- Written by John Wolf, LCMS Africa Region Project Manager John Wolf, LCMS Africa Region Project Manager
- Created: 04 May 2017 04 May 2017
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.Galatians 2:20
“Things change when we spend time in God’s Word in prayer,” shared a long-term missionary in Africa. “It helps make projects less money-focused and more ministry-focused, and our work is about getting Jesus into the lives of people. If we aren’t doing that, then why do a project? Not for the simple sake of doing something good, there are plenty of other people doing that.”
Similar wise words have been shared with us from many other experienced missionaries who have mentored us. There are so many worthwhile opportunities to help those in need. But where to start? Which efforts will have long-lasting effects? Which assistance is helpful (and what is harmful)? What are the vision and needs of our partner churches? I’m beginning to see the challenge of project work in Africa: despite the many opportunities to improve lives, helpful efforts are those which share God’s Word to help meet spiritual and bodily needs.
This month has been a great deal of learning about the many projects our LCMS has currently in Africa: efforts to help young church bodies in many countries train new pastors, efforts to bring the Word to refugees and those in need and efforts for mercy through water, bibles, literacy, children’s education and health care.
Through this, I have met many wonderful folks: our missionaries (to learn about their work and the needs of the people they serve), our regional business manager in Africa, support teams in St. Louis (who taught me about resources we have for particular project areas), communications personnel (who encouraged me in ways to tell people about LCMS projects, and advised in developing a project catalog and website). I’ve also been able to work closely with mission advocates at Mission Central and in St. Louis, who interact directly with people who want to walk together with our mission activities and with brothers and sisters in Christ in Africa.
Last summer, our region coordinated with Vacation Bible School programs through CPH to bring awareness to the need for roofs for many new churches in Africa. The response was overwhelming, with nearly 600 churches in the US providing support to the “Tin Roofs for Africa” project (that was a lot of thank you’s to write!).
This summer, with our Project Catalog for the Africa Region, churches may choose from a variety of projects to support through vacation bible school, mission festival, LWML rallies or other activities. With the recommendations of other missionaries, each page has been formatted for individual use as a flyer if a church group desires to focus on just a few efforts. Our Project Catalog is ready and downloadable from our “LCMS in Africa” webpage at LCMSinAfrica.wordpress.com>. This page is continually updated, so please visit (and visit again) to learn more about how our church is helping spread the Gospel in Africa.
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! We encourage you to follow their family blog, www.hereiamsendmesendme.blogspot.com, which is also where you can sign up to their mailing list and make donations.