- Written by John Wolf, LCMS Africa Region Project Manager John Wolf, LCMS Africa Region Project Manager
- Created: 19 June 2017 19 June 2017
As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath … many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas … urged them to continue in the grace of God.Acts 13:42–43
Last June, as we prepared to deploy, a couple churches we visited were preparing for their vacation bible schools. Their programs featured an effort to help local Africa congregations complete their church buildings. After gathering stories of the Lutheran church growth in Africa and how pastors teach so many children and families about their salvation in Christ, we were able share with VBS children some faces and stories about the “Tin Roofs for Africa” project.
Since that time, many more African congregations have benefited from generous gifts provided by VBS children and their churches. One particular church is in a refugee camp in Uganda. Recently, we shared the story of Rev. Oti Charles, a Lutheran pastor from South Sudan, who as a child escaped with his family to Uganda and learned about Christ while in a refugee camp. Although Rev. Charles now serves in South Sudan, there are still many from that country living in refugee camps in Uganda, and who can learn about Christ through congregations and pastors there. By February, a congregation in the Nakivale refugee camp had already formed many of the bricks needed to build a church building. By working with the Lutheran Church in Uganda, funds from the Tin Roofs in Africa project is now helping the congregation procure cement for mortar, timber and metal sheets to build the roof structure. Through Tin Roofs in Africa, eight congregations in four countries are roofing their locally-made church buildings, and nine more will be soon.
The Lutheran church continues to grow. As part of his work, John gets to work with missionaries in other parts of Africa. One is a partner missionary from the Lutheran Church in Brazil, Rev. Carlos Walter Winterle, who serves in Mozambique. He shared with John a heartwarming story from that country. Lutheran pastors visited the town of Chimio, where an elderly Pentecostal pastor asked for help to shepherd his nine congregations. Six hundred people gathered to hear the visiting pastors share about salvation by grace, by faith alone. The people asked, “but we don’t need to do something to be saved?” For two days, the pastors shared God’s Word and about Christ’s sacrifice for us that earned us salvation. People affirmed that this was the church they were looking for.
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.