• Pray for revival among disadvantaged young people who are increasingly reliant on alcohol.
• May the people come to know God and find their security in the Lord .
• Pray for a vibrant witness to arise from within declining Christian congregations.
Kiribati, an island nation in the Pacific, is the first to face the possibility of having all of its land territories disappear due to rising sea levels. With land scattered across 2 million square kilometers around the Equator in both the North and South Pacific Ocean, this modern-day Atlantis consists of 3 island groups: The Gilbert, Line, and Phoenix Islands. Kiribati consists of 33 coral atolls, 23 of which are inhabited by a growing population of 103,000 people, all of whom face a massive exodus and migration from their homeland. Kiribati is the only nation in the world to fall into all four hemispheres. Half of the population lives on a single atoll on the main island of South Tarawa.
Nearly all of the people (98.5%) identify as Christian, but nominalism and syncretism block many from true fellowship with God. The once-strong Protestant Church faces slow decline, losing members to other groups. Practices of spiritism have become far too common. The theological college in Tarawa is not evangelical. Spiritual growth is too often followed by decline, since foreign financial windfalls and occasional healings become the main attraction rather than biblical teaching and transformed lives. Overpopulation and unemployment have become a dangerous combination and have led to a rise in alcohol abuse, especially among the youth. There is a need for revival among the youth, for them to live wholesome lives with godly purpose. The impending disaster of becoming refugees due to land loss can be a powerful reminder that our eternal home is in heaven. May the people come to know God and find their security in the Lord – regardless of any possible loss of their nation’s land – as He provides new homes on earth and in heaven.
The main priority of a missionary is to bring the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who have never heard the Good News. LCMS missionaries usually share that Good News in the language of the people they serve.
When the Holy Spirit begins to gather people into Christian fellowship, missionaries assist these new Christians in forming their own indigenous church leaders.
Today, the LCMS trains, sends and supports called and appointed career, long-term and short-term missionaries in various countries around the world and in the United States where there are mission stations, partner churches, schools or mission relationships.
LCMS missionary teams are made up of people who focus on planting churches, leadership formation or some type of locally initiated holistic services in areas of health, agriculture, community development, English-as-a-Foreign-Language classes or partner support activities.
Missionary teachers also serve in international schools where missionary children, expatriates, and often national children attend. Agricultural and medical missionaries are utilized when their work will strategically contribute towards reaching and gathering a communities of believers, so that churches can be planted.
Missionaries usually spend a good deal of time when they first arrive on the field developing language skills and learning about the culture and mastering a foreign language.
The overall LCMS mission “team” consists of ordained pastors, directors of Christian education, directors of Christian outreach, deaconesses, teachers, lay ministers, Directors of Parish music, medical professionals, agriculturalists, vicars, church work program interns, retired Lutheran laity and college graduates. All are scattered across the globe working together with national partners to tell the Good News of the salvation that is found only in Jesus Christ.