Your Global Connection to Mission

Missions Unpacked

Missions Unpacked: Your global connection to mission!

Jan. 24–Feb. 20, 2022


Embark on a global mission experience and unpack how LCMS International Mission works without ever having to dig out your suitcase. Learn, sing, eat and pray with missionaries and local church members in Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Dive in solo or gather a group to learn together*. Whichever route you choose, watch for supplemental resources to help solidify your grasp of how the church is spreading the Gospel, planting Lutheran churches and showing mercy on a global scale.

*Extra credit for groups: Check out the Media Kit, including social media graphics, poster, bulletin inserts, and more to spread the word about Missions Unpacked, and get your congregation and community involv

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Passcode: 237654

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Or Telephone:
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  • +1 253 215 8782  or 
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Dominican Republic: 

  • +1 829 947 9220  or 
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Webinar ID: 994 0519 8984
Passcode: 237654

International numbers available:

Week 1


In the Asia region, we work to train pastors, church leaders, and laity to share the Gospel in word and deed. We also work with partners all over Asia to plant churches, show mercy, and provide Lutheran education.


Presentation: January 28, 7 p.m. Central Time Zone
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Week 2


It is our fervent desire to joyously participate in God’s mission. We strive to respect each and every one of God’s people along with their culture and the organization of their worshipping community.


Presentation: February 5, 11 a.m., Central Time Zone
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Week 3


The Eurasia region encompasses Europe, Russia, upper Asia, India and the Middle East, including many former communist countries where Christianity has all but disappeared.


Presentation: February 12, 11 a.m., Central Time Zone
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Week 4

Latin America and the Caribbean

Rejoice with us as we spread the Gospel, plant Lutheran churches, and show mercy across Latin America. Our missionaries and partner churches support 43 church plants, giving faithful witness in 14 countries.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Presentation: February 19, 11 a.m., Central Time Zone
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Welcome and Resources

Get the most out of the regional overview videos by reflecting on the questions in this guide. Designed for individuals and groups, you’ll consider not just the work that is being done around the world, but also how your local congregation compares and contrasts to the international mission context.

Read online or print for easy reference.

Short, mission-focused meditations written by LCMS international missionaries. Read online or print for easy reference.

Read online or print for easy reference.
Plan a party! This guide is full of ideas for how to plan a fun, educational wrap-up event. It also includes resources that can be used to highlight international missions during worship

Read online or print for easy reference.


Register for the live event - Jan. 28, 7 p.m. central time
Presented by: Rev. Steven Mahlburg

Rev. Steven Mahlburg serves the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as a missionary in Sri Lanka. Steven partners with the Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church (CELC) in Sri Lanka to share the hope we have in Jesus Christ. He provides administrative support, Christian education and mentoring for the pastors, evangelists and laypeople of the CELC. He travels to the CELC congregations around Sri Lanka to encourage a bold witness to Jesus Christ. Steven also assists Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Colombo by conducting the English service and providing English-language pastoral care.

Steven grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Mich., in 1991, and his Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1995. He served for 20 years as a parish pastor before beginning his service as an international missionary. Steven enjoys reading, the performing arts, camping and the outdoors.
LCMS missionaries in Asia serve in communities where over 11 dialects or distinct languages are spoken. The Word of God creates faith, no matter if it sounds like Yesu ai nee or Jisasame emba auukaelyamo. (‘Jesus loves you’ in Mandarin and Enga). This language montage concludes with a lesson prepared by Mindy Thews, serving the Lord in Taiwan as an educator at Concordia Middle School.

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11).

Getting around in Asia takes different forms, depending on where you live and where you are going. From high speed bullet trains to bicycles, our missionaries make use of famous Asian technology as well as their own legs. Check out many of these modes of transport, and join the Rev. J.P. Cima on a thrilling bike ride as he transits across Phnom Penh, Cambodia for his Khmer language lesson.

“The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore” (Ps. 121:8).

The Asian culinary landscape is quite vast. From dim sum to live coconut worms, one of the joys of international life is getting to know local flavors. Check out a few common dishes from around the region, then join the Rev. Steven Mahlburg as he prepares a traditional Sri Lankan dish called pongal.

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst’” (John 6:35).

Making crafts can be a fun activity for all ages. Here is a short project that can remind you of some aspects of living a life in Christ, whether at home or abroad. Olivia, the youngest member of the Wasmund family serving in South Korea, will show you how to make a Kimbap magnet. Here is a list of the supplies you will need to make the craft.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well”(Ps. 139:13-14).

Sign up to receive the Mahlburgs’ missionary newsletter.

Support Pastor Mahlburg by supporting the mission work in Sri Lanka.


Register for the live event - Feb. 5, 11 a.m. central time
Presented by: Krista Young

Krista Young serves the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) in Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya. As the LCMS area volunteer coordinator for Eastern and Southern Africa, Krista works closely with other LCMS missionaries and ministry teams to develop and strengthen relationships with local church partners. She connects the LCMS and its partner churches to provide short-term volunteer missionaries, short-term mission teams and medical mission teams in the countries of these two African regions. These teams strengthen the local churches and provide encouragement for the pastors and people with whom they work. She also coordinates short-term efforts and helps equip the teams to share the Gospel in appropriate ways with a strong cultural understanding.

