The coronavirus is not only affecting ministry in the U.S. but also around the world. Here are two reports about COVID-19’s effect on international mission. Read more at international.lcms.org.
This summer, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) partnered with the Cambodia Lutheran Church (CLC) and several other Lutheran organizations to assist local Cambodians suffering economic hardship as a result of COVID-19. CLC pastors and church leaders delivered a month’s supply of basic food staples to over 350 families during May, June and July.
In the Asia region, Cambodia has been particularly hard hit by the economic downturn caused by the shutdown. Tourism, which provides countless jobs in the country, has plummeted. Many factories also are shuttered for now. The CLC recognized these challenges and organized to fill material needs while also connecting people to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Rice, instant noodles, fish sauce, cooking oil, canned fish, soy sauce and soap were collected and sorted. Church members and pastors delivered packages with a month’s worth of these needed staples to families facing significant challenges. They also offered prayers, songs of praise and the preaching of God’s Word.
Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation provided critical training on handwashing and mask usage. In addition, staff members of Lutheran Heritage Foundation and Lutheran Hour Ministries offered Christian literature resources.
The chairman of the CLC, the Rev. Bun Sopheap, expressed his appreciation on behalf of the CLC members, saying, “Thank you to LCMS and the many other Lutheran organizations for sharing love and relief to the Cambodian Lutheran congregations and unemployed Cambodians during this pandemic period. We don’t have anything to offer in return but our praises of thankfulness to God for our Lutheran church brothers and sisters around the world for this assistance.”
Along with the LCMS, Lutheran Church—Canada, the Garuna Foundation and the Lutheran Church of Australia also played vital roles in funding this project. “This project is an excellent example of God’s people collaborating to demonstrate His love by meeting the needs of community members facing difficult circumstances. Lutheran agencies from all over the globe committed to this worthwhile project, reaching hundreds with bodily and spiritual help,” said the Rev. J.P. Cima, LCMS missionary to Cambodia.
By Dee Dee Wasmund (firstname.lastname@example.org), LCMS missionary to South Korea.
With the closure of schools, boarding facilities, colleges and universities in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, students at Neema Lutheran College in Matongo, western Kenya, had to quickly return to their homes. To date, all the institutions remain closed. On July 30, Kenya’s secretary of education announced that all universities and colleges will reopen for in-person classes in January 2021.
Due to the shutdown, seminary student Kelvin, who is in his final year of study, had to return to his home in Samburu county in northeastern Kenya. Kelvin is from the village of Ngilai, where pastoral work can be challenging due to the remoteness of the location. A blessing of the shutdown has been that Kelvin has been able to do many home visits, sharing the Gospel throughout the community of Samburu. Kelvin reports that the people in his village “are courageously growing strong in the faith of our Lord Jesus.”
Posted on Oct. 7, 2020