Liberia – Missionary Peter Evensen (resident missionary to Togo) is currently working with Pastor Joseph Kwiwalazu as they conduct Bible seminars in Liberia and Guinea. Pastor John Hein (part-time visiting missionary to Liberia) continues cancer treatments and is unable to travel at this time. Ask the Lord to bless the treatments that Pastor Hein is receiving along with both strength and healing. Pray also for comfort and encouragement for his family and all those he is called to serve both at home and abroad. Pray for the Lord’s continued blessings on the work of Missionary Evensen and Pastor Kwiwalazu as they teach and train others in the truths revealed in God’s word and for the wisdom and provision to conduct the work He has given to all those involved.
Bangladesh –Pastor Monotosh continues to spread the Gospel in new areas of Bangladesh. He recently reported that recently one young lady has been baptized and two families have been received into the fellowship of the BLCM after seven months of Bible instruction. Pastor Monotosh also reports that they are completing negotiations on a piece of land upon which they hope to build a multipurpose building that would be used as a church headquarters, worship facility, and Bible School for training pastors and church leaders. The Board of Missions has approved a grant from the Mission Development Fund to assist the BLCM in purchasing land. Once the land is purchased and the building is constructed, this will be a great blessing for the BLCM. Over the past few years, they have had to move several times because of persecution. Missionary Ohlmann is planning a visit to Bangladesh in early May. Ask the Lord to continue to bless both the preaching and hearing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the BLCM. Pray for the Lord’s wisdom and provision as the BLCM finalizes plans for the purchase of land and the construction of a building.
Tanzania – The students at the Wittenberg Lutheran Theological Seminary in Arusha are scheduled to return to classes on Monday, January 16th. They will have five students from Tanzania along with two students from the Kenya-CLC enrolled in the three-year seminary course. Three additional students will be enrolled in the one-year pre-seminary/evangelism course. The pre-seminary students will spend one-year studying basic theology, Bible History, Evangelism, and English. At the conclusion of the pre-seminary year of classes, the faculty will evaluate each student. Some students will receive an Evangelist certificate and be assigned to a congregation. Students who demonstrate the necessary gifts and commitment will move on to the three-year seminary program to prepare for ordination and a call into the pastoral ministry. Ask for the Lord’s blessings on these students and those called to teach and train them.
Tanzania Missionary – Pastor Bruce Naumann has been led to accept the divine call to serve as a resident Missionary to Tanzania. His primary responsibility will be assisting the TZ-CLC as they continue to develop the Wittenberg Lutheran Theological Seminary. He will be teaching several classes and helping to develop seminary curriculum that will be used for years to come to train faithful pastors and leaders. Missionary Naumann will be commissioned in mid-March and is planning to take up residence in Tanzania by the last week of March. This will give him a couple of weeks to get settled before second-semester classes begin shortly after the Easter break. Following a one-month furlough in the U.S. this summer he will be joined by his wife Paula when he returns to Tanzania in August in time for the beginning of the third semester. Thank the Lord for providing a faithful servant to take up this important work of training more workers for the harvest fields of East Africa and his faithful and willing wife! Ask for the Lord’s blessings and wisdom as Missionary Naumann and Paula make final preparations to take up this new calling.
Nepal – Pastor Raju recently reported that classes at the Himalayan Bible Institute have resumed with ten students in attendance. Thank the Lord for these students who are dedicated to learning and teaching God’s word so that others may be led to repent of their sins and rejoice in faith that their sins are forgiven and that they have a home in heaven.
Mexico – Pastor Olvera’s son was recently hospitalized and underwent emergency surgery for intestinal blockage. The surgery was successful and he has returned home. The CLC Board of Missions and Kinship Committee were able to provide a medical aid grant to assist with the hospital and medical. It has been a few years since a visit has been made to our brothers and sisters in Mexico. Missionary Ohlmann is planning a visit sometime in 2023. Thank the Lord for His love, protection, and provision in caring for Pastor Olvera’s son. Ask the Lord to continue to bless Pastor Olvera’s efforts to proclaim the Gospel in Mexico and to train others to join him in this work.
The Philippines – Pastor Jordan Palangyos has completed the first introductory Online Theological Study course based on the CLC Statement of Faith and Purpose. Missionary Ohlmann and Pastor Rob Sauers (Bd of Missions member) are planning an initial face-to-face visit in late April. Pray that the Lord would continue to bless this correspondence and that it will lead to a God-pleasing unity of faith and teaching. Ask the Lord to provide opportunities and all that is necessary for Pastor Jordan to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ!
Zambia – While Missionary Ohlmann was in Zambia in December, an organizational meeting was held with representatives from the three areas of Zambia where the CLC has been actively involved for several years. This meeting was scheduled to take place a few years but was postponed due to the pandemic. Pastors from the northern Copperbelt District (near the DR Congo border), the Lusaka District, and the Livingstone District in the south (near the Zimbabwe border) met and discussed the progress on registration of the ZCLC and officially elected District Leaders. They also discussed plans for ongoing quarterly Pastoral Training Seminars. They plan to meet again in March to finalize plans and distribute registration certificates. This is a big and important step forward for the work in Zambia. Thank the Lord for His blessings on these efforts to organize the work of the ZCLC in a decent and orderly way. Pastor Ibrahim reports several new contacts and a few prospective students for the Martin Luther Bible School. Pray that the Lord would grant Pastor Ibrahim an extra measure of wisdom as he continues to lead and organize the work of the ZCLC. Thank the Lord for the opportunity to be a part of these efforts to faithfully proclaim the Good News of Jesus in Zambia.
