By Melanie Ave
ST. LOUIS — Thirty-two new career and short-term missionaries and educators began an 11-day orientation in St. Louis July 5 to help prepare them for service abroad later this year.
The annual event, held this year for the first time at the Synod’s International Center, focuses on training, equipping and encouraging the new missionaries.
The event is organized by LCMS World Mission.
The 2011 career and GEO (Globally Engaged in Outreach, serving one- to two-year terms) missionaries range in age and experience and include recent college graduates, retirees and mid-career couples. The countries where they will serve include Cambodia, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Hungary, Kenya, Macau, Russia, South Africa and Uganda.
LCMS President Dr. Matthew C. Harrison encouraged church members to support the missionaries with “your prayers and with your treasures.”
“They will bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people all around the world,” Harrison said, “‘for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself’ (Acts 2:38).”
The orientation will culminate with a special “sending service” and reception at 2 p.m. Friday, July 15, in the International Center chapel. The special Divine Service with Holy Communion is open to the public. Harrison will share the homily and musicians will provide special music.
The 32 new missionaries will join a global mission team of more than 1,000.
The LCMS has been involved in mission and outreach since 1851 when it established its first mission board and sent its first overseas missionary to India in 1895. Today, the LCMS trains, sends and supports called and appointed, long-term GEO and short-time missionaries throughout the United States and in various countries around the world where there are mission stations, partner churches, schools and mission relationships.
For more information about missionary orientation, click here. To find out more about the missionaries, or to support their efforts, download their prayer cards from the LCMS website at www.lcms.org/prayercards.
Melanie Ave is public relations coordinator for LCMS Communications.
Posted July 8, 2011