Friday, March 15, 2019

CLC Missions Opportunity Prayer List...15 MAR 2019


Finally, brethren, pray for us, 
that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, 
just as it is with you...
2 Thessalonians 3:1 (NKJV)

1.    Medical Emergency in Myanmar – Pastor Thang, who serves as the president of the CLC-Myanmar, has suffered extensive internal injuries after he was struck by a truck on March 14th. He was working to construct church benches in a rural area when the accident happened. He was carried by foot more than five miles and then traveled several hours by vehicle before reaching a hospital over the border in India. This was the nearest hospital with the necessary x-ray equipment and doctors to determine the extent of his injuries and provide the surgery and follow-up treatment needed. At the time of this writing, he has received several units of blood and has been prepped for surgery. Please pray for successful surgery and recovery. Pray also that the Lord will provide for all his and his family’s needs.

2.    New Missionary to Togo and West Africa – After the Indian government canceled our missionary’s visa, the CLC Board of Missions decided to re-assign Missionary Evensen to the West Africa harvest fields. Specifically, he will take up residence in Lomé, the capital city of Togo. He will be working with Pastor Kossi Blewu and the Mission Evangelique Lutherienne Church of Togo (MELC). Since Missionary Evensen is conversant in the French language, this will be a great blessing in working with the seven men who are currently studying to be evangelists and ordained pastors at the MELC Mt. Horeb Lutheran Bible Institute. He will also have several opportunities to preach and teach at the French speaking congregations and preaching stations of the MELC in Togo and Benin. His new call will also involve him in working with other French speaking pastors, churches, and contacts in D.R. Congo, Benin, Republic of Congo, and Senegal. Living in Lomé’ will also put him in close enough proximity to visit and help out in other countries in West Africa. Thank the Lord for the language gifts that He has given to our missionary and please pray for all that is necessary for such a transition.

3.    Visiting Missionary – Missionary Ohlmann recently returned home from eight weeks of travel as he spent time visiting and working with our sister church bodies in Tanzania, Zambia, Myanmar, and Nepal. He was joined by Mission Board Chairman Joel Krafft for the last two weeks as they visited Nepal and contacts in Bangladesh. He will be in the U.S. until he travels to Togo in early May following Board of Missions meetings in Eau Claire. While in Togo he will work with Missionary Evensen to introduce him to Pastor Kossi and the congregations of the MELC and to help him get settled in. Give thanks to the Lord for miles and miles and hours and hours of safe and uneventful travel by air, land, and sea. Also, thank Him for the love and support of his wife and family.

4.    India – Continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ of the CLC-India and the BELC as they carry on with the great privilege of making disciples of all nations as they baptize and teach all that God has commanded in His Word. They are facing many challenges now with the loss of a resident missionary along with the increased scrutiny and persecution of Christians and Christianity. Pray that the Lord will keep them strong in the faith and filled with confidence in His love and the privilege of suffering for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom.

5.    The National Lutheran Church of Myanmar – has had the privilege of offering partial financial support for three small home orphan hostels and student scholarships for more than two-hundred children in need for the past several years. This support was made possible through grants received from a humanitarian organization based in the U.S. This organization is no longer offering grants, so these children and their families are facing much uncertainty as they were depending on this assistance for the coming school year. Please pray that the Lord, in His mercy, love, and care will provide for these children in need.

6.    CLC-TZ Outreach in Burundi – With the assistance of a Mission Development Fund Grant from the CLC Board of Missions, a representative from the CLC-Tanzania recently completed a three-week visitation to the newly established Mwanza District in the North-Western part of Tanzania. They also visited a few contacts in the country of Burundi that shares a border with Tanzania. Pastor Mshana Godson, vice president of the CLC-TZ, reports that the two weeks of meetings with these eight pastors in Burundi went very well. These are independent pastors who have either withdrawn from false teaching fellowships or have never been formally affiliated with a church body. Following the two weeks of daily seminars the men wrote and all signed a statement declaring their agreement with the teachings of the CLC-TZ. This statement will serve as a God-pleasing starting point as they continue to build upon this God-pleasing foundation of mutual agreement on Biblical doctrine. Pray that the Lord continues to bless and provide for this opportunity to train and develop pastors who are faithful and dedicated to proclaiming the saving truths of God’s saving word.

