We have a “2 Corinthians 8 and 9 opportunity.” Paul, in that part of his letter to the Corinthian believers, encouraged them to give generously to help their brothers and sisters in Jerusalem who were suffering from a famine. With this letter, WELS Commission on Inter-Church Relations invites you to give generously to encourage our newest sister church in Africa, Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ—Kenya (LCMC Kenya). This special offering would support their ministry amidst some very difficult circumstances including poverty, famine, and the current pandemic.
At our 2019 WELS convention, Rev. Mark Onunda and his wife Grace greeted the assembly and shared the story of their church. They said, “It has been our dream that one day this [partnership with a like-minded confessional Lutheran church body] could be done.” I encourage you to watch Rev. Onunda’s presentation (begins at 40:50 and ends around 1:13:25). You will see an amazing church leader who is gospel-focused, filled with mission zeal, and strategic in his efforts to serve the faithful, reclaim the erring, and preach the gospel to all beginning with the poor. The leaders of LCMC Kenya anticipate that the strengthening of their churches and the addition of six churches in the next few years will add 400-600 believers to their number.
Pastor Onunda, together with 17 other pastors and as many evangelists in 46 congregations, is intent on “reflecting and radiating Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd in answer to the Great Commission in Matthew 28.” Pastor Onunda and his church, in consultation with Rev. Howard Mohlke and Rev. John Roebke of our WELS One Africa Team, have identified the following ministry initiatives that will be supported by this special offering:
- Constructing churches: LCMC Kenya is building modest places of worship. Each local congregation is responsible for securing their own plot of land. WELS would supply building materials including bricks, wood, cement, and tin roofs for these places of worship. Rev. Onunda says that $46,600 would allow the construction of six churches over the next three years.
- Purchasing a vehicle: LCMC Kenya would like to purchase one vehicle so that leaders can annually (rather than once every three years) travel to, encourage, and supervise each congregation. The cost of a new vehicle is $31,500.
- Adding mission pastors: LCMC Kenya would like to be able to pay two new mission pastors at a cost of $1,600 per pastor per year.
- Conducting ministry: Gifts will also support general ministry in Kenya including renting worship space (when a church is yet to be constructed) and covering travel costs for pastors and evangelists to serve their congregations across the country.
Please join me in praying for the pastors, evangelists, and members of LCMC Kenya, that their Christian joy continues despite their circumstances and that God blesses their gospel outreach. Please also join me in an offering to support and encourage these faithful brothers and sisters in the Lord. “This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God” (2 Corinthians 9:12).
Because the Lord Jesus Christ lives,
Rev. Brad Wordell
WELS Commission on Inter-Church Relations