Mission updates at CLMS event

Neitzel presentation

Dr. Leonardo Neitzel provides an update on LCC Missions.

KITCHENER, Ont. – At Concordia Lutheran Mission Society’s (CLMS) Annual General Meeting and Mission Festival, Sunday, February 8 at Faith Lutheran Church, almost 60 people heard the latest mission news from Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC), celebrated overseas mission activities, and heard first-hand of mission challenges in Ukraine.

Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel, Mission Executive for Lutheran Church-Canada, provided a detailed update on LCC’s mission fields including Ukraine, Southeast Asia, Canada and Central America. Sharing photos and stories Dr. Neitzel provided the audience with an engaging look at both the successes and challenges faced by mission workers and those they serve.

Alexey skype chat

Attendees participated in a video chat with Ukrainian pastor, Rev. Alexey Navrotskyy, who is currently studying in Edmonton with the assistance of CLMS Partners in Mission.

Using Skype, the gathering participated in an interactive video call with Rev. Alexey Navrotskyy of Ukraine, who is involved in an intensive two-year study program at Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Edmonton. This program, supported by CLMS, will enable Rev. Navrotskyy to improve his theological education and share his knowledge and experience with his fellow pastors in Ukraine upon his return. The pastor fielded a number of audience questions ranging from how he and his family are adjusting to life in Edmonton, to how the current turmoil in Ukraine is impacting the church there.  An offering taken in support of Pastor Navrotskyy’s studies raised almost $2500. (You can contribute to Alexey’s efforts by supporting project 1501 – Foreign Student Fund.)

Lisa Jackson recognition

Lisa Jackson receives a certificate of appreciation from CLMS president, Rev. Cliff Haberstock on behalf of her mission team to Nicaragua.

For the first time, CLMS presented Certificates of Appreciation in recognition of the many congregational and area teams venturing into the mission field. Recipients this year included Jane Ford and Lisa Jackson representing two Vacation Bible School teams and Reg Zotzman for an educational mission to supply laptops in Nicaragua.

Since CLMS exists to support the mission and ministry of Lutheran Church–Canada, the afternoon concluded with the presentation of a cheque for $14,340 to Dr. Neitzel by CLMS president, Rev. Cliff Haberstock. The funds represent the final 2014 gifts from people across Canada who had supported CLMS projects over the past year.

Rev. Haberstock expressed the thanks of CLMS to Rev. Warren Hamp and the people of Faith Kitchener for hosting the event and for all who came to hear about the wonderful work done by our Synod with the support of the society’s “Partners In Mission.”

cheque presentation

CLMS President Rev. Cliff Haberstock, hands cheque completing 2014 project commitments to LCC Mission Executive Dr. Leonardo Neitzel.

Bible study and outreach in Zorya, Ukraine

1517 UK Zarya

Vicar Sergey Bevz

Each week Vicar Sergey Bevz, a Lutheran seminary student, travels to Zorya, a village outside the city of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. His mission is to help build the faith of Lutheran Church members in the village by conducting Bible studies. But it doesn’t stop there.

Since Canadian pastor Rev. Roland Syens began the studies almost 20 years ago, the gathering has included those who are not yet part of the Christian family. So the study is both an opportunity to build up the faith of the believers— which include key members of the Lutheran Church and Alpha and Omega Student Society in Dnepro— and lead others to learn more of God’s love for them in Jesus Christ as they study God’s Word together.

But before the study begins the leader has to prepare study materials, then get to the village. And like many in Ukraine he doesn’t have his own transportation or resources for photocopying handouts.

That’s where you can help by providing support for bus fare and study materials.

It’s not much—less than $95 a month—but over a year it adds up.

Your support of this project will contribute to building the spiritual health of Lutherans in the Dnepropretrovsk area and reach out to those who need to hear the Gospel.

I want to support the mission work in Zorya for at least a month

(Project 1517) Goal: $1,100
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Hope in troubled Ukraine

Children learned about God's love during a vacation Bible school in Ukraine.

Children learned about God’s love during a vacation Bible school in Ukraine.

As Canada drifts through winter, summer is a warm memory and an ever-present hope. For children, teens and young adults in Ukraine, the summer of 2014 brought national tension and uncertainty.

Yet for some, who benefitted from Lutheran Christian summer camps and vacation Bible schools supported by Concordia Lutheran Mission Society, this past summer introduced them to God’s love in Jesus Christ or encouraged them in their faith. This foundation of faith in young hearts points to a bright future for these Ukrainians.

And it doesn’t stop after summer is over.

Pastor Oleg Schewtschenko is planning a young adult winter retreat to fan the flames of faith.

You can help bring hope to young lives in Ukraine by supporting Concordia Lutheran Mission Society’s Ukraine projects.