7.    Wartburg Lutheran Theological Seminary of Tanzania – The newly established seminary was dedicated to the Lord and the first semester classes began with six students on February 25th! They had hoped and planned for eight students but only six were able to begin. Praise the Lord for this opportunity to train more men to be faithful preachers and teachers of the Gospel. Pray that the Lord will continue to provide all that is needed and that He will grant wisdom, patience, knowledge, and commitment to all who are involved in this effort further God’s kingdom among the people of Tanzania.

8.    Bangladesh – Missionary Ohlmann and Board of Missions Chairman Joel Krafft recently visited Pastor Monotosh Banarjee along with congregations and leaders of the Bangladesh Lutheran Church Mission (BLCM). Missionary Ohlmann has been in correspondence with the BLCM for more than three years. Together they have successfully completed three Online Theological Studies courses covering the Lutheran doctrine, the CLC Statement of Faith and Purpose, and Bible Interpretation. This visit was the first face to face meeting. Please give thanks to the Lord for His blessings on visit as everything went very well. Plans are to continue correspondence and to schedule another visit in early 2020 to conduct a final colloquy review. Pray that the Lord will continue to bless this effort to proclaim His saving truths in this predominately Muslim nation where Christianity represents less than 1% of the population.  

9.    Nepal – Our brothers and sisters in Christ are considering many opportunities to further the Gospel in this predominately Hindu and Buddhist nation. They would like to schedule more outreach trips to several districts throughout Nepal. They also continue to train twenty-one men to serve as pastors with an expected graduation/ordination date of early 2020. They are in need of a larger, more permanent facility for the Bible Institute classrooms, dormitory, offices, library, and residence. The cost of land and construction in the Kathmandu valley is very high. They are exploring different ideas and opportunities for such a building project. The HCLCN has also completed translation work on the Luther’s Large Catechism and need funding to send it to the printers. There are several other books and teaching materials that they are working to translate and print for use in Evangelism efforts and for use in the Bible Institute. Pray that the Lord will bless these efforts and provide the necessary funding for their proposed building project, outreach efforts, and translation/printing projects.

10.  Zambia – The nation of Zambia is in the southern hemisphere and so they are deep into their summer months. They are experiencing extremely hot temperatures and a lack of rain. Please pray that the Lord will provide much needed moisture for the nation and especially for the many families we are privileged to call brothers and sisters in Christ.

11.  Zambia – Say a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for the opportunity that He has given to the CLC-Zambia to purchase a building for about one-third of the going cost. They have been looking for a building to purchase for the past few years but there was nothing available within a price-range that they could afford with a CLC-Mission Development Fund grant. Their patience paid off and the Lord has provided! With a grant from the CLC MDF they were able to make a down-payment on the property before it was sold to another buyer. They are looking for to taking possession of the building soon when they will move in and begin renovations.

12.  Zambia – Plans are being developed for pastoral training seminars that will meet quarterly for one week in the newly acquired Mission Building in Livingstone. Pray that the Lord will bless this effort to provide necessary on-going training for the Gospel ministry and that He will provide the necessary resources to carry out this work in an efficient and God-pleasing way.

13.  Liberia – Pastor Joseph Kwiwalazu will be traveling to Bopolu with a few individuals from the congregation he serves in Monrovia. While in Bopolu they he will spend a few days conducting classes and discussions with individuals from the area who have shown interest in the work of the CLC. Pray that the Lord will provide all that is necessary for this work to go forward and that He will bless this effort.

14.  Kenya/Uganda – Pastor Michael Gurath, who serves as our part-time visiting missionary to Kenya and Uganda, is making plans to visit to the two schools that are being supported through Project Kinship along with several pastors, teachers, and contacts. Pray for Pastor Gurath, his wife and family, and for those he goes to work with, train, and encourage.

15.  Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) –Through an MDF grant from the CLC, construction continues on three buildings that will serve as classrooms/chapel, dormitory, and a library/office for Trinity Lutheran Seminary. There is also plenty of room on the property for farming where the students will be responsible to grow their own food as a portion of their school fees. They will also be able sell some of the food they grow for their own financial support. Pray that the Lord will bless these men and those who are teaching them in their last year of classroom instruction and during their year-long internship. They are all scheduled to graduate and be ordained in October of 2020.

16.  Nigeria – Our brothers and sisters in Christ of the Nigeria-CLC are facing a variety of challenges as they work together to proclaim the Gospel, care for the sheep of the flocks the serve, provide both spiritual and bodily care for orphaned children, and train men for the Gospel ministry at the NCLC Martin Luther Bible Institute. Please pray that the Lord will provide the pastors and leaders of the NCLC with wisdom, compassion, patience, commitment to the Lord and His word, love for one another, and all that is needed to carry out this important work.

17.  CLC Online Theological Studies – continue to pray for individuals in the following countries around the world who are studying God’s word through email correspondence courses as they continue to train to be faithful preachers and teachers of God’s saving word:
1.    Senegal, West Africa
2.    D. R. Congo, Central Africa
3.    Togo, West Africa
4.    Liberia, West Africa
5.    Bangladesh, South East Asia
6.    Zimbabwe, Africa
7.    Myanmar, South East Asia
8.    Tanzania, East Africa
9.    Kenya, East Africa
10.   Uganda, East Africa
11.   Congo-Brazzaville, Central Africa

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Finished in Bangladesh...Heading Home!

I'm sitting here with, CLC Board of Missions Chairman, Joel K. in the Delhi airport waiting nearly fourteen hours for our next flight to Amsterdam and then to Minneapolis/St. Paul where we will part ways. Joel will fly to Dallas and I will fly home to St. Louis. We missed out on almost a whole extra day in Kathmandu because our evening flight to Delhi today (March 5th) was canceled. We were re-booked on an earlier flight that left at mid-day. Not only did we miss out on an additional day in Nepal, but it also turned our already long layover in Delhi into a really long layover. If everything goes as planned from here on out, we will both arrive home late Wednesday afternoon...just in time to make it to Ash Wednesday service!

Joel joined me a couple of weeks ago and after spending several busy days with me in Nepal we flew together to Bangladesh for our first face to face meeting with Pastor Monotosh who established and is the president of the Bangladesh Lutheran Church Mission (BLCM). Pastor Monotosh first contacted CLC President Eichstadt about three and half years ago. I have been corresponding with him on an almost weekly basis ever since. Together, we have completed several theological correspondence courses via email over the past three years. 

Following the CLC Board of Missions Guidelines for Foreign Mission Fields, it was time for a face-to-face meeting. For a variety of reasons we were not sure if this visit was going to happen at this time, but the Lord cleared the way and it was decided that we could combine a visit to Bangladesh with my already scheduled visit to South East Asia. The Lord always seems to find a way to work these things out for His kingdom work to go on!

The visit to Bangladesh was a flurry of visits and a lot of travel since most of the congregations of the BLCM are scattered throughout Bangladesh with most of them being located about 8-9 hours away from the big city of Dhaka where we flew into. This impoverished, low-lying nation is prone to flooding and cyclones and thus the roads seem to be in a constant state of repair from recent destruction of one type or another. Due to years of political strife and other issues the infrastructure is also lacking. We had to use ferry boats to cross rivers since bridges were either under construction, non-existent, or under repair.

in spite the rugged travel conditions, the Lord kept us safe and allowed us the privilege of visiting...two congregations as they gathered for worship, two preaching stations gathered for worship, and three pre-schools/after-school tutoring centers. 

After a couple of days of visits and driving late into the night we arrived back in Dhaka so we would have time on our final full day to meet with the leaders of the BLCM. Pastor Monotosh is the only ordained pastor, but he is currently working with eleven men who are serving as deacons to prepare them to eventually serve as pastors. There are fourteen congregations in the BLCM and Pastor Monotosh maintains a heavy travel schedule as he rotates through the six districts to meet with the deacons and visits the congregations to administer the Lord's Supper and preach. He is a busy man!

Bangladesh in a predominately Muslim nation (90%). They have freedom of religion but Islam is the official state religion and receives preference. According to the most recent statistics, Christianity represents only about .05% of the population. There is much work to be done here and the harvest is plentiful. Pray that the Lord of the harvest would send more workers! (Matthew 9:35ff) The congregations of the BLCM are made up almost entirely of former Hindus and Muslims. Pastor Monotosh himself was a Hindu until his early 20's when the Holy Spirit worked saving faith in his heart. All of the congregations of the BLCM are the only Christian churches in the villages where they are located except the preaching station in Dhaka. 

While open and violent persecution is not common, we were told that individuals must write a letter requesting baptism and indicating that they were not coerced into conversion. This letter is then kept on file by the church as proof to government officials that the individual was not forced or coerced into becoming a Christian. 

The visit went very well and I am looking forward to the Lord's continued blessings as we continue to study God's word together and work toward a God-pleasing declaration of fellowship based upon agreement in doctrine. We will schedule another visit for next year with myself and another representative from the CLC to specifically conclude the colloquy process. 

Following a very busy few days in Bangladesh, we flew back to Kathmandu to spend a couple more days with the Himalayan Church of the Lutheran Confession of Nepal. Shortly before our return we were informed of our flight changes. This meant that we would only have an evening for discussions of the work in Nepal and to visit the children that are being cared for through Kinship sponsors. The time was way to short. 

Thank you for your prayers these past eight weeks! The Lord has again been faithful in blessing these efforts to assist in the preaching and teaching of God's saving word! And thank you especially for your prayers for Beth and the kids. I am so thankful for the family that the Lord has given to me who so willingly support and encourage me in this work of proclaiming the Good News of our Savior! 

Here's a few pictures from Bangladesh...
BLCM Congregation gathered for worship


BLCM pre-school and tutoring center

Pastor Monotosh encouraging leaders of a BLCM Preaching Station
BLCM Pre-School and Tutoring Center
Children waiting patiently to meet the visitors
Joel receiving a welcome gift from a sweet little girl. Pre-School teacher in the background
The children waited late into the evening as we were delayed in our arrival 


Pastor Monotosh, his wife Elizabeth, and son Wilson
Joel Krafft, Pastor Monotosh, and Leaders of the BLCM
Four families of the house church/preaching station in Dhaka


Mt. Everest from the airplane window as we flew back to Kathmandu from Bangladesh


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Finishing Up in Nepal...On to Bangladesh

Good Morning from Kathmandu...

Joel and I arrived back in Kathmandu last night (Wednesday, Feb. 27) after spending the past several days traveling, visiting, and teaching in a far west district of the Himalayan Church of the Lutheran Confession of Nepal. We've got relatively good WiFi access in our hotel and a few hours before we leave for the airport to catch our 1:00 pm flight from Kathmandu to Dhaka, Bangladesh, so I thought I would try to get a few thoughts and pictures on the blog before we head out.

We spent more hours riding in the car over winding, bumpy, under-construction, washed-out, road than I care to calculate. Raju did all the driving and his father joined us. They make this trip every few months for pastoral training classes with ten men who are serving congregations in the surrounding hills. These men have been in contact with the HCLCN for a few years but just started formal classes about a year ago with a grant from the CLC-Mission Development Fund. They will study for another couple of years until they are formally received into fellowship. This district happens to be one of the areas of Nepal that has received a lot of Christian persecution so we kept a pretty low profile while we were there. For this reason, I am purposefully leaving out the names of the towns and pastors for their protection.

