From July to September of 2013, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) worked together with daughter church The Lutheran Church Concordia, the church body in Kyrgyzstan, to support the Training Trainers (TT) program. This program helps to train lay people as leaders and evangelists for the church in Kyrgyzstan. The hope is that they can then go on to train more leaders. During the months of July to September 2013, eight tutors led 22 groups. 185 people attended these 22 groups. All of the groups studied The Small Catechism as a part of their learning.
Many of the congregations of the LCC currently have a house church model due to their small size and a lack of pastors. Some of these congregations are only able to receive the Lord’s Supper about once a month. For instance, in one area, one of the Bishops administers Word and Sacrament in six different locations. The members meet on the intervening Sundays, but they receive the Lord’s Supper about once per month. The training of lay leaders helps to support these house churches, as well as training them to proclaim the Gospel to their friends, neighbors, families, and communities. Part of the training was implementing the house church model in 12 of the groups.
During December 2013, further TT classes took place. One of the pastors, Pastor Yakov Mamedov held a seminar entitled “The basic principles of evangelism and Christian ethics of an evangelist.” This seminar was for both the TT leaders and the Central Asian Lutheran Seminary (CALS) students. CALS is a joint seminary project between the LCMS Office of International Mission (OIM); Concordia Seminary, St. Louis; and the LCC. The seminar topic proved too big for one day, so Pastor Mamedov will be holding a series of seminars for the TT leaders to delve further into the topic.
Also during December, Pastor Mamedov was invited to present at the Women’s Issues Program, which meets once a week. Most of the women in this group are also in the TT program. Pastor Mamedov taught a class on evangelism. The women also received instruction in community health education. Through the TT, CALS, and the Women’s Issues Program, the LCC and the LCMS are working to equip lay leaders to share the Gospel, train pastors, and reach out to the communities around them keeping in mind special concerns or circumstances (such as those unique to women).
- Read about the LCMS Business office in Kyrgysztan and its work in supporting orphanages and other programs.
- Read more about some recent Baptisms in Kygryzstan!
- Pray for the pastors, bishops, lay leaders, and members of the LCC in Kyrgyzstan, that they would be strengthened in the one true faith.
- Pray for those to whom the LCC proclaims the Gospel, that they would be brought to faith by the Holy Spirit.