Tag Archive for: Called to Proclaim 2022

World Missions

Pictured above: Members of WELS’ One Africa Team with a delegation from the Lutheran Church of Cameroon

Representatives of WELS’ One Africa Team met with a delegation of pastors and laymen from the Lutheran Church of Cameroon in Douala, Cameroon, on October 23, 2021. The group discussed the partnership in the ministry that these groups share, the future of the Lutheran Church of Cameroon seminary, ministry training opportunities, and other ministry topics. At the conclusion of the meetings, Rev. Matthias Abumbi, Lutheran Church of Cameroon president, presented gifts of peace to the WELS missionaries. The gifts were cultural items from the Bakossi Tribe—a bag (Ebam), a cap (Mbute), and a cup (Mbwinde). When Abumbi placed the caps on their heads, the bags on their shoulders, and the cups in their hands, he announced and explained that these gifts speak the powerful message—there is peace between us as brothers. The gifts expressed what the six-day meeting revealed—the tremendous and valuable gift of peace. Pictured with representatives from the Lutheran Church of Cameroon are (from left) Missionary John Holtz, Missionary Dan Kroll, Mr. Stefan Felgenhauer, and Missionary Howard Mohlke.

The Lutheran Church of Cameroon includes 31 congregations that are served by 8 national pastors, 3 evangelists, and 4 certified assistants. To learn more, visit wels.net/cameroon.


WELS World Missions conducts and encourages gospel outreach in 44 foreign countries and is exploring outreach opportunities in 20 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. Forty-one 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 ten 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 360 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; and
  • through Multi-Language Productions, which has produced confessional Christian content in more than 56 languages and
    on a variety of platforms.


Mexico City, Mexico

Arturo and Maricruz Navarrete learned about God’s grace through Academia Cristo and were confirmed as Lutherans in September 2021. The couple sold their living room furniture and purchased chairs, tables, and a coffee maker so they can host a new church group in their home in Mexico City, Mexico. 







Nong Khai, Thailand 

Missionary Tom Chaleunsouk baptized six people in March 2021 in Nong Khai, Thailand. Since 2020, Chiang Mai, Thailand, has served as a home base for the Asia One Team, which coordinates WELS mission efforts in South Asia and the Asia-Pacific Rim.








CAMM Celebrates Anniversary

WELS’ Central Africa Medical Mission (CAMM) celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2021. CAMM provides health care through clinics in Malawi and Zambia, serving more than 70,000 patients per year. Pictured is a young patient with an ear infection.








New synod in Latin America

In October 2021, representatives from WELS and WELS’ sister churches throughout Latin America met in Medellín, Colombia, to form a new synod—Iglesia Cristo WELS Internacional. Founding members come from churches in Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Venezuela. As part of a synod, these churches now carry out mission work together, train pastors together, and support each other with prayers and fellowship. Pictured is Rev. Larry Schlomer, administrator of WELS World Missions, installing the officers of the new synod. 

Synod membership is expected to swell in the future as new groups gathered through Academia Cristo training efforts complete a two-year confessional process called Ruta Cristo (Christ path). Academia Cristo launched in 2015. It is a multi-faceted effort of the WELS Latin America mission team to make disciples by sharing the message of God’s grace through its website, mobile app, and social media; to identify and train potential leaders; and to encourage those leaders to make disciples who plant churches. Since Academia Cristo’s launch, 47 students from 12 countries have become confessional Lutherans—41 in 2021 alone. Most of them have gathered and now lead groups of believers.

To learn more, visit wels.net/latinamerica.


Did you know?

The WELS world mission field on the Apache reservations in Arizona serves more than 3,600 baptized members through 5 missionaries, 2 national pastors, and 1 national evangelist. 


April 2021 WELS Connection


Home Missions

Pictured above: Christ Our Savior, Collinsville, Ill.