On our way to the West, we also spent a day with students and pastors in the Chitwan district. This area of Nepal is where the majority of the HCLCN congregations are located. We conducted pastoral training on Thursday and all the pastors traveled back to their congregations up in the Himalayan foothills on Friday so they would be home for worship services on Saturday (the only weekend day in Nepal). So, we had Friday as a down day to catch our breath and do a little sight-seeing. There is a big national park in the Chitwan District where lots of tourists come to visit. So we had a good time riding elephants for about an hour and a half. We were fortunate to see a pair of Rhinos, which is a rare. We also got some good coffee, good food, good rest, and got to see elephants walking by our hotel throughout the day.

After some necessary car repairs, we began our trip from Chitwan to the west. The trip took us two days as we routed through Lumbini to pick up Raju's father from the airport so he could join us for the classes out west. Lumbini happens to be the birthplace of the Siddhartha, the son of the ruling king at the time, who forsook his wealth and royal status and eventually became the Buddha of Buddhism. As you can imagine, this has become a "holy" pilgrimage site for millions of Buddhists and Hindus alike. It's always hard to witness such open and blatant idol worship. It breaks my heart to see so many people bowing down and giving devotion to idols of wood and stone and at the same time rejecting the love, forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life that our Savior Jesus won for us on the cross. But witnessing all of this also drives home the importance of the work our Savior has given us to do as He sends us into all the world to make disciples of all nations by baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as we teach them to observe all things that He has commanded us with the promise that He is with us always, even to the end of the age! (Matthew 28:18-20)

I know that I repeat these thoughts often in this blog, but I can't seem to find the describe the appreciation I have for the joy of the Lord and the privilege I He has given to be able to spend this time working alongside these faithful Christians. Their dedication to our Savior, His Kingdom, and the work of proclaiming the truth of His saving word is overwhelming. They do it with joy, commitment, dedication, selflessness, and an obvious love for the Lord, His Word, and the souls for whom our Savior died. I only wish that I had more time to spend!

Later today we will be met by Pastor Monotosh Banjaree who leads the Bangladesh Lutheran Church Mission. We will spend the next few days visiting a few congregations and schools. We will also spend a day with the other leaders of this Confessional Lutheran Church body to discuss our doctrinal positions as we take this first and important step toward establishing a God-pleasing fellowship based upon unity of doctrine. It's exciting and a bit overwhelming and humbling all at the same time to be involved with this kind of Kingdom work. Your prayers are much appreciated!

Also, please join me in giving thanks for my incredible wife who loves the Lord, our family, and (incredibly enough) me. Thank our Savior for because she is so supportive of me and this work that the Lord has called me to as she so willingly keeps up with all the necessities of family life back home.

Here's a few pictures from the past several days...
HCLC-Nepal Pastors and Students in the Chitwan District
Himalayan Church of the Lutheran Confession of Nepal Pastors and Students in the Chitwan District

Rare Rhino sighting in the Chitwan National Forest

Our Hoti (elephant) and Mahout (driver) for a 1 1/2 hour ride through the Chitwan Jungle

Birthplace of Siddhartha (the Buddha) in Lumbini, Nepal


Pastor/Students in the far west district of the HCLC-Nepal

Pastor/Students in the far west district of the HCLC-Nepal


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Finishing Up in Myanmar...On to Nepal and Bangladesh...

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

I've spent the last two weeks in Myanmar working with the Church of the Lutheran Confession of Myanmar (Kalaymyo) and the National Lutheran Church of Myanmar (Yangon). This evening I will fly from Yangon to Kathmandu, Nepal via Kuala Lampur.

I'm looking forward to meeting up with Joel Krafft (CLC Board of Missions Chairman) in Nepal tomorrow afternoon. We will have a quick night in Kathmandu and then up at 4:00 am for an early departure on Thursday so we can get to Chitwan in time for the pastoral conference. Friday we will catch our breath and Saturday is worship. Then we will travel the long road to the Dang district for a two day seminar with ten men who training to be pastors. Then it's back to Kathmandu to catch a flight to Bangladesh to meet with pastors of the Bangladesh Lutheran Church Mission. Then back to Kathmandu to catch our flight back home!

