Commemoration of Jonah
September 27, 2010
The Lord be with you
This coming Sunday (Pentecost 19) will be celebrated at Lamb of God as LWML Sunday. LWML stands for the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. The LWML “is the official women’s auxiliary of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. For over 65 years, the LWML has focused on affirming each woman’s relationship with Christ, encouraging and equipping women to live out their Christian lives in active mission ministries and to support global missions.” (This description was obtained from the LWML website.)
The LWML does an outstanding job in each of the areas referred to in the above paragraph but, outside the LWML, they are probably best known for the last phrase “to support global missions.” Only God knows how many people have been reached with the Gospel of His grace in Christ Jesus through the efforts of these ladies over the years. But these ladies do not rest on the accomplishments of past generations, or even on the accomplishments of what the current members did in past years. Their pledge, adopted in the 1950s continues to express their outlook.
"In fervent gratitude for the Savior’s dying love and His blood-bought gift of redemption we dedicate ourselves to Him with all that we are and have; and in obedience to His call for workers in the harvest fields, we pledge Him our willing service wherever and whenever He has need of us. We consecrate to our Savior our hands to work for Him, our feet to go on His errands, our voice to sing His praises, our lips to proclaim His redeeming love, our silver and our gold to extend His Kingdom, our will to do His will, and every power of our life to the great task of bringing the lost and the erring into eternal fellowship with Him. Amen." (This pledge was obtained from the LWML website.)
This week I hope to post several articles about the LWML and what they are currently doing. In this post I want to accent their Mission Grant for October 2010. It is $88,000.00 to be used in Tanzania. With this grant you will be able to see how the LWML works in tandem with other groups to spread the Kingdom of God.
- The Republic of Tanzania is one of the poorest counties in the world. With more than 1.6 million people living with HIV/AIDS, the average lifespan is just over 51 years old. About 80% of the population work as subsistence farmers and the average income is only $210.00 per year. Tanzania borders war-torn Rwanda and Burundi causing refugee camps in Tanzania to be filled to overflowing.
LCMS World Mission began work in 2002 to help national churches train leaders to reach out to East African countries. By the grace of God these Tanzanian churches have grown very quickly, and many things are needed to support mission work in this area.
In order to meet the needs of the growing Tanzanian church, this LWML grant has a three-fold purpose. The first is to build ten chapels for the Sukuma people, a tribe that is 94% non-Christian. New believers want to begin construction on new church buildings to provide shelter from the heat and torrential rains that plague this area. The new believers will provide the labor and materials for the foundation, walls, and church furnishings, and the LCMS World Mission will provide the costly church roofs.
Another portion of this grant will provide motorcycles and bicycles to pastors and evangelists visiting and bringing the Gospel to remote villages. On average the villages are about 30 miles apart, so this will enable leaders to visit several villages in one day. It will also make it possible to serve these growing village churches on a more regular basis, thus providing more worship services and Bible studies.
The last portion of this grant will provide training for five more pastors in Tanzania. As of 2008 there were only 39 Tanzanian pastors. Each pastor is serving over 30,000 people at this time. We rejoice that the church is growing at this rate and that more pastors are needed to train lay leaders to preach the Gospel and administer the sacraments.
By God’s grace, this LWML grant will provide hope and needed supplies to further the kingdom of God in Tanzania. (Information about this grant was obtained from the LWML website.)
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert