JILM Mission Projects For The 2013-2014 Fiscal Year

Stipends for Probationers-as-Church Planters in Sri Lanka $11,000
New seminary graduates, called “probationers,” are sent on three-year assignments to unchurched areas as church planters. Most of their work is done on the distant tea plantations. They commute from their homes daily for three to six hours by bus and on foot. Often, they must stay overnight, since the workers are only able to meet with them in the late afternoon and evening when the buses no longer run. Each probationer works on two or three tea plantations. Each has had many baptisms, which are performed by one of the five ordained Lanka Lutheran Church (LLC) pastors who come once a month to administer Holy Communion. They provide regular reports on their work to their supervising pastors. There are currently eight probationers. Funding provides them with a monthly stipend to cover their travel expenses.

Ingria Church Outreach and Support in Russia $44,000
After the fall of communism in Russia, the Lutheran church emerged with the vigor and the strength of new life. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR), the Lutheran church with which the LCMS is in fellowship, has reached 15,000 members and 74 congregations, stretching from St. Petersburg in the west to Krasnoyarsk in central Siberia and areas further east. This project supports the evangelism activities of leaders from 15 to 20 partner congregations in approximately 40 locations (schools, orphanages, youth clubs, cultural societies, and local administrative offices). Leaders use lectures, camps, films, handouts, Bibles, and other Christian resources to take the Gospel to the people in a powerful and appropriate way. Every event will use a specific method to connect the people with the nearest local assembly of believers, or gather into small groups for study at the nearest mission education center.

Mission Work in Georgia $33,000
In 2012, the Georgian mission was blessed to register its church with the Georgian government. The church is officially titled “The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession.” Our two evangelists, Zviadi Charkviani and Zaza Kiknavelidze, supported by Jesus is Lord Mission Society (JILM), pastor two congregations. The congregations are located in Kutaisi (approximately 50 parishioners, located in central Georgia) and Tsvermagala (15 parishioners located on the Black Sea coast). There are also two Bible study groups located in Batumi (10 kilometers from the Turkish border) and Poti (on the Black Sea coast). Deaconess Tea Charkviani, Zviadi’s wife, keeps the accounts for the mission. She assists Zviadi by playing the organ in church and also works with women and children. Tea does all of this without pay, sharing in her husband’s ministry. In the summer, Zviadi and Tea went to Slovakia in order to learn more about Sunday school work. Children are beginning to attend the church in Kutaisi, but there is a need to establish a Sunday school program. Tamazi Tsulukiani also assists in the mission. Tamazi studied for a few years at the Theological Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia. Zviadi and Tea are graduates of this theological institute, where Missionary Rev. Matthew Heise often teaches. Tamazi is paid through the 10 percent tithes of Zviadi and Zaza.

Plans for 2013 include:

  • Translations – Making Disciples: Baptizing . . . and The Christian Faith by Robert Kolb and The Book of Concord
  • Media – seek ways to use the Internet to make Georgians aware of our ministry
  • Classes – teach the Bethel Bible Course so that it can be duplicated in mission sites
  • Self-support – explore options as to how we can begin the process of having the mission support itself

CELC Missionary in Greater China $67,220
In partnership with the China Evangelical Lutheran Church (Taiwan), this project supports the overall effort for Lutheran training and materials in China by sending Rev. Michael Wu to work with the LCMS Greater China team based in Hong Kong. Rev. Wu trains lay leaders, teachers, and pastors in rural and provincial Bible training centers. He also supports the development of Lutheran theological training materials in the Chinese language and equips local Chinese-speakers to write them.

Recently, Rev. Wu taught at a Bible Training Center. He taught students at the center, but also focused on equipping the teachers at the center to better understand Law and Gospel and see Christ as the central message. This center is preparing to send workers to a nearby city of 8.5 million to start congregations at the universities and in the central neighborhoods. Funding for this project will provide Rev. Wu’s support package as well as his travel to the Bible Training Centers.

Lutheran Center for Theological Studies (CLET) in Togo $61,908
The Lutheran Center for Theological Studies (CLET) in Togo serves to educate pastors for Lutheran church bodies all through French-speaking Africa, including Togo, Benin, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Congo-Brazzaville and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Seminary students need to be supported for visits back to their sending church body for practical experience and meeting the spiritual needs of their emerging church body. In addition, there are book supply and health care costs. Seminary support will be handled differently this year. Students who apply for and receive scholarships to the seminary have, in their scholarship packet, money that covers not only their seminary expenses, but also the expenses of the CLET. This alleviates a separate project for the CLET since all operating expenses are included in the seminarian’s scholarship.

Coordinating Center for Theological Studies (CCTS) in Sierra Leone $12,495
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sierra Leone (ELCSL) was planted by LCMS missionaries in the 1980s and has struggled through civil war and adversity. The ELCSL currently has 8,882 members in 135 congregations. The ELCSL also reaches out through 32 outstations and 18 schools and a number of students at their pastoral formation training center in Jembe. This project supports 12 students enrolled in pastoral studies at the CCTS which prepares pastors for service in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Funds are used for student transportation, meals, materials and books, and center security.

New Mission in Greater China $14,960
Through a partnership with the Lutheran Church—Hong Kong Synod (LCHKS), the LCMS, and Concordia English Center (CEC) in Macau, there is renewed vigor for the church planting efforts in Macau. Vicar Dan Ho has been sent by the LCHKS to lead the Concordia Preaching Station as the outreach efforts of LCMS missionaries and local Lutherans work toward starting a new congregation. Vicar Ho is sent to deepen the connection to the church with those who are reached through the efforts of CEC, the missionaries, the local deaf fellowship, and others. He leads Bible study, catechism classes, and worship in Cantonese (with translation to Mandarin, English, and Macau sign language when necessary). The project will support a portion of Vicar Ho’s salary and benefits and travel for his work with the church plant. In the fall of 2013, an LCMS ordained missionary will also arrive in Macau to work alongside Vicar Ho and support the efforts of the LCHKS to start this new congregation.

Local Church Initiatives in Cambodia $16,500
As the LCMS continues God’s mission in Cambodia, one of the greatest tasks is to train and equip local pastors and other church leaders. The goal of the Pastor and Lay Training project is to help leaders of the Cambodian church grow in their knowledge of the Scriptures and their ability to discern the Word of God. Along with the Bible, Lutheran doctrine will also be taught, using the small catechism. Training will not only take place in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, but also in Ratanakiri province near the Vietnamese border. Through this training, the LCMS will reach the Khmer majority in Cambodia, along with the Jerai, Nhoun, Tpoun and Karen minority groups.

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