In Kalaymyo we held a two day (Friday and Saturday) Bible Training Seminar at the church headquarters with teaching from 8:30 to 3:30 pm each day and worship each evening. And we gathered for morning and evening Worship on Sunday. We had over one hundred in attendance. A little less than half those in attendance were from the local congregation. All the others in attendance were pastors, evangelists, elders, and members from some of the fifty-four rural congregations in Chin State. They traveled by bus, motorbike, bicycle, and in back of pick-up-truck taxis to attend.

In Yangon we followed basically the same schedule with forty in attendance.

The topic in both places was a study of the Apostolic Creed as an outline of the foundational truths of our Salvation. We broke the creed into twelve parts and discussed why each was important and where it is taught in Scripture and the comfort and encouragement these truths provide on a daily basis. For some it was a good review of the "basics" of our faith. For others, like the elderly Hindu man and the two Buddhists who attended, this was probably the first time these truths had been explained to them. What a privilege to bring the Gospel to so many!

At both Kalaymyo and Yangon we also spent a great deal of time discussing the work that the Lord has given us to do together. We explored opportunities and plans to train more men for the Gospel ministry.

In Yangon, there are several orphanages. Some are big, with more one hundred children and other are quite small with just ten to fifteen children. We visited three orphanages where Pastor Charles has had the opportunity to teach the children about their Savior. These orphanages are run by husband and wife. Pastor Charles is excited that two of the men involved with these orphanages would like to receive training so they can start congregations in their neighborhoods.

Here's a few pictures from the past couple of weeks in Myanmar...
Pastors, Evangelists, Elders, and Members of the CLC-Myanmar after worship in Kalaymyo
Pastors, Evangelists, and Elders of the Church of the Lutheran Confession of Myanmar

Pastor Charles translates and explains at the Bible Training Seminar in Yangon, Myanmar
Attendees at the Bible Training Seminar in Yangon, Myanmar

Children and teachers (sisters of Pastor Charles) of the Good Samaritan Lutheran Preschool in Yangon
Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Yangon, Myanmar...established in 1878 by Tamil Lutherans from India

Pastor Charles' 11 year old daughter was quite pleased to take a break from rice...she loves pizza!

Sunset over the Irrawaddy River during a layover in Mandalay

Saturday, February 16, 2019

CLC Mission Opportunities Prayer List...16 FEB 2019

1.    Missionary to India – Unfortunately, the India government canceled our missionary’s visa without notification. He was detained, denied entry into the country, and was sent back to the U.S. the next day. He has now returned safely to the U.S. The Board of Missions recently met and decided to re-assign him as a Resident Missionary to West Africa. He will be be based in Lomé, Togo for the majority of the year and will work with our brethren in Togo, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Give thanks to the Lord for the opportunities He has provided to assist in training men to be faithful preachers and teachers of His saving word in India and so many other places around the world. 

Give thanks to the Lord for keeping our missionary safe during this ordeal. Pray that the Lord will give wisdom and clear direction to the Board of Missions as they consider other opportunities for the CLC to continue to assist out sister church bodies (CLCI and BELC) in India in the work of training pastors, teachers, and evangelists to spread the Gospel in India where the darkness of idol worship is so prevalent. 

Pray also for our brothers and sisters in Christ in India that the Lord will give them strength, determination, zeal, love, and courage and that they will not be discouraged by Satan’s attempts to silence the Gospel message!  

2.    Visiting Missionary – Missionary Ohlmann has spent the last several weeks working with the leaders of the CLC-Tanzania, CLC-Zambia, and the CCLC in D.R. Congo. On Tuesday, February 5th he arrived in Yangon, Myanmar where he spent two weeks working with the National Lutheran Church of Myanmar in Yangon and the CLC-Myanmar in Kalyamyo, Chin State. On February 19th, he will travel to Kathmandu, Nepal where he will meet up with CLC Board of Missions chairman Joel Krafft, Together, they will work with the Himalayan Church of the Lutheran Confession of Nepal for a couple of weeks. They will then fly to Bangladesh to conduct a first-time face to face meeting with leaders of the Bangladesh Lutheran Mission Church. By the time Missionary Ohlmann returns home in mid-March, he will have been gone for nearly nine weeks. Pray for safe and uneventful travel and for his family while he is away.

