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“So what would help you best?” inquired the pastor.

“Prayers and support are needed, but what helps most is establishing a lasting relationship with a congregation, to get to know folks personally, to pray with and for them, and to partner together in spreading the Gospel in the mission field. God will provide us with the resources we need,” I replied.

“Great, you are likely to find that here. How far have you gone now?”

“Fifteen feet.”

In a mad rush to avoid a snow storm last month for my visit to New Mexico churches, I got stuck in Colorado Springs traffic waiting for an accident to clear. However, that 45 minute phone conversation with Pastor Nettleton was the start of a dynamic mission encounter.

We have found that visiting a church a couple times allows us more time to build a relationship (and memories) with a congregation. We visited two midweek bible studies and later a Sunday service at Saint John’s and readily saw what the pastor meant. Both bible studies were full and excited to hear how much the Lutheran church is growing in Africa and the need for missionaries.

We met many knowledgeable members engaged in mission work beyond their doors. Members such as a psychologist who fell in love with Uganda during a medical mission trip, a nurse who supported LCMS medical trips, a professor involved in African agriculture support and a grandfather who shared the mission work of his grandson. Their Sunday school also had a mission influence, designed in a format similar to that used in some east African churches. As always, it was tough to leave after talking with so many folks. We are blessed to include Saint John’s in our family and join us in the work of the Church in Africa.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support—God certainly has been gracious. To date, we have nearly 80% of a support network in place and pray to deploy soon. Please join us this month in praying for those who have blessed us, specifically the pastors and saints at Christ Lutheran in Elizabeth, Colorado, Faith in Johnstown, Colorado, St. Luke’s in New Richmond, Wisconsin, and St. Peter’s in Afton, Minnesota.

John Wolf is the Africa Region Project Manager for the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. He and his family, with the support of LCMS churches like Saint John’s, are serving in Kenya. Please keep them in your prayers! This article is reprinted with permission from their monthly newsletter, “Sending Seven”. We encourage you to follow their family blog,, which is also where you can sign up to their mailing list and make donations.