The Rev. Luke Timm serves as senior pastor at Living Faith Lutheran Church in Clive, Iowa. In September, along with LCMS Africa Regional Director Rev. Shauen Trump, Timm assisted with the ordination of four new pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya (ELCK). This story is his account of that trip.
“In the northwestern corner of Kenya, in Turkana County, they wait: for food; for health care; for resources; and for an end to war, famine, politics and tribal conflicts. But among these diverse refugees are displaced or converted Lutherans who no longer have to wait for the most precious gifts the Father gives to His bride, the church: Word and Sacrament ministry.
“For years, they did have to wait. As the LCMS, in conjunction with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya (ELCK), identified small groupings of Lutherans gathering in impromptu churches in the Kakuma and Kalobeyei refugee camps, they began sending teams to help organize the congregations, baptize children, confirm the catechized and administer Holy Communion.
“I have been blessed many times to be one of those bearers of Christ’s gifts. But on Sunday, Sept. 12, I was honored to participate in the ordination of four residents of the refugee camp who have completed their course of study to become Lutheran pastors. To do so they have had to leave families behind and undertake difficult travel and academic rigor. They have walked across the desert to escape the violence that took their family members and friends. They have been separated from loved ones with little to no hope of seeing them again in this life. But these men do not wilt under pressure. To say they were up to the challenge is an understatement.
“During the ordination service, I was also honored to join with other LCMS, Kenyan and South Sudanese pastors in offering the Sacrament to hundreds of faithful Lutherans who, because of the remoteness of the location, have sometimes had to go as long as a year without receiving it. I was humbled to hear the joyous singing from those who would certainly experience physical hunger in the coming weeks and months but whose spiritual hunger had been fed with the Bread of Life in a glorious foretaste of the feast to come.”
Posted Dec. 7, 2021