3.    2019 CLC Mission Helper TripDue to the increased scrutiny and hostility towards Christians we and our Indian brethren have had in the last several months, the Board of Missions made the decision to cancel the Mission Helper Trip to India and send them to Tanzania and Zambia in East Africa instead. This was done out of concern for the safety of the Mission Helpers, but also concern for our the welfare of our Indian brethren who may experience increased hostility because of the presence of so many foreigners visiting their congregations and teaching the Gospel in so many villages. The Board of Missions is working on a plan to send two CLC pastors to India for a three-week visitation this summer. Pray that the Lord will bless these plans to work with and assist our brothers and sisters in Christ to proclaim the Good News of forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life through our Savior Jesus Christ!

4.    Tanzania – Missionary Ohlmann recently spent two weeks in Tanzania in early January. We spend the time working with the leaders and pastors of the CLC-Tanzania. He and two leaders of the CLC-TZ traveled to the city of Mwanza near the Burundi border in the north-west part of Tanzania to meet with three independent pastors who have been in correspondence with the CLC-TZ for the past few years. Two days of doctrinal discussions and pastoral training took place along with visits to the two of the three congregations. The president of the CLC-TZ also has close relatives that live in the area who are also quite excited about the possibility of establishing faithful Lutheran congregations in the area. Leaders from the CLC-TZ will be making another visit soon for more doctrinal discussions. Pray that the Lord will bless this effort to establish fellowship with these three independent congregations and pastors and that this will be another opportunity to spread the Gospel in near-by Burundi where there are more independent pastors and congregations who have contacted the CLC-TZ.

5.    The Wartburg Lutheran Theological Seminary of Tanzania – While Missionary Ohlmann was in Tanzania, three days of meetings were held with the leaders of the CLC-TZ and the teaching staff for the newly established seminary. Much was accomplished and final plans for class schedules, teaching assignments, student transportation, room and board, etc. were finalized. Classes are scheduled to begin with eight students (2 from each district) on February 25th! Missionary Ohlmann plans to return to Tanzania in late August to spend a week reviewing with both students and teachers following the first two semesters of classroom instruction. Pray for both students and teachers that the Lord will bless this effort and that He will provide all that is necessary for this important work to go forward.

6.    Zambia – While Missionary Ohlmann was in Zambia for two weeks he had an opportunity to review the newly adopted constitution of the Confessional Lutheran Church of Zambia and to see first hand the government registration documents and provisional certificates. This is a big step for the three districts of the CLC-Zambia. This will allow them to start new preaching stations and eventually purchase property in the name of the church. They are also making plans to start a seminary in the next few years and this registration will allow them to do so without the interference of trouble makers. They are currently looking to purchase a building in Livingstone area (where there are not other Lutheran congregations) to serve as a residence, office, church, Bible School, and seminary. Pray that the Lord will give them guidance and direction in these plans and that He will bless their every effort to proclaim the truth of His saving word.

7.    Zambia – Say a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for the opportunity that the Lord has given to the CLC-Zambia to purchase a building for about one-third of the going cost. They have been looking for a building to purchase for the past couple of years and there was nothing available within a price-range that they could afford with a CLC-Mission Development Fund grant. Their patience paid off and the Lord has provided!

