New world mission fields

More than 7,000 people groups in the world live without access to the good news of Jesus Christ. With these unreached people groups and the Great Commission in mind, the Board for World Missions is looking to approve new locations to plant world mission fields.


The Board for World Missions has called two missionaries to Senegal to learn the culture and language in preparation for sharing the gospel and gathering a congregation.

The country of Senegal in Western Africa has a population of almost 17 million people. The Wolof tribe makes up about 40 to 45 percent of the total population and is less than 0.01 percent Christian. Despite the fact that Senegal is an overwhelmingly Muslim country, the constitution staunchly defends freedom of religion and is a relatively peaceful and stable place.

Rev. Larry Schlomer, Board for World Missions Administrator, and Stefan Felgenhauer, Director of World Missions Operations, went on an exploratory trip to Dakar, Senegal, in September 2023. They had the opportunity to meet people from the business community, local charitable organizations, and an international school to determine how easy it is for Americans to live and work in the country. The highlight of the trip was connecting with a cross-cultural learning consultant that provided a cultural study and who WELS can partner with for cultural immersion opportunities for future missionaries. View photos from their trip.


Two missionaries from the Asia One Team, currently based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, have agreed to relocate to begin outreach based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Missionaries Matthew Doebler and Peter Janke and their families will be moving to Australia in summer 2024. The purpose of this relocation is two-fold – reaching out to the native Australian population with the gospel in conjunction with two of WELS’ partner churches and expanding outreach to a large Chinese population that has immigrated to the area. Members from WELS’ sister church in Hong Kong who also immigrated have already started gathering family and friends around the gospel message. Both missionaries would remain on the Asia One Team as they continue their work with contacts throughout Asia.

This comes after WELS World Missions, Asia One Team, Commission on Inter-church Relations (CICR), and Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) representatives visited Australia in December 2023 to explore outreach opportunities. They met with two independent Lutheran churches in Brisbane and Maryborough, one of which is a member of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference (CELC), as well as members of our sister synod in Hong Kong who have immigrated to the area to discuss outreach partnerships. View photos from their trip.

New Native American Tribes

More than 500 tribes that are overwhelmingly not Christian are still waiting for the life-changing, future-changing seeds of the gospel to be planted in their fields.

The Board for World Missions has approved a new missionary position to coordinate outreach to the Native American tribes in the Four Corners area of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. This new missionary would be tasked with developing a new model for Native American outreach, working closely with native Apache members who want to reach out to friends and family members from other tribes with the pure gospel message. He will work closely with Missionary John Holtz, who leads the discipleship arm of the Native Christians Network and is training Apache WELS members for service and outreach through the Apache Christian Training School (ACTS) program. This missionary also will coordinate with Christ the Rock, Farmington, N.M., to develop existing outreach to Native Americans in the area and work to expand digital outreach efforts.


A Christian young man from Bangladesh who recently became a member of a WELS congregation is now studying to be a pastor through the Pastoral Studies Institute (PSI). When his father passed away, this man inherited two Bible schools in Bangladesh. He is now working with WELS to provide solid scriptural training to those two schools and is partnering with WELS in his outreach in his hometown in the Midwest.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

After recent trips to Dubai for theological training and music workshops hosted by Multi-Language Productions, WELS leaders originally from South Asia made connections with relatives and other Christian acquaintances from their home country who now reside there. They are currently training them up to be Lutheran leaders with the prayer that they will all work together to reach out to individuals in South Asian laborer camps in and around the city.

New Zealand

Over three years ago, a few South Asian Lutheran Evangelical Mission (SALEM) members who immigrated from Hong Kong to New Zealand began meeting online with SALEM leadership for Bible Study and fellowship. This group, located in Auckland, has grown to over 20 members. In January 2023, they began a monthly worship gathering facilitated by local leaders, and they continue to meet every week online and in person. Thirteen members of their group are currently enrolled in a foundational course at Asia Lutheran Seminary. These brothers and sisters welcome all newcomers to their group with open arms. They want to see many more Chinese-speaking people brought to faith and strengthened in Christ, and there are countless opportunities to do just that. Chinese people already make up five percent of the population of New Zealand, and experts predict that this number will grow to ten percent in the next 20-30 years. WELS is excited to continue assisting our sister church SALEM as they foster this new mission in New Zealand. View photos from New Zealand.

Support exploratory mission work in these new world mission field. Your gift will support exploratory trips and initial outreach to these locations, and future exploratory work to even more locations. Select “New World Mission Fields” from the drop-down menu.