This post was shared by Deaconess Ashley Prothro, serving the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) in Cambridge, England. Deaconess Ashley works with Westfield House, the Theological House of Studies of partner church body The Evangelical Lutheran Church of England (ELCE). Deaconess Ashley attended the orientation on February 2-14, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri, but began serving in her position in December. You can read Deaconess Ashley’s report concerning New Missionary Orientation below.
At the beginning of February, the first winter New Missionary Orientation of the LCMS was held at its headquarters, the International Center, in St. Louis. During the two weeks of orientation, nine new missionary individuals and families were introduced to—or in the case of some veteran missionaries, refreshed in—doing mission within the LCMS.
Among the sessions were several meetings with Dr. Klaus Detlev Schulz, a missiology professor at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, where the missionaries had a chance to think through many of the hows and whys of mission, and particularly what mission work, carried out by the LCMS, looks like today. The missionaries also had meetings with staff from the Mission Advancement office, which helps missionaries to create their support system on the field: the people who will pray for them, encourage them, share with others about the work being done on the field, and even help provide for their financial needs. Communications specialists, including editors, writers, and a professional photographer, helped them to hone their communication skills, by improving their newsletter writing, their photography, and their mission presentations for sharing the news from the field with people in the US and around the world. The orientation group also enjoyed the opportunity to have Morning and Evening Prayer together, as well as morning chapel services with the staff of the International Center.
During the orientation, the missionaries had the opportunity to see first-hand the work of international mission being done on the local level in St. Louis at the Peace Center. The Peace Center is run by the Christian Friends of New Americans, an organization comprised of people from a number of St. Louis LCMS congregations. It is located in south St. Louis, right in the heart of several different immigrant and refugee communities, and brings the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who have never heard the Good News before. The visit to the Peace Center was a huge encouragement to the missionaries, and also provided a number of ideas for how to do outreach on a local level
The orientation ended on Friday afternoon with the Divine Service and a rite of sending the missionaries with the blessing of the church into their respective fields of service. The missionaries to the Latin America region are: Rev. Ed and Cherie Auger, Honduras, Deaconess Gale Torvigson, Dominican Republic, and Rev. Joshua and Amanda Gale, with Katie and Zechariah, Peru. To Africa: Rev. Steve and Cynthia Schumacher, and Rev. Dale and Suzanne Kaster, Ghana. Rev. Micah and Robin Wildauer, with Samuel and Eliza, Togo. To Asia, Rev. Peter and Kristie Kolb, with Shelby, Mary, Micah, Daniel, Christopher, Matthew, Jesse, and Katie to Sri Lanka, and DCE Ashley Wong to Hong Kong. To Eurasia, Deaconess Ashley Prothro, United Kingdom.
Please keep these dear missionaries, their families, and their work in your prayers. Pray that our Lord, who provides for our every need, would provide for theirs, as they begin their support raising travels, and that they might have joy and find encouragement in our Lord Jesus and His blessings given through His people throughout this new season in their lives.
- Scroll through some beautiful pictures of the Sending Service to learn about all the missionaries being sent.
- Learn more about Deaconess Ashley Prothro by reading about her Commissioning on the Eurasia Blog.
- Pray for the missionaries as they prepare to deploy.
- Pray for and support Deaconess Ashley Prothro.