Missionaries Updates


PRAY!

Missionaries across the globe need our fervent prayers more than ever. Many of them are quarantined and not able to provide fully to the people most in need. Some are providing online support to their students, their congregations and their staff, while others cannot provide online support due to the poverty in their region. Many of the missionaries highlight how the COVID pandemic has affected them. 


Check out the updates from our Missionaries throughout the world. Pray for all missionaries, that the Holy Spirit will open the hearts of the people throughout the world to know and hear the love of Jesus and the path to eternal life. Also pray for the health and safety of all missionaries and their families. 

Ray of Hope - Joe & Viya Stoltenow

- Cambodia

Ray of Hope cares for the street kids of Cambodia by providing a place for nourishment both physically and spiritually to the 14 children as well as providing them the ability to go to school. During the past few months, the COVID pandemic has prevented the children from being in the Ray of Hope Center. However, Joe and Viya are providing rice and other food for the families and coordinating any school lessons/homework that the children can perform outside the center.

 

Please follow Ray of Hope Cambodia on Facebook for all the latest activities.  Joe writes, “It is so wonderful to see our students and their smiling faces even during these uncertain times. While they are certainly thankful for the food we deliver, it is just as important that they know we will never stop loving and caring for them! We miss them so much and we cherish what little time we get with them. Please keep them and their families in your prayers.”  


Follow Ray of Hope on FaceBook


Doug and Tricia Stoner - Europe

The Stoners say that Austria is gradually opening up, but with the pandemic, they are busier than ever, ensuring that they are having more conference calls and virtual meetings to make up for not seeing people in person. While they are thankful for the technology, it is tiring. This sentiment is shared with other missionaries as well. Instead of meeting in groups, they meet in smaller groups or individually.

 

The Young Adults outreach on Easter morning was GREAT! They had a cooking class to prepare brunch with a local chef. It was tons of work technically but was great for making new friends. Additionally, they have had two Girls’ Nights virtually with Tricia’s middle school girls. They really seem to enjoy them. Doug and Tricia are also thankful for the extra time talking to their teams in Spain.

 

Please pray for the Stoners, they were supposed to get a visit from their son and Tricia’s mom, but they had to cancel their plans. Pray for the Europe-wide Pioneers conference next year Doug and the team are helping organize. A speaker had to back out so another needs to be found.

Iantha Scheiwe

- Hong Kong

Hong Kong COVID update: Iantha’s prayers have shifted to families and communities in the United States. 6 of the past 10 days have been free of any new cases in Hong Kong. The remaining of those 10 days there were cases in arrivals at the airport, and not local transmission. As a result, the Hong Kong government has asked civil servants to return to the office next week, and restrictions on use of public spaces and gathering sizes will start to be eased at the end of next week. Unfortunately, Concordia Mission Institute will not be taking place in its usual format this year. Iantha has switched her focus on development of online coursework for the missionaries.

 

Iantha prays, “As we struggle with our individual response to the impact of COVID-19 on ourselves, our families, our communities, I pray that God can keep our hearts fixed on Him and the power He has over all of Creation, even this germ, and that we can see how His power is sustaining us in His Word, the body of Christ, and the amazing resources of the world we are blessed to steward. Isaiah 26:9 My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. “

 

Iantha used to serve in the Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation and now she is highlighting the work of the new Director and their efforts in the WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) initiative. You can take a look at some of the  activities you can do with your family members, like counting how many times you wash your hands, etc.  You can take a look: https://www.cwef.org.hk/wash-week/

 

Iantha’s small group teachings were cancelled because families are concentrating on home schooling their kids. Her Friday bible study class is not deterred—they are using Zoom to connect with existing and new members. One young mother who attends the study cares deeply for her family and is prayerfully discerning her family situation. She has learned to pray and is joyful about this discovery.

 

Please pray that Iantha can continue her ministry either by returning to normal, or by the technology she has learned to deploy.

John Wolf - Africa

A pastor shared with John about how his church shares the Gospel in the prisons of his country. (As we know, Prison Ministry is so important, as provided by some of our own SOTH members here in Denver.) The government guards are strict but allow the pastor and a small group of lay people to visit weekly to encourage and comfort the inmates. During their visits, groups of 30-70 prisoners may be allowed to gather to pray and hear the Gospel preached. Singing is not allowed, however, the group is permitted to distribute food and toothbrushes, as well as administer medical care to relieve inflammation and illness that result from confinement. On other days, the group makes hospital visits.

 

John attended Sunday Divine Service at the Center for Theological Lutheran Education (CLET) in Dapaong Togo, which trains men form eight French-speaking countries in western Africa. Missionary Rev. Gary Schulte, Area Director for West and Central Africa, preached in French while a Togolese pastor translated into the local Moba dialect. This LCMS-supported seminary provides training for men to become pastors and return to one of eight French-speaking countries in west and central Africa to share the Gospel in their own languages and in sometimes difficult situations.

 

Annually, church leaders and delegates from 12 confessional French-speaking Lutheran church bodies in these eight countries gather as a union to discuss the state of, plans, and future for theological instruction and Lutheranism in their countries. The gathering is known as the Conseil Administratif de l’Union (CAU), and in English would be the Administrative Counsel of the Union.  In February, John was able to attend this meeting, and learned stories and histories from many leaders, as well as heard the progress of projects supported by their church body and the LCMS.

 

COVID-19 Update:  

At the moment, John and many other LCMS missionaries are limiting their movement and hunkering down in their homes in eastern Africa due national precautions in response to the COVID-19 virus. Mission work continues though, connecting with churches, church workers visiting families rather than gathering in public, and sharing how people are drawn to Christ even during these interesting times. 

 

In Praise:

  • That people are still able to procure food and essentials, as permitted within the bounds of government efforts to contain COVID-19
  • For mostly stable internet and electric resources that have enabled us to connect online with others while in self-isolation.
  • For the ability to meet virtually with our fellow missionaries for daily devotions and encouragement.
  • For the creative implementation by education institutes to allow online learning and examinations to proceed.

Julia Weber - Global Connections International (Gci)

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected this ministry two-fold:  Due to our kids spending more time online, so have the traffickers. Many desperate children facing displacement, hunger and abuse at home often resort to survival sex to provide for their most basic needs to survive. All of GCI’s presentations at schools, churches and large public venues have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely, but over 75% of their funds are generated from their awareness and prevention campaign events. There are two ways to help this ministry that can contribute without spending any more money:

  • King Soopers/City Market Loyalty Cards. If you register the charity of your  choice, they will receive a donation for 5% of your monthly grocery purchases made using your card or phone number. Use Global Connection International ID- IP670.
  • When you use the link below to make Amazon purchases, GCI will receive a portion of every purchase. Please save this link for your future purchases, as it must be used each time:  smile.amazon.com/ch/84-1537632.

Please pray for our children and pray that GCI can keep educating our communities about the dangers and horrors of human trafficking.