Dear Friends of Missions,
Greetings in the name of our Risen Savior! I am always thanking God for you and the amazing partnership we share in our Lord and his mission. These thoughts are often in my heart and prayers, but not only in mine. As I travel to any of our 23 world mission fields, there is one request I hear everywhere: “Please, greet our brothers and sisters in WELS and tell them how much we appreciate the gospel your missionaries carried and the ongoing work we share.” More than 200,000 people are growing in their faith and understanding through the efforts of WELS World Missions. No human plan could have foreseen the incredible ways God has used us in his kingdom.
And I know we are not done. God’s mission is still found in the billions of people throughout the world who do not yet know the Savior as we do. God’s Holy Spirit is still at work, and Jesus is coming soon. Our worldwide mission is still before us.
In many ways the far reaches of our planet are closer than ever. Immigrant groups from all over the world are now living in WELS neighborhoods in America. The Internet and social media communication allow instant contact through cell phones that are used almost everywhere. The expanding church bodies in our global fellowship are eager to reach other countries with the peace they now enjoy. The fracturing and decay of large European and North American church bodies that have set aside their Bible compass have left their former mission partners searching for someone who still believes the Bible is God’s Word. Opportunities that were hard to imagine a decade ago are a growing cry for help before us.
WELS Missions has been mobilizing to meet these needs. In the pages of this magazine, you will read about some of these new initiatives. A Global Ministry Committee is now in place to help immigrants who have become WELS members bring the gospel to their family and friends back home. Academia Cristo and other Multi-Language Publications efforts are reaching millions every day with gospel gems, and thousands are signing up online to learn more. Our missionaries work with the churches they serve to explore the potential of new contacts in neighboring countries who still live in darkness. WELS Missions has partnered with Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary to form a three-man team to organize and deploy WELS teaching manpower and resources to give requested pastoral training to more than 300 men in places like Ethiopia, Nepal, Pakistan, Vietnam, Guatemala, Venezuela, Kenya, Liberia, East Asia, and more.
The Lord has thrown open these doors before us. We don’t need to imagine what God might use us to accomplish. Their pleas are right before us. Trusting in Jesus’ promise to be with us and the power of the gospel he has placed in our hands, we are ready.
Enjoy these mission stories. Pray for the people who need God’s peace. Ask God to use us to do even more.
Your fellow missionary,
World Missions administrator
Read more about how WELS missionaries are working to spread the gospel in the U.S. and around the world on the WELS Missions blogs.
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Author: Larry Schlomer
Volume 103, Number 9A
Issue: September 2016
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