missionary to Eastern Africa, led a 14 day course on the Lutheran Confessions for the students at the Lutheran Seminary in Sudan. With the help of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lockport, IL and students at Concordia Seminary Ft. Wayne, the seminarians in Sudan each received their own copy of the Lutherans confessions.
It is my belief that as time goes on, Europe and North America are going to be seen as a mission ground by the churches in Africa and Asia. In fact, this is already happening. A couple years ago, Archbishop Obare (mentioned in a previous post) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya ordained a new bishop in the Swedish Mission Province when the national church (which is Lutheran, at least in name) refused to recognize or install a bishop for this group of confessional Lutherans.
So how can you help? Check out James May’s website and click on the needs link at the top. If you are a pastor, I also would highly encourage you to consider getting in touch with the various missionaries in Africa (also check out LCMS World Mission’s Africa Page) for a teaching “vacation” or sabbatical. Below are some great videos to check out as well:
Simon Tor Jal Bol – interview
Rev. Fisk – Africa Mission
Seminarians in Togo learning from the new French Lutheran Hymnal