By grace alone~through faith alone~in scripture alone
"A mighty fortress is our God, A trusty shield and weapon; He helps us free from every need, That hath us now o'er taken. The old evil foe, Now means deadly woe, Deep guile and great might; Are his dread arms in fight; On earth is not His equal." LSB 656-1
Our God is indeed a "mighty fortress"! He is our protector, refuge, and strength, especially this year as the world faces a pandemic and much more. “Where is God readily found in time of trouble?” “Where is He in our time of need?” God has been and will continue to be with us; He is our security when all else is insecure. The Lord is "a very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1) When His people suffer, God is there in the most proper and seasonable time to help them bear it. In every crisis of body and soul and through the many woes in this life, God is with us through His Son. In Him, we may face whatever comes our way.
updates from the field
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, the LCMS remains faithful in walking alongside church partners across the region. Recent support through COVID-19 grants has helped the church in South Sudan and Mozambique to give aid to church members and the surrounding communities by providing masks, and hand sanitizing supplies.
At long last, the seminaries in Ethiopia and Kenya have reopened. In mid-March, the students from the Neema Lutheran College (Matongo) in Kenya returned to their homes due to COVID-19 closures. In Ethiopia at the Mekane Yesus Seminary, Rev. Dr. Mark Rabe and Rev. Eric Stinnett continued teaching via email and sending lessons to the students through the mail. Our theological educators are excited about the reopening and being back with the students face-to-face to continue building relationships and training pastors and deaconess for their ministries to share the Gospel in their congregations. Rev. Dr. Mark Rabe, who teaches at the seminary in Ethiopia, said this, "The ability to speak with students that you can't do via email and the classroom and the in-person communication is essential to the teaching experience."
On October 12th the government of Kenya reopened schools for students in grades 4, 8, and 12 to allow them to do their testing. The staff, at our Project 24 sites that remained closed for six months, has been busy making preparations, adhering to COVID-19 guidelines and joyfully awaiting the children's return.