Your Global Connection to Mission

Missions Unpacked

Missions Unpacked: Your global connection to mission!

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.

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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.

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.

Latin America
and the Caribbean

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.
Missionary Ashley Lehr, serving in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region, is your guide for a cultural tour of the plaza in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, where she lives and serves in the areas of English outreach and short-term teams.

Thank God for all the ways He is growing His church on the island, especially as a result of relationships formed through English conversation practice.
Ceviche is a popular seafood dish in many LAC countries, but it’s Peru’s national dish. Join Rev. Osmel Soliz, a Bolivian Alliance missionary pastor serving in Lima, as he dons his chef hat and walks you through how to make this delicacy. Here is a shopping list of all the ingredients you’ll need.

Pray for Rev. Soliz and his young family, that God would grant him wisdom and perseverance as he shines Christ’s light in one of the city’s most challenging districts.
From the Isthmus of Panama to the Iberian Peninsula and mariachi to merengue, LAC is wildly diverse yet united, in large part, by the Spanish language. New missionaries go through an intensive period of language acquisition when they first deploy but never really stop learning. Many weave Spanish elements into their daily routines to reinforce their newfound knowledge, like the Lehman family in Spain. Listen to the Lehman kids say the family’s everyday meal prayer and then try “Asking a blessing” in Spanish at your own table!

Moreover, pray for the church in Spain and her members, scattered amongst more than two dozen cities.
Music is intrinsic to most Latin and Caribbean cultures. From reggae to rumba, a good playlist is essential to a good time. The rich hymnody of the Lutheran tradition, then, is a natural way to connect with people who live in these places, teach the faith, and foster unity with other Lutheran Christians across time and space. No wonder LAC Regional Director Rev. Ted Krey felt like it was Christmas when mockups of a project more than a decade in the making arrived in the mail in September 2021. Since that time, printing was completed. It’s only a matter of months before the Church in more than a dozen countries will have a new tool with which to do as Psalm 117:1 beckons: “Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples!”
  • Sign up to receive the Sharps’ missionary newsletter
  • Familiarize yourself with the collaborative way God uses people just like you to sustain missionaries and projects throughout the region. FOROs, or “forums” unite local church-planting teams with individuals, congregations, entire districts, LCMS units and auxiliaries, other nonprofits, and the like to share both the challenges and the triumphs of carrying out God’s mission. Together, they chart a course forward. Head to YouTube for a lengthier, visual explanation of the concept (3:59). Should you desire a further conversation about FORO involvement, note Associate Regional Director Rev. Jonah Burakowski


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.


The Rev. Vance and Linda Becker serve the Lord as career missionaries of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) based in Kenya. In this role, Vance partners with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya and teaches at Matongo Lutheran Theological College in rural Kenya. The school prepares pastors, evangelists and deaconesses for ministry throughout East Africa. Linda supports the mission work as well, by teaching adults and children and working with the deaconess students.

It is truly good, right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to the Lord!

“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!” (Ps. 100:1–2)

Enjoy this tour of the vast scope of cultures represented across the continent of Africa!

Give thanks to the Lord for the way the diversity displayed across cultures reflects His incredible creativity.
According to Wikipedia, Africa is 4,600 miles across at its widest point. (The contiguous U.S., by comparison, is about 2,800 miles wide). Buckle up and join the Africa missionary team for an east to west road trip. The variety of vistas — and road hazards — you’ll encounter along the way just might surprise you.

Ask the Lord for protection for everyone traveling throughout Africa, whether by bus or car, motorcycle or bicycle, or simply by foot.
Language acquisition is a critical step in serving internationally, both for navigating daily life and for communicating the saving message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Depending on their country of service, LCMS missionaries serving in Africa have learned at least five of the myriad languages spoken on the continent. The bond of faith unites God’s people across borders. Listen to some of your African brothers and sisters in Christ speak the familiar words of the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed in the language of their hearts.

Rejoice with Paul as he writes, “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).

It’s a culinary tour from west to east! Whet your appetite for more than just adventure as you are introduced to staple ingredients and dishes that might grace your Africa missionaries’ tables. You can almost smell the fufu and sauce…

Pray that the Giver of all good things would continue to provide for the physical needs of the people of Africa, even as He uses our missionaries to provide for their spiritual needs.

Sign up to receive the Beckers’ missionary newsletter.

Join our efforts to make theological books, resources, and translations available in Africa by giving a gift.


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.

Deaconess Kim Bueltmann serves in Germany, where she assists congregations in Leipzig and Chemnitz in providing outreach to refugees. As a part of her work, she works with Persian musicians to develop more Farsi-language liturgy and hymns. Listen to (and sing) the Nunc Dimittis to an original melody that one of their members wrote and “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” sung in Persian.

Please pray that those seeking refuge in Germany, may discover the ultimate, true and lasting refuge, which is in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Learn how to make traditional Czech potato dumplings with Benjamin Helge, missionary in the Czech Republic. Download the recipe to shop for ingredients and follow along with the video.

Pray for the good news about Jesus to spread among the Czech people and for our missionaries as they share the Gospel in central Europe.

Pastor Dale Kaster explains the traditions that go along with visiting a Christmas Market. He also explains the disconnect between the many Christian symbols that make an appearance at a Christmas Market and the general population in the Czech Republic, where the majority of of people do not believe in the Savior, Christ Jesus who came to us at Christmas

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5

Missionaries Rev. Andrew & Megan Fedder share about their family’s life in Romania. They discuss how their five children create unique opportunities for sharing about Jesus in a country where families typically have 1-2 children.

Dear Lord, help us remember to listen to Your voice, to focus beyond the tasks and to see the people You have put in our paths and given us the chance to serve. May You open our eyes and ears to see every opportunity to grow and build relationships with You and every person we encounter. Amen.

Sign up to receive Rev. Christian Tiews’ missionary newsletter.

Form or join a short-term team and help put on an English Bible Camp in Central Europe this summer! Learn more.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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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