The Board for Home Missions approved financial support for home mission churches in five new locations in 2021, including:

  • Waco, Texas: The Heart of Texas mission core group has been meeting regularly since March 2020. This mission is being supported by Trinity in nearby Temple, Texas.
  • Durham, N.C.: Gethsemane, the WELS congregation in Raleigh, N.C., is launching a second site in nearby Durham. The gospel is especially needed in this area, as studies show that 75 percent of people in the area do not know their Savior.
  • Parrish, Fla.: This new mission plant is being started and supported by Risen Savior in Lakewood Ranch, a previous home mission church that recently became self-supporting. Ascension in Sarasota is also supporting this new mission site, which is reaching out with the gospel to a community that is 85 percent unchurched.
  • Dickinson, N.D.: A committed core group has been meeting regularly for livestreamed worship and monthly gatherings since 2012, served by pastors from Redeemer, Mandan, N.D., and Our Saviour’s, Bismarck, N.D. Those two congregations as well as Salem, Circle, Mont., will be supporting this new mission start named Amazing Grace. 
  • Collinsville, Ill.: Christ Our Savior, Collinsville, Ill., has served as a preaching station of Martin Luther, St. Louis, Mo., since 2002. Home Missions is now providing funding to Christ Our Savior to call its own pastor. The group pictured (right) took an evangelism and outreach training course from Praise and Proclaim Ministries in October 2021 and is looking forward to reaching out to its community with its new pastor.  

In 2021, Home Missions approved financial support for four existing ministries, including King of Kings, Willoughby, Ohio; Christ the Rock, Hutto, Texas; Ascension, Crossville, Tenn.; and Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nev. Home Missions also approved unsubsidized mission status for Redeemer, Fallbrook, Calif.; St. John’s on the Hillside, Milwaukee, Wis.; and Good Shepherd, Beloit, Wis. Home Missions provides assistance to unsubsidized mission congregations through its district missions boards, mission counselors, synodical support staff, and special project funds, but does not provide direct financial support.

From One Generation to Another

Rev. Paul Bourman presents a children’s devotion at Hope, Tigard, Ore. Hope is one of the 132 congregations that Home Missions supported in 2021.






Intown Lutheran, Atlanta, Ga.

On October 17, 2021, Rev. Lucas Bitter, pastor at Intown Lutheran, Atlanta, Ga., baptized Lauren Glenney. Bitter began reaching out to those in the heart of the city in 2017. This home mission has created deep roots in its community through local service projects and fellowship events. Members let their lights shine as they interact with their neighbors. 




Mission Connections

Salvador, a Spanish-speaker who lives in Denver, Colo., began studying virtually with Academia Cristo and then sought a local congregation that would teach the same things as Academia Cristo. He found Christ Lutheran Church/Iglesia Luterano Cristo, WELS’ home mission in Denver, which offers Spanish worship services. Salvador’s children were recently baptized (pictured with Rev. Paul Biedenbender), the family attends church regularly, and Salvador is training to become a leader in the congregation.



Campus Ministry

Campus ministry students in Milwaukee, Wis., volunteered at the WELS Bargain Center, which supports its ministry, in September 2021. Home Missions provided funding to 25 campus ministries in 2021. A full-time campus ministry mission counselor, Rev. Dan Lindner, is now serving all WELS campus ministries. 





Did you know?

In July 2021, the synod in convention approved a WELS Home Missions initiative to plant 100 new home mission churches and enhance 75 existing ministries from 2023–2033. 


November 2021 WELS Connection



Joint Missions

WELS Missions commissioned five new missionaries during the closing service of Taste of Missions in July 2021. Pictured from left: Rev. Mark Zondag, world missionary on the Asia One Team; Rev. Lucas Callies, home missionary at Good Shepherd, North Liberty, Iowa; Rev. Isaac Hayes, home missionary at St. John’s on the Hillside, Milwaukee, Wis.; Rev. Timothy Walsh, home missionary at Grace of God, Dix Hills, N.Y.; and Rev. Andrew Westra, home missionary at a new mission start in Waco, Texas. 

In 2021, Taste of Missions provided an online missions experience for WELS members around the world. The 2022 event is scheduled to take place both online and in person at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis., on June 11.
For more information, visit tasteofmissions.com.


Mission Journeys

In November 2021, a WELS Mission Journeys team from St. Matthew’s, Oconomowoc, Wis., traveled to Hope in the Heights, a WELS home mission congregation in Houston, Texas. The team assisted Hope with its outreach efforts. 





New members confirmed

Rev. Ger Lor confirmed 11 new members at Grace Hmong Lutheran, Kansas City, Kan., in January 2021. 







Taste of Missions commissioning and Q&A