“October 2009 gave me plenty of reason to be glad and rejoice, along with the Evangelical Lutheran Center-Kazakhstan, the national church. Praise God for His works and deeds in His church in Kazakhstan!
“On Oct. 18, the Lutheran Church of Christ the Savior (LCCS), mother church of the ELC, celebrated 15 years! I was quite overcome with the joy I felt, remembering back to our first arrival in 1993, first friends made, first Bible studies, first service, and first church opening in 1994. So much has happened along the way, Praise God! I looked about the congregation on Oct. 18 and saw teenagers, whom I taught of Jesus in our first Sunday school, now leading Sunday school and youth groups themselves. I looked and counted three generations, families who brought their children who now have brought their babies into the church as well. And, I saw members of all the ‘daughter’ congregations, planted by LCCS, and listened to the celebratory sermon of Pastor Alexei S., the ELC’s first ordained pastor. Overall, I thought my heart would burst with the joy and thanksgiving that I felt, looking over this great work of the Lord here in Kazakhstan.
“Oct. 31 brought more celebration, tears of joy, songs of gladness, and opportunity again to look back at what the Lord has brought about in Kazakhstan over the past 16-plus years. Five men sat in front of the congregation, before the altar, ‘set apart’ for service to the Lord. On this day, LCCS and ELC celebrated not only the Reformation and the salvation of God’s people by grace, through faith; Kazakhstan’s Lutherans also celebrated the ordination of five deacons to pastor, to shepherd, the congregations of the ELC. As pastors from the LCMS, ELC, and Kyrgyzstan laid hands on and blessed their brethren in Holy Ministry, I looked not only back to where the Kazakhstani Lutheran church had come from, but also to the future, to new ministries, to expanded outreach, to new congregations and to future Baptisms, anniversaries, and ordinations.
“O, Lord! Your deeds in this country and among those who love You here have made us all exceedingly glad! Bless Your church and her workers here, and may many lost be shown the Way through her ministries.”