Kenya –The CLC Bd of Missions (BoM) recently began sending the MDF Grant funds that were approved to assist with much-needed classroom repairs and construction at both schools. Give thanks to the Lord for the privilege of assisting our brothers and sisters in Christ in the training of so many young souls through the two schools that are supported through Kinship. Pray for the Lord’s continued blessings upon the teachers, students, and staffs of St. David’s Kinship School and Emmaus Millimani School as they grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
India – After many years of faithful and dedicated service to the many sheep of our Savior’s CLC-India flock, the Lord recently called His servant V.S. Benjamin to his eternal rest. Pray that the Lord will continue to provide hope, comfort, courage, and joy to the many who loved and appreciated this faithful servant of Christ as they mourn.
Pakistan - Pastor Tim Daub continues to teach online video Bible lessons to a group of Christians who are eager to start a Lutheran church in Pakistan. The Board of Missions has authorized Missionary Ohlmann to accompany Pastor Daub on a visit when the time comes. Pray that the Lord will continue to bless the teaching and learning of His word. Thank our Savior for this opportunity and the technology to proclaim the truth of His word in such a way.
Myanmar – Our brothers and sisters in Christ in Myanmar, especially in Chin State continue to struggle under the harsh rule of the military Junta that has brought much pain, suffering, economic hardship, and uncertainty. Recent reports indicate that more than two million people have been displaced since the military coup in February of 2021. Pray for justice and peace for all the people of Myanmar. Pray especially for our brothers and sisters in Christ that the Lord will grant them strength, courage, and boldness during these difficult times and that He will provide for their needs.
D.R. Congo – Missionary Ohlmann was able to spend a few weeks in the DRC this past November and December visiting congregations and conducting Bible training seminars. He also spent one week teaching fifteen students at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Bible School. Much progress has been made on the Bible School facilities and ten of the fifteen students are preparing to graduate in the Fall of 2023. Missionaries Evensen and Ohlmann are planning to be on hand to hear each student deliver the oral defense of their doctrinal thesis’ in the Fall. Ask for the Lord’s continued blessings on the training of pastors and spreading the truth of God’s word in D.R. Congo.
D.R. Congo (Kinshasa) - From CLC President Mike Eichstadt - Declaration of fellowship: Upon the recommendation of Missionaries Todd Ohlmann and Peter Evensen, I am happy to declare fellowship with Pastor Jacques Pondi Lumiangu and the Eglise Confessionnelle Lutherienne Sainte Faille au Congo (E.C.L.S.A.FA.CO), located in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Pastor Lumiangu was trained by an LCMS affiliate, but became troubled by the false teachings he encountered. He and his congregation subsequently left that fellowship and became an independent confessional Lutheran church. Pastor Lumiangu’s first contact with the CLC was with Pastor Timothy Daub on Facebook. Pastor Lumiangu has thoroughly studied the CLC Statement of Faith and Purpose and has submitted essay answers to doctrinal colloquy questions. He writes, “I am convinced that we are in doctrinal agreement and that we are united in the same mind and same judgment (1 Cor. 1:10); therefore, we wish to be officially recognized as a sister synod of the CLC here in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” Missionaries Ohlmann and Evensen met with Pastor Lumiangu Nov. 1-6, 2022 and are confident of his understanding of Scripture’s doctrines and of his agreement with the CLC. Pastor Lumiangu is currently training three men from his congregation to be pastors to be sent out to establish sister congregations which will faithfully preach and teach God’s Word.
Visiting Missionary Upcoming Travels – Missionary Ohlmann recently returned from an eight-week visit to Africa where he visited and worked with pastors and leaders in Nigeria, DR Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia. He will return to Africa in February to attend and host the West Africa CLC Pastoral Conference in Lomé, Togo. Pastors from Togo, Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, and Liberia will spend three days growing in their understanding of God’s word and encouraging one another in the work that the Lord has blessed them with. In late March he will travel to Tanzania to be on hand to help introduce and install Missionary Bruce Naumann and to help him get accustomed to and settled in. In April Missionary Ohlmann is scheduled to spend time in the Philippines, Tokyo, and Bangladesh. He’ll then be back in the States for a couple of months before the Mission Helper Trip to Nepal in July. Pray for the Lord’s blessings on the preparation for these trips and that the Lord will provide safe and uneventful travel. Ask for the Lord to be with, protect, and provide for Missionary Ohlmann’s family while he is away. Thank the Lord for His faithfulness in blessing the truths of His saving Word that are taught throughout the world!
Ongoing Opportunities – please continue to pray for all of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, who by God’s grace, are dedicated to proclaiming the truths of God’s saving word for the salvation of souls as they trust the promise of our Savior that His Word will not return to Him void but will accomplish that for which He sent it.
That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. Psalm 67:2