An important part of World Mission work is to train workers from within a culture to carry out gospel ministry among their people. “They know the people. They know the language. God makes them ready for the challenge,” says Rev. Larry Schlomer, administrator of WELS World Missions.
In 2015, many new pastors from Europe, Asia, and Africa joined the more than 174 national pastors serving in fields around the world.
In March, nine men graduated from Christ the King Lutheran Seminary in Nigeria. Graduates are now serving congregations of Christ the King Lutheran Church and All Saints Lutheran Church of Nigeria.
In May, Peter Bur, a South Sudanese man who immigrated to the United States, graduated from the Pastoral Studies Institute of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. He was ordained and installed as the coordinator of South Sudanese ministry at his home congregation of Good Shepherd, Omaha, Neb. (pictured with his wife, Martha). Bur is coordinating the pastoral training of South Sudanese leaders in North America and also in refugee camps in Africa.
In September, 12 men graduated from the seminary program of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Ministries (CELM) in India. Forty-five national pastors serve 5,500 souls in 120 congregations.
“Every seminary graduation in these places is an answer to the prayer Jesus asked us to pray, ‘Lord, send out workers into your harvest field,’ ” says Schlomer.