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