By Paula Schlueter Ross (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Their stories are different, but have a common thread.
No two share the same background — their home countries range from China to Ethiopia, Guatemala to India, Indonesia to Liberia, Sudan to the United States.
The website was launched earlier this year — notably, on Jan. 6, Epiphany, “the beginning of the revealing of the Good News of Jesus to all the ethnic groups,” explains its founder, longtime former LCMS North America mission executive Rev. Dr. Robert J. Scudieri — “to give a voice to the ‘missionaries to America.’ ”
That topic is near and dear to Scudieri, who served as mission executive for the LCMS English District and head of the Synod’s National Missions department for a total of 25 years, and has written two books: The Apostolic Church: One Holy, Catholic and Missionary and Who Are the Apostles?
In his district and national missions roles, as Scudieri helped refugees and immigrants plant Lutheran churches in their adopted homeland, he “came to see their courage, their faith” and believes “they are gifts, given to America and to the North American church at a time when the church in the U.S. is declining.”
They are, he says, “gifts from God to reinvigorate the church here. Used by the Holy Spirit, they bring the message of God’s great love, shown in the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus” and “they are preparing us for Christ’s return.
“We should know this, value them, thank God for them,” Scudieri says, and he is hoping Mission Nation Publishing will be a conduit for helping members of LCMS congregations do just that, and that those congregation members will be spurred by the missionaries’ stories to also share the love of God with those they meet.
The name, “Mission Nation,” represents “a hope that the United States will turn around and become again a country that is a strong Christian country,” he adds, and that “these missionaries will breed new missionaries — to America and outside our country.”
Most people, Scudieri says, “do not realize that the U.S. is a mission field now, a nation that requires attention from missionaries.”
The ministry’s website offers video interviews with (at this writing) 10 national LCMS missionaries, a blog about mission work and mission-focused Bible studies.
The Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the Synod’s Office of National Mission, says he’s “very pleased that these missionary stories are being told so that the domestic church can be encouraged and emboldened in our domestic work of sharing the Gospel with the immigrants among us.
“The world is coming to our door, and we are given the unique opportunity of bringing them into the body of Christ,” Day said. “Their stories are powerful and will encourage all of us in the work the Lord has joyfully given us to do.”
The first missionary biography is expected to be available by late March, and Scudieri said he hopes to have 100 such books written over the next 10 years. Each 60-to-80-page volume will cost $12 and will be available on the Mission Nation Publishing website.
For more information, visit the website or contact Scudieri at email@example.com. Those who register as “Members” will have access to all resources on the site, and will receive announcements as new books are published. Membership is free.
Posted March 15, 2016