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Mission Update
Rev. Peter Kelm, Missions Executive 
South Wisconsin District
414-464-8101 Kelm@swd.lcms.org
Passionate believers... confessing Christ
Upcoming Mission events
African Mission Auction at Trinity-Freistadt
SWD Mercy Ministry Grants
Center for US Missions
"Churches planting churches"
  • OCT. 17-18 (Watch for more details to come)
R&ST Mission's National Conference
"I have other sheep that are not of this  
sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice..."
(John 10:16)
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April 2014
Borders blown open

I'm not a big fan of crossing borders. Every time I see an immigration officer at an airport or border crossing, I get nervous. I have good reason, I think. As a college student in 1993, I lived in Bulgaria for a summer. My uncle, Dan, and his family were missionaries stationed near Sophia, and I had the chance to "house-sit" for another missionary family that was home on furlough. At the end of that summer, Dan and I took a site-seeing trip to Istanbul.


The trip went well, until the Turkish border. A soldier with an AK-47 climbed on the bus with a snarl on his face. I have since learned, from a number of other international border-crossing experiences, that he was likely just looking for a bribe so our bus could make it through the border. At the time, however, I was mesmerized by the AK-47.


Ever since then, I get nervous at border crossings. In fact, a recent trip to visit the mission field in the Dominican Republic brought back the same feelings of anxiety. I don't like crossing borders. But my God seems to be a big fan of blowing borders wide open.  

Save the date!
Churches planting churches...

The South Wisconsin District will be hosting a "Churches Planting Churches" Seminar on Friday, October 17-Saturday, October 18. This seminar is led by the Center for US Missions (an LCMS RSO), and is intended for congregational leaders (pastors and lay leaders) whose congregations are interested in beginning the conversation about the possibility of planting a church. Even if you aren't sure if your congregation is being called in this direction, the seminar is a great way to explore the possibilities. Look for more details in the coming months (including location and costs, much of which is taken care of by the District). Why plant churches? So many reasons, but primarily because planting new churches helps us to reach the lost!

If you or your congregation is interested in attending this seminar, please let me know.
Mercy Ministry Grants    

Thanks to a generous gift from LCEF, SWD is making available mercy ministry grants for congregations. These grants, for up to $1,000, are intended to encourage congregations to take a leap of faith in engaging in some kind of new mercy ministry venture. For more information, click here
for the invitation letter and application form.

The deadline is May 1, 2014
Pastor Micah Wildauer
Pastor Micah Wildauer with Pastor Gui Kasongo (photo by Rick Wood, from the Journal Sentinel article). 

Many of you have heard that Pastor Micah Wildauer, formerly pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, has taken a call to be a theological educator at our sister seminary in Togo, West Africa. In fact, there was a great article about it in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about it.

As our Synod continues to call and send more missionaries into foreign fields, the need for congregations and individuals to support that ministry grows. As many of you know, the new funding model for supporting missionaries is much different than the old one. Missionaries need to raise a great deal of their own support. Though we may not like some of the aspects of this new missionary funding model, I think it's here to stay. For any of you interested in the details of how and why we fund missionaries this way, there's an excellent "white paper" on the topic that I found on our Synod's website. Click here to read it.
Speaking of supporting missionaries...   

I recently had the opportunity to visit our expanding mission field in the Dominican Republic. As many of you know, SWD has a unique partnership with this mission field. Many teams from SWD congregations and schools have helped this expanding Lutheran mission, especially in the area of Palmar Arriyba, which has a thriving congregation with an elementary school, group home for developmentally disabled youth, and a seminary building to train future Dominican pastors and other church workers. From seven confirmed Lutherans to more than 300 baptized believers in six years, this field is expanding rapidly. Not surprisingly, this rapid expansion has necessitated more funding for the missionaries serving there. Here's a link for more information.

Malagasy Lutheran seminary student    
Some of you have heard that the LCMS continues to work with the Lutheran Church in Madagascar, a growing Lutheran church with more than 4 million members.  One way to support these brothers and sisters is through theological education. Follow this link to learn more about Jean Rajaonasy, who is studying at Westfield House in Cambridge, England. Please consider helping him in his education as he will train future Lutheran Leaders in Madagascar!
Small Places, Big Mission--Standing in the Gap 

The LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission
is holding a National Mission Conference November 6-8, 2014 at the Marriott Kansas City Airport, Kansas City, Missouri, for LCMS congregational leaders in rural and small-town settings. This conference will address the blessings and challenges facing rural and small-town congregations today as well give encouragement for cultivating healthy churches that are eager to bear witness to Christ, show mercy to those in need, and develop a robust life together with their fellow members. Registration deadline is Sept. 15.
Need a guest preacher?  I'd be happy to preach for a mission festival or District Mission Sunday...or just to give your preacher a break.  My calendar opens up in June.
Rev. Peter Kelm, Missions Executive, Kelm@swd.lcms.org
Peg Raabe, Administrative Assistant, Raabe@swd.lcms.org
You may call us directly at 414-464-8101