Help Decide Which Michigan Missionary St. Paul will Support
Did you know that your offerings make it possible for us to support a tremendous amount of mission work locally and around the world? You have an impact on the lives of nearly 200 children through our day school. A portion of your offerings also goes to support the ministry of Concordia University, Ann Arbor, and Valley Lutheran High School. In addition, your offerings also enable us to help support a missionary from Michigan serving somewhere around the world.
For the past several years St. Paul has supported Pastor Todd Roeske, who was the Coordinator of Ministry for Alaska Mission for Christ. Pastor Roeske has recently accepted a call to a congregation and is leaving the mission field. We are thankful for the lives he has touched during his service and pray God's blessing on his new field of service. That also places an interesting decision before us. Which missionary from Michigan will St. Paul now support?
Over the next several weeks we'll highlight a list of Michigan missionaries currently serving around the world. We'll highlight the way they're using their unique gifts in service to God. Then, as part of our Stewardship Commitment Celebration Sunday on May 5, we, as a congregation, will select one to support.
Missionary #7: Rev. Larry and Tina Matro
Rev. Lawrence and Tina Matro serve the Lord as missionaries in the Oceania area of the Asia region, based in Papua New Guinea. In this role, Lawrence helps to develop and implement a mission strategy for this area and works to establish and maintain partnerships with other regional church bodies. He also works with other LCMS missionary staff serving in Papua New Guinea and is involved in theological education at Martin Luther Seminary in Lae.
Missionary #8: Rev. James & Deaconess Christel Neuendorf
Rev. James and Deaconess Christel Neuendorf serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as missionaries in Puerto Rico. Both have served as missionaries in this region since 2008, based in Panama and then in the Dominican Republic.
James serves as a church planter and pastor in the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico. His focus is to establish a strong Lutheran presence in this city which will boldly proclaim the Gospel and meet the physical and spiritual needs of a community that is hungry for the Gospel and for hope. As pastor, James engages daily with Ponce community members to share in their lives and to bring them into the life-giving presence of Jesus in Word and Sacrament. He is also working to create a generation of local leaders and well-grounded laity and future pastors who will be able to continue to spread the Gospel throughout Puerto Rico, around the Latin America region, and the world.
As a deaconess, Christel is involved in the long-term disaster relief efforts at the mission’s various Casa de Amparo y Respuesta al Desastre (House of Refuge and Disaster Response) mercy houses. From these places, LCMS missionaries and Puerto Rican Lutherans offer food, water and other basic necessities to community members affected by the hurricane. She is also engaged in assessing needs in the community and coordinating efforts to meet those needs as a congregation and mission.
What Are We Asking of You?
Pray for Rev. Larry & Tina Matro and for Rev. James & Deaconess Christel Neuendorf
Please make time this week to pray for them.
Pray for the seminarians that Pastor Matro is teaching, that God would keep them faithful in their confession and diligent in their studies. Pray also that the Gutnius Lutheran Church encourages and receives these men as vicars and pastors and are blessed by what they can and will do among them when they preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Pray for the Pastor James & Deaconess Christel Neuendorf as they learn about the people that they are serving and among whom they are beginning to form the base from which the mission will continue to expand.
Consider who St. Paul Should Support
Please take the time to read through the information about each unique ministry and give thought to which one St. Paul should support. Beyond the general intent to support a missionary from the state of Michigan (all of the ones we present will fit that bill), the specific criteria are entirely up to you.