8.    Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – Due to the recent presidential elections (the first free and open elections since their independence in 1960), current political climate, refugee crisis, and on-going armed conflict, it has been a few years since our CLC missionaries have been able to acquire the necessary visa to visit DRC. Because Missionary Ohlmann was denied an entry visa, leaders of the CCLC-D.R. Congo traveled over the border into Zambia to meet with Missionary Ohlmann and to facilitate the pastoral training seminars among the CLC-Zambia congregations in this northern district of Zambia known as the Copperbelt Province. Pastor Yumba gave extensive reports concerning the pastoral students he has been training for the past two years. These students have been attending classes five days a week for the past two years in a temporary building while they wait for the completion of the new building to be completed. The seminary is called Holy Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Over ten acres of land has been acquired for the seminary. Through an MDF grant from the CLC construction continues on three buildings that will serve as classrooms/chapel, dormitory, and a library/office. There is also plenty of room on the property for farming where the students will be responsible to raise food as a portion of their school fees. Pray that the Lord will bless these men and those who are teaching them in their last year of classroom instruction and during their year-long internship. They are all scheduled to graduate and be ordained in October of 2020.

9.    Myanmar – Seminars in Kalaymyo and Yangon have been conducted by Missionary Ohlmann who has spent the past two weeks working with the leaders of the CLC-Myanmar in Kalaymyo and the National Lutheran Church of Myanmar in Yangon. Pray that the Lord will bless the word that has been taught and that those in attendance were strengthened in their faith and that those who heard the truth for the first time will be led by the Holy Spirit to repent of their and in saving faith, rejoice in the forgiveness of sins, salvation, and eternal life through Jesus Christ.

10.  Nepal – Translation of Luther’s Large Catechism into Nepalese has recently been completed and five-hundred copies will be printed and ready for distribution to the pastors of the HCLC-Nepal in February. The pastors will then begin leading congregations and preaching stations through a study this book. This project was made possible through a grant from the CLC Mission Development Fund (MDF). Thank the Lord for providing the gifts, abilities, and financial resources to complete this project. Pray that the Lord will bless the study of His word and strengthen the faith of those who are given the opportunity to study this book together with their pastor.

11.  Nepal CLC Board of Missions Chairman, Joel Krafft will join Missionary Ohlmann in Nepal in mid-February. Together they will visit several congregations and meet with the pastors and students of the Himalayan Church of the Lutheran Confession of Nepal for a training seminar. While in Nepal they will also have the opportunity to travel to the recently established Dang district to meet with the pastors and students who are training to be faithful preachers and teachers of God’s saving word. Pray for safe travels and success in the proclamation of God’s saving word.

12.  BangladeshAfter more than three years of extensive Online Theological Studies correspondence courses, Board of Missions chairman Joel Krafft and Missionary Ohlmann will visit Bangladesh for our first face to face meetings with the president and leaders of the Bangladesh Lutheran Church Mission (BLCM). Pray that the Lord will bless these meetings as we work toward establishing agreement in doctrine.

13.  Nigeria – Pray for this nation as they go to the polls in what many have described as the most important presidential election since they gained their independence from Great Britain in 1960. There are also several regional elections. There has been much violence,  and many protests, intimidation, and deaths leading up to the elections that were scheduled for February 16. The elections have now been postponed on the very day that people were headed to the polls.

14.  Nigeria – Our brothers and sisters in Christ of the Nigeria-CLC are facing a variety of challenges as they work together to provide both spiritual and bodily care for orphaned children. They are currently working to develop guidelines and policies that are in compliance with the regulations of the Nigeria Ministry of Women and Children’s Welfare. If and when they are able to re-open the NCLC Children’s Home the CLC Kinship Committee will be involved in providing support for these children. Please pray that the Lord will provide the NCLC the wisdom, compassion, and all that is needed to carry out this important work of love, care, and compassion.

15.  CLC Online Theological Studies – continue to pray for individuals in the following countries around the world who are studying God’s word through email correspondence courses as they continue to train to be faithful preachers and teachers of God’s saving word:


1.    Senegal, West Africa
2.    D. R. Congo, Central Africa
3.    Togo, West Africa
4.    Liberia, West Africa
5.    Bangladesh, South East Asia
6.    Zimbabwe, Africa
7.    Myanmar, South East Asia
8.    Tanzania, East Africa
9.    Kenya, East Africa
10.   Uganda, East Africa
11. Brazzaville-Congo, Central Africa