On September 18, twenty-seven missionaries gathered in the chapel of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Asia regional office in Chiayi, Taiwan. Rev. Charles Ferry, regional director of the Asia region, led worship, preached, and welcomed the Asia missionaries to the 2018 Workgroup Meeting for the Asia team.
The team gathered to rest, recuperate and encourage each other in the work the church sent them to do. This began and ended in worship.
Throughout the week, the team received training. Rev. Dr. Daniel Jastram taught about the necessary distinction between the Law and the Gospel. He demonstrated how it affected daily life and the core of the Church’s preaching and teaching.
Richard Sovitzky, regional business manager for the Asia region, explained new systems being put into place throughout the region and LCMS International Mission. These will provide timely information regarding donations, expenses, and policies to expedite work on the mission field.
A few representatives from St. Louis also attended. Rev. Daniel McMiller, executive director of International Mission, greeted the missionaries, and Mr. Christian Boehlke, assistant executive director of International Mission, discussed crisis preparedness.
Encouraging One Another
The meeting also provided a time for encouragement. Since missionaries in the region live and work in many different countries, the workgroup reconnected missionaries.
These reconnects included time for brotherly prayer, but also time for eating together. Every evening, missionaries ate together at a variety of restaurants around Chiayi. During these meals, old friendships were renewed and new friendships made.
These ties provide essential support during the often lonely work of international missions.
Gathered in Worship
Three times a day the team gathered in worship. Sometimes missionary pastors and professors from the region preached. McMiller also preached, bringing works of encouragement and support to the missionaries in the work set before them by the Church.
The final worship service, Compline, not only sent missionaries to their evening rest, but also closed the workgroup meeting. As the Compline service sends us in the comfort and peace of Christ, so the missionary team of the Asia region left Taiwan in the peace of Christ and encouraged in the Word of God.
Even though they have now spread to the four corners of Asia, they remain united in Christ, in His mission, by His Word.