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And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.Ephesians 4:11–12

Five generations ago, a German missionary family was diverted to South Africa to share the Gospel with local populations. During a recent visit to the southern part of the continent, John stayed with members of this family who continue today in mission work throughout southern Africa.

John met leaders for both the Lutheran Church of South Africa (LCSA) and Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa (FELSiSA), the two Lutheran church bodies the LCMS works with in this area. It was impressive to observe how these historically separate churches support and defend each other. John learned that not only do these churches continue to share the Gospel in South Africa, but have used connections in other parts of southern Africa to help plant Lutheran churches and grow the body of Christ. It was comforting to discuss and learn how we could partner together for mission work in which the LCMS is active in Malawi and Rwanda.

In South Africa, the LCSA and FELSiSA together contribute to the operations of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, which trains and equips men from this country and many others around Africa to become pastors. During his visit, John visited with the board of directors to learn about seminary issues and build upon existing relationships with church leaders, faculty, the rector and student representatives. While exploring the campus, John met a couple South African students. One was a second year student who each weekend returns home to serve as an evangelist alongside his pastor and tend to seven congregations. The other student served four churches. John was amazed and encouraged by the faith and dedication of these young men to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

May God guide and equip these students.

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,, which is also where you can sign up to their mailing list and make donations.