Due to government policies in East Asia aimed at restricting Christian activities, security is an ever-present concern as WELS works in East Asia. Local leaders are on the front lines of ministry, faithfully carrying on gospel work while missionaries assist leaders in the background. More than 500 souls are being served the Bread of Life each week. Because of security concerns, groups cannot be too large. Sermon-based Bible studies are being used for groups without a shepherd. Downloadable video sermons feed God’s people, and prepared questions help the leader guide discussion afterwards.
Asia Lutheran Seminary in Hong Kong is using online instruction to extend the reach of worker training. Exciting opportunities abound as they blend live teaching with Internet-based learning platforms. They offer training for lay workers leading groups, as well as pastoral training for full-time students. Seminarians gather monthly in a central location to meet face-to-face with a professor for a week. All serve as leaders or helpers in their home churches.
- There are currently 7 congregations and 11 church plants in East Asia
- 150 people were baptized in the last two years
- 5 national pastors serve God’s people full-time in East Asia
- 20 other “tent-maker” leaders shepherd new groups that are starting throughout the country