Friday, 26 March 2010
While doing some further research of the growth of Lutheran churches in Africa, I came across a site called 'Bibles for Bondo Parish', run by a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregation in Connecticut who are working to provide pew Bibles for the members of one multi-point African Lutheran parish and Study Bibles for its pastors. As one can easily imagine, the need in the areas of Africa where the Lutheran church is growing so quickly is great (not all the growth is through a high birth rate either, but also includes converts from Islam and animism in those parts of the continent where Christianity comes up hard against these two belief systems).
It occurred to me that this is an endeavour many Lutheran congregations in Western nations would be in a position to undertake without too much input required from synodical HQ. In our own LCA Queensland District, we have an unofficial missionary organisation called Asia Focus (http://www.asiafocus.org.au), formed under the initiative of Pr August Fricke, which has, despite its original focus on Asia reflected in its name, found itself drawn also to work in Africa, simply because of the demand emanating from that continent. How could they say, "No, we can't help you" when a request for modest assistance comes? (And the requests are always modest: Bibles, Sunday School materials, perhaps at most a light motor bike or scooter to enable the pastor to get around more efficiently; while the thanks are overflowing.)
Asia Focus, with their existing African contacts, could certainly serve as a conduit for any Bibles or other study materials supplied by local congregations 'down under'.
American readers might like to click on the post title to view the 'Bibles for Bondo' website, from which I borrowed the poignant pics (I hope that's OK). Given the generosity of Americans, and their passion for mission work, no doubt there is no shortage of similar operations in the US run by Lutherans of various synods.