Commissioning of NALC Global Worker – Pastor Martha Shanka

Mission Trip to Dubai

By: the Rev. Melinda H. Jones & the Rev. Wendy A.W. Berthelsen

In February, just prior to the start of the COVID-19 crisis in the USA, together with Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba, we traveled to Dubai. Pastor Jones represented the NALC Executive Council. Pastor Berthelsen represented Hope Lutheran Church (Cedar Hill, TX), who  serves as both a prayer sponsor and a fiscal agent for Pastor Martha Shanka, a new global worker for the NALC. The goals of the journey were as follows:

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Welcoming Our New Global Worker in Kenya

In January 2020, the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) received William as a Global Worker through the World Mission Prayer League. William continues with his role in overseeing WMPL missionaries assigned to Africa, while also serving the NALC in building, forging, nurturing, and promoting her growing partnerships in Africa, and specifically serving on the ground in Kenya. Margaret now serves as a missionary in leadership training and support for the diaconal ministry of the Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church, with a focus on teaching and capacity-building for God’s mission in Africa. She also collaborates with other Prayer League co-workers in Africa. For these reasons, William and Margaret are grateful for the opportunity to use their God-given gifts to give back to the church in Africa and overseas. Please pray that the Lord might raise more workers for Africa in many areas: witness, teaching, and leadership development.

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A Message of Hope – Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Barry Backman has worked at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch for over 18 years. He is a Youth Care Worker Team Lead, and works, along with his team, directly with the kids. As parents, most of us need to live through about seven teenage years. Barry has stood by at-risk teens for 18+ years, helping them discover their best selves.Barry is a giant of a man. I don’t know for sure how tall he is, but even when I wear high heels, I look a long way up to meet his eyes. He could be physically intimidating, but he’s not. He exudes calm and kindness. For our internal staff newsletter, I asked Barry to share how he helps the Ranch fulfill its mission of “helping at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ.” I wanted to share his words with you. They will give you a true feel for the caliber of people, like Barry, who choose to be Ranchers.

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Awakening Lives to World Mission

Awakening Lives to World Missions (ALWM) is grateful for our partnership together in the Gospel! In our global mission work, we mobilize and equip congregations to be personally and fruitfully engaged with taking the Gospel to the nations, just as Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:18-20). ALWM International also works directly in Vietnam and Cambodia through our ministries in each country. 

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