By Paula Schlueter Ross
ST. LOUIS (July 22, 2013) — Four missionaries, representing different branches of missionary service in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, were recognized by the church’s 65th Regular Convention with a standing ovation.
Among them was Dr. Alice Brauer, who’s been called the “Mother Teresa” of the LCMS for her 45 years of mercy work in India. When introduced onstage by the Rev. Dr. Edward Grimenstein, director of Missionary Services for the Synod’s Office of International Mission, Brauer received a standing ovation of her own and seemed genuinely moved by the delegates’ lengthy applause.
Since she began her service in India in 1968, Brauer has been “involved in countless mercy projects and shared the Gospel with many others,” Grimenstein said. “And to this day she still remains closely involved in India.”
Brauer, 75, retired as an LCMS career missionary in 2003 but remains in India, continuing to serve part time on her own at Bethesda Hospital in Ambur, working with new mothers and their babies. She also assists the India Evangelical Lutheran Church, an LCMS partner church.
She and Darin Storkson, the Synod’s regional director for Southern Asia and Oceania, were recognized as representatives of LCMS career missionaries.
Also recognized were:
- the Rev. Dr. Gordon Beck, representing the Synod’s 400 or so short-term missionaries who serve worldwide in a typical year. Beck provided theological education in Africa for several years and preached at a number of locations on the continent.
- Katie Lane, recognized on behalf of the Synod’s GEO (Globally Engaged in Outreach) missionaries, who serve one to two years, often teaching English as a foreign language (EFL). Lane taught EFL for two years in Latin America.
Also honored was Alice Paul, who represented her brother, Dr. Stephen Lutz, and other missionaries who have died. Lutz, a physician, served in Papua New Guinea from 1986 to 2010, providing medical care, training health-care workers and touching “many lives with the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” according to Grimenstein.
Lutz, who died of cancer in 2010, is survived by his wife, Julie, and four grown children. Julie Lutz, and a son, Anton, continue to serve as missionaries in Papua New Guinea.
After recognizing the missionaries, convention delegates unanimously adopted, by acclamation, Resolution 1-02 — which recognizes and gives thanks for missionaries and their families — and sang several stanzas of “Lift High the Cross.”
The convention is meeting July 20-25 at the America’s Center Convention Complex here under the theme “Baptized for This Moment.” Among convention participants are some 1,200 clergy and lay voting delegates.