Tag Archive for: Called to Proclaim 2021

Joint Missions

Pictured above: Taste and See
Taste and See, a first-of-its-kind online event co-hosted by the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society and WELS Missions, launched in summer 2020 to allow all WELS members to experience WELS Missions. This event included live worship services, question and answer panels, devotions, presentations, video updates from home and world missionaries, cooking tutorials, and more. Visit welstasteandsee.com to see all that was offered.

Outreach to Muslims

Haris (name changed due to the sensitive nature of his work), originally from a Muslim nation in South Asia, lives in the Midwest and is enrolled in the Pastoral Studies Institute. He writes: 

When the coronavirus started, I was thinking . . . how can we reach out to the large Muslim population in our community to show the love of Christ? I was talking to my friend, and he said, “I know of WELS churches that are making face masks! They will make masks for you to share with the Muslims.” So we started distributing food to our Muslim neighborhood along with the face masks. People in the community donated groceries and money to buy food. We delivered food and masks on more than 20 different occasions. People drove up in their cars, and we put the groceries in their vehicles. We also dropped off food on people’s porches. Counting only the early drive-thrus, we helped 504 families and assisted 64 families who had a family member with coronavirus. Everyone knows I am a Christian, and they know this help comes because of the love of Jesus for all people.


The Global South Sudanese Committee met in February 2020 at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary to discuss South Sudanese ministry occurring in North America and in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. Pictured is the committee worshiping together.







World Missions

Pictured above: Training the next generation
Eight men from the Lutheran Church of Central Africa–Zambia and the Lutheran Church of Central Africa–Malawi completed their six years of theological training and received their vicar assignments from the Lutheran Seminary in Lusaka, Zambia, on May 29, 2020.

WELS World Missions conducts and encourages gospel outreach in 40 foreign countries and is exploring outreach opportunities in 17 additional countries. World Missions brings the light of God’s Word through evangelism efforts, church planting, training national workers for ministry, and providing religious materials in foreign languages through Multi-Language Productions. Thirty-nine world missionaries partner with more than 400 national pastors to conduct outreach and train more than 380 students for service in Christ’s kingdom.

World Missions supports mission work:

  • on the Apache reservations in Arizona, where the gospel is being shared in eight churches, one preaching station, and two Lutheran elementary schools;
  • in Africa, where missionaries and national church partners from six existing countries are exploring mission work in nine additional African countries;
  • in Asia, where the newly formed Asia One Team is coordinating resources and partnering with sister synods to reach out with the gospel to Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, and Muslim individuals in nine different countries;
  • in East Asia, where missionaries are coaching and mentoring 45 mission group leaders in spite of tightening security, and Asia Lutheran Seminary is reaching hundreds of new students through new online classes;
  • in Latin America, where the Academia Cristo online training tool is walking more than 345 people through self-led classes, and missionaries have identified more than 25 men in 11 different countries as potential church planters;
  • in Europe, where national churches are partnering with WELS missionaries and the Pastoral Studies Institute to train the next generation of church leaders;
  • through Multi-Language Productions, which has produced confessional Christian content in more than 56 languages and on a variety of platforms.

Our mission in Pakistan has 28 house churches, 25 Sunday schools, 14 non-formal schools, and 1 all-day Christian school and high school with 400 students—all in a Muslim country that is hostile to Christians.






The Latin America missions team is partnering with Pastor Henry, a missionary from our sister synod in Medellín, Colombia, to help others start churches in Colombia and Venezuela.






WELS representatives were not able to make their planned training visits to Vietnam in 2020 because of COVID-19, and the building of a theological center in Hanoi has been delayed. Therefore the WELS Vietnam planning group provided phones and internet connectivity to all Hmong Fellowship Church leaders to participate in online training. In November 2020, 57 leaders tuned in for the first week of instruction via Zoom. These leaders take what they learn in these lessons and share it with their rural congregations and villages.


Connecting with Christians around the world

WELS Multi-Language Productions produces confessional Christian content in more than 56 languages. The majority of its products are evangelism and Bible study materials in the form of video, music, podcasts, and print. Multi-Language Productions has recently introduced a new online Bible-based training platform called TELL (Think, Evaluate, Learn, and Lead) to bring the gospel to English-speakers around the world. TELL students are encouraged to complete online self-led courses, participate in deeper studies with a live online instructor, and then lead a local group in Bible study or worship. Rev. Dan Laitinen is serving as a TELL missionary, helping to coordinate this mission work.