Nicaraguan church takes aim at Managua this year

Representatives from the Nicaraguan church and Lutheran Hour Ministries discuss strategy for Managua outreach.

Representatives from the Nicaraguan church and Lutheran Hour Ministries discuss strategy for Managua outreach.

Since the founding of Iglesia Luterana Sinodo de Nicaragua (ILSN) in 2008, the pastors and deaconesses have dreamed of the day their young church could establish itself in their nation’s capital, Managua. The dream is now becoming a reality.

In October 2014 the ILSN along with Lutheran Church–Canada and the local office of Lutheran Hour Ministries established a plan to begin planting Gospel seeds in Managua. The prayer is that the Holy Spirit will use this proclamation to call people to faith in Christ and gather them into a community of believers — a new congregation.

Concordia Lutheran Mission Society is privileged to supply some of the funds needed for this visionary endeavour. And we would be honoured if you would help too.

Here’s a link to find out more. 

Mission continues during political unrest in Ukraine

The student outreach team in Odessa, Ukraine.

The student outreach team in Odessa, Ukraine.

Despite political and social upheaval, the task of proclaiming the Gospel to students in Odessa, Ukraine continues.

Pastor Oleg Schewstchenko reports that the political situation made 2014 a challenging year. “Some of the students left town and some had to leave the country even before they were able to finish all their exams,” he explained. However, the pastor and more than 25 students gather every Tuesday to study the Gospel of Mark. He noted there are a growing number of private, small gatherings in his outreach ministry due to the political situation.

The students have also gathered to sing and pray for the situation in the country and for elections in Ukraine and Odessa. The pastor says that at all the events “we had opportunity to invite new people and to share the hope we only have in Jesus.”

This year at special outreach events on Valentine’s Day, a student day and Easter Pastor Oleg shared the Gospel with more than 100 people and gave to students more than 25 English and 50 Russian Bibles.

For more than 20 years Lutheran Church-Canada has served the spiritual needs of college and university students in Ukraine. With the support of Concordia Lutheran Mission Society the vital interaction continues.

Here’s how you can support this outreach.

Vehicle for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cambodia

1401The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cambodia (ELCC) faces a challenge transporting groups of people to visit the work of pastors and deaconesses in remote areas of Cambodia. This project will supply a used eight-passenger vehicle to allow the ELCC staff and leadership to visit the missions and social ministry sites and to meet with community leaders.

I want to help purchase an eight passenger used vehicle. 

(Project 1401) Goal: $8400

Three motorbikes for Deaconesses

1402The countryside of Cambodia has few paved roads. Getting from one village to another is a matter of using dirt roads, tracks and dikes. In the dry season they are dusty and rough yet passable. In the rainy season the roads, tracks and dikes become almost impassable except for motorcycles. This project will provide motorcycles to three deaconesses to use for their evangelism work.

I want to help support the work of Cambodian deaconesses in the most remote areas.

(Project 1402) Goal: $5400

South Asian Christian radio outreach

1404For many new Canadians, radio programs in Canada which reflect their language and culture are important. Knowing this, Javed Ahkter, a Lutheran Church-Canada Pastors with Alternate Training student, developed a radio program called Hamd-O-Sanaa – Praise and Worship – which features a 20-minute Bible study, 20-minute topical discussion and 20 minutes of Christian music. This program reaches the ears of Pakistani, Hindi and Punjabi people who are also Muslim, Sikh or Hindu by faith. It also enjoys a strong Christian following among its listeners. In addition, the program can be heard in Pakistan and Iran. (This is carried forward from project #1323)

I want to help support radio outreach to new Canadians.

(Project 1404) Goal: $5000

Children’s Christian Education Program

1405Deaconess Betty Retana, together with her husband, Pastor Edmundo, lead this program which gathers children weekly for special Bible story time, catechesis, fellowship, snacks and refreshment. This project funds basic needs such as a stipend for the deaconess, educational resources, Bibles, Catechisms, teaching resources and tools as well as helps with the cost of food and transportation for the children.

I want to help support the outreach to children in Costa Rica.

(Project 1405) Goal: $6000

Facility rentals for outreach in Cartago and San Jose

1406By God’s grace Lutheran Church–Canada’s mission in Costa Rica is expanding into the large city of Cartago and into the capital, San Jose.Several mission and social ministry services have started in Cartago such as Bible study for women, outreach to teenagers in challenging life situations, sewing, Bible study groups, international mission teams’ work and other activities.A new outreach has now started in the capital San Jose with the vision of making it a Lutheran national/international connection since the capital is the north-south road in Central America. The church is not able to afford property in Costa Rica so rental facilities are needed in both cities.

I want to help support outreach in Cartago and San Jose.

(Project 1406) Goal: $11,380