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Rev. Dr. Wilfred Karsten, pastor of Holy Cross, Moline, Illinois, visited the Lutherans in Sri Lanka in late October. His work included a three-day workshop on hymnody and Christology of the early church.

Dr. Karsten has been travelling to Sri Lanka for the last twenty years, providing Lutherans there with continuing education in the areas of church music and theology. He has learned the Tamil alphabet, which enables him to help set sacred texts to music. We are encouraged and excited to know that we will be his partner in church music education in Sri Lanka.

The last twenty years have been filled with hardships and joys, turmoil and change for the Lutherans in Sri Lanka. Dr. Karsten has encouraged the CELC during some tough years. He shared that, just like Christians anywhere, these saints see good times and bad. Nevertheless, God blesses all of us with his word of promise. He is in control. Every power—of government, of nature, of sin—all are subject to His will. Thy will be done, Lord.

Dear friends, we are waiting for Sri Lanka to approve our visas. Once that happens, we will make our travel arrangements. We are just a few steps away!

We have enjoyed staying with family in Colorado this fall. We are soaking in the snow-covered mountains, warm-colored leaves and crisp air. Larson is nineteen months old and likes puzzles, spending time with cousins, reading books and, occasionally, yard work. He had the opportunity to meet his Uncle Panpan, who visited in October before heading home to China.

Vicar Benjamin and Grace Vanderhyde serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as missionaries in Sri Lanka. In his role as vicar, Benjamin trains up musicians to serve the Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church while assisting the other LCMS missionaries serving in Sri Lanka with their work and learning from them. You can read more about the Vanderhydes at