Krista (Adler) is a “missionary kid” who was born and raised in Papua New Guinea. She received her Director of Christian Education (DCE) certification from Concordia University, St. Paul, St. Paul, Minn., and then served as a DCE at churches in Missouri and North Carolina. Krista served as a volunteer coordinator in Ethiopia before coming to Kenya.

More information coming soon.


Register for the live event - Feb. 12, 11 a.m., central time
Presented by: Rev. Christian Tiews

The Rev. Christian and Gudula (Lula) Tiews serve the Lord as career missionaries through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) in Germany. As a missionary pastor, Christian works with the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK), the Synod’s partner church in Germany, to reach out to Germans and Farsi-speaking immigrants from the Middle East. In addition, he offers English classes, translates English theological materials into German, and assists in the new English-language Bachelor of Theology program offered by Luther Academy, Riga (aka the Livonian Lutheran Project), as a mentor of future pastors and coordinator of other mentors throughout the Eurasia region.

Christian was born in Munich, Germany. He earned a master’s degree from the Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel, Germany, before working as a translator and salesman for several German companies. He later earned a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, (2009) and a Doctor of Ministry from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (2017). In his free time, Christian enjoys spending time with his family, reading, hiking and sailing.

More information coming soon.

Latin America
and the Caribbean

Register for the live event - Feb. 19, 11 a.m., central
Presented by: Rev. James and Angela Sharp

Rev. James and Angela Sharp serve the Lord as missionaries of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) in Uruguay. James plants new churches and works to support mercy outreach projects around the country. Through Word and Sacrament ministry, he partners with local church leaders to form and develop groups of believers into mature, self-sustaining and self-replicating congregations. James also teaches Lutheran theology courses to help train individuals in the Lutheran faith and to develop local leaders to carry on God’s mission.

Angela focuses on education. She teaches English-as-a-Foreign-Language (EFL) classes to people of all ages. She organizes, directs and provides content for Sunday schools throughout the country and conducts workshops for training new teachers and educational leaders. James and Angela also seek to build relationships through Bible studies and other community activities. Through these interactions, they are given opportunities to share the Gospel.

More information coming soon.

Digging Deeper

  • From Ghosts to God in Enga Land: Planting His Church Among the Enga People of Central Papua New Guinea, by Otto C. Hintze Jr. (Author), Cheryl D. Naumann (Editor)
  • The Discovery of Genesis: How the Truths of Genesis were found hidden in the Chinese Language by Kang, C H ; Nelson, Ethel
  • Understanding Local Religions
    • Gods of Power: A Study of the Beliefs and Practices of Animists, by Philip M. Steyne
    • Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa, by Luis Logo
    • African Pentecostalism: An Introduction, by Ogbu Kalu
  • Understanding the Proper Approach to Mercy Work
    • African Friends and Money Matters: Observations from Africa, by David E. Maranz
  • Understanding The Effects of the Sierra Leone Civil War
    • A Long Way Gone, by Ishmael Beah
  • Movie
    • Blood Diamond, directed by Edward Zwick
  • Shining the Gospel Light on the Quran: Understanding and Engaging Muslims, by Abjar Bahkou
  • Using English in Outreach: Ben Helge, serving in the Czech Republic, discusses how he uses English classes as a tool to open up conversations about the Gospel with people of all ages.
  • Using Art in Outreach: Learn how art can become a beneficial tool for outreach, as “Die Brücke” (the bridge) Lutheran Outreach Center in Germany shares their story of responding to the refugee wave.
  • Read a novel set in the region. A few suggestions to get you started:
    • Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia);
    • Dominicana, by Angie Cruz (Dominican Republic);
    • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Díaz (Dominican Republic);
    • In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Álvarez (Dominican Republic);
    • Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel (Mexico);
    • Night of the Radishes, by Sandra Benitez (Mexico).
  • Learn a few words or phrases in Spanish, the language that unites most of Latin America & the Caribbean. Once you master the ones in our video, keep at it by installing an app such as DuoLingo, taking a class at your local community college, or the like.
  • Brush up on the genesis of LCMS mission work in Latin America & the Caribbean. Request your copy of an article outlining roots that trace back to 1900 in the November 2021 issue of the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly.
  • Gather your family; a few friends; your Bible study, LWML, or youth group; or the like and commit to a multi-day, Zoom-based exploration of a particular Latin America & the Caribbean field, such as the Dominican Republic or Peru.
  • Lutherans Engage the World: Digital & print magazine that shares the work of witness and mercy across the globe in our life together.
  • Mission from the Cross – Lay Edition: This book offers a great understanding of your involvement in the mission field.
  • A Missionary? Me?: A collection of 8 short Bible studies/reflections by women serving as missionaries.
  • When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself, by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert

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