Samuel (pictured) is a TELL student from Guinea, Africa. “My greatest desire is to be well-equipped for mission work,” says Samuel. Like thousands of others, Samuel found TELL on Facebook. He then downloaded the TELL app and completed all the self-learning courses. Now Samuel is meeting twice a week in a video classroom with a TELL instructor and other students.

“I used to believe in a gospel that was preaching prosperity and miracles mostly,” Samuel says, “but I discovered this misleads believers. It focuses on earthly things and makes us forget heavenly things. Now I’m mission-minded.”


Home Missions

Ten families from Our Savior, San Antonio, Texas, make up the committed core group at a new mission in West San Antonio, which began worshiping together in March 2020 (pictured above). This home mission congregation held three in-person services at an elementary school with an average of 40 people in attendance before the pandemic hit.

“My heart goes out to our young mission churches because they lost some momentum in reaching out to people who had shown interest in learning more about their Savior,” says Rev. Wayne Uhlhorn, home mission counselor. “But our missionaries are resourceful and persistent and found ways to stay connected to them and reach out in creative ways with the gospel.”

In addition to the West San Antonio group, Hope, Houston, Texas, and Sure Foundation, Brandon, S.D., also launched services in 2020.

“Moved by the love of our Savior, Home Missions knows that the Lord hasn’t directed us to just share the gospel when life is humming along but to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in difficult times as well,” says Rev. Keith Free, administrator of WELS Board for Home Missions.

“Regardless of the circumstances in this world, God’s people know what their Lord has directed them to do—tell more people about the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. We ask the Lord to bless us to do just that.”
To learn more, visit wels.net/homemissions.

New Home Missions approved in 2020

The Board for Home Missions approved three new missions in 2020, including:

Amarillo, Texas  (pictured): Located 130 miles from the nearest WELS church, a group of 15 WELS members form the core group reaching out in Amarillo, Texas. The WELS pastor from Lubbock, Texas, makes the two-hour drive to Amarillo twice a month to serve the members with God’s Word and his sacraments.

North Liberty, Iowa: North Liberty, Iowa, is a multi-site ministry with Good Shepherd in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A dedicated core group of 20 members began worshiping in July 2017 at the North Liberty Community Center. Home Missions funding will allow Good Shepherd to call a second pastor to help its outreach efforts.

West San Antonio, Texas: Ten families from Our Savior, San Antonio, Texas, make up the committed core group at this new mission, which began worshiping together in March 2020.

Strengthening faith and building relationships

WELS Campus Ministry celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2020. The WELS Campus Ministry Committee currently provides about 30 campus ministries with financial support and assists hundreds of other congregations in their campus ministry outreach. Pictured is the first campus ministry get-together of the 2020–21 school year at Purdue University coordinated by Lamb of God, Lafayette, Ind.


On Oct. 24, 2020, members from Carbon Valley, Firestone, Colo., came out to clean up their community, living out this mission congregation’s motto, “Connecting Christ . . . Creating Community.”





Twenty-five people from Cross of Christ, Boise/North Nampa, Idaho, packed and delivered almost 90 sets of groceries donated by more than a dozen other people to neighbors in their community—along with a message of care and hope. As this multi-site congregation noted, “This is one simple way to serve our community and let them know that not only do we care about them, more importantly, Jesus cares about them.”


Encouraging spiritual transformations

Sure Foundation, the new mission in Brandon, S.D., partnered with a local gym in a program called “The 21-Day Transformation.” Rev. Craig Wilke (pictured), home missionary at Sure Foundation, explains: “The gym puts people through workouts with a personal trainer and gives them diet plans to follow for 21 days. It is a well-thought-out program with accomplished leaders. Sure Foundation was added to the program as the spiritual component for the event. It was an exciting opportunity to partner with a community member and to reach people with the Word. COVID-19 changed our plans, but it didn’t stop our ability to reach people. We recorded videos and put together devotional materials to help people grow in their spiritual lives. Participants learned how to read the Bible correctly and devotionally, and participants read through an entire book of the Bible while answering questions along the way. By God’s grace, Sure Foundation was able to get 32 new people involved in this program and many of our own members too. The 21-Day Transformation didn’t result in just physical transformations but spiritual ones as well.”

Did you know?

WELS Home Missions currently supports a total of 114 mission congregations across 35 states as well as Canada and the English-speaking Caribbean.