Kyrgyz children play on the newly-installed swings.
Three members of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bakersfield, Calif., recently visited Kyrgyzstan on a short-term service team. Ross Kallenberger, Dwayne Clement and Jeff Mosely, through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), were invited by the Lutheran Church Concordia of Kyrgyzstan (LCC) to install playground equipment at a LCC congregation in the village of Vorontsovka. The three men involved with the service team are professionals within the construction industry and were able to assemble a slide, a merry-go-round, three swings and a basketball ring. All the playground materials had been produced in a metals workshop in Bishkek before their arrival.
The playground, installed on the premises of the congregation, is the first such equipment in the village. The congregation gratefully accepted the gift with gratitude and hopes the playground will help to attract children, teenagers and young people to the church, spread the Gospel and promote the growth of the congregation.
The service team members learned about the various ministries which the LCMS supports with the LCC, including a mobile medical van, an eyeglass clinic and programs dealing with women’s issues and orphanages. Jennifer Prophete, who coordinates ministry mobilization through the LCMS, said the Bakersfield, Calif. congregation sends teams to Poland every year, but this was their first team to Kyrgyzstan. “The team did a great job serving. They have been really touched by the need but also by the strength of the Kyrgyz congregation and its heart for reaching the lost. I praise God for bringing these two congregations together in such a unique way,” Prophete said.