• Pray for emigrant believers to cling to the truth of God's word as they adapt to life in their host nations.
• Pray for freedom from the love of money among young adults tempted to seek riches abroad.
• Pray for hope and eternal purpose for youth turning to crime and drugs as solutions to boredom.
Tonga is an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean consisting of 171 coral and volcanic islands, 36 of which are inhabited by 108,000 people. Tonga is unique among Pacific nations in that it never completely lost its native governance. Tonga was a British protected state from 1900-1970 and later became fully independent. It remains the only monarchy in the Pacific, though there is a growing movement towards democracy, and the first prime minister was elected in 2006.
Most of Tonga's food must be imported. New Zealand is a main source and is also home to many Tongan expatriates. The number of Tongans living abroad is now higher than the population of Tonga itself. The economy is mainly supported by these workers, followed by tourism, due to the beautiful tropical beaches, rainforests, and active volcanoes. The government is developing in the areas of finance, health, and education and also seeks to upgrade agricultural productivity. High unemployment, especially among the youth remains an issue. Developing the island’s communication and transportation systems could provide help in this area.
Tonga’s red flag includes a bold red cross on top of a white rectangle; the cross represents the nation's deep-rooted Christianity. Though this rich Christian heritage is a blessing, as reflected by their national song (which calls God their defense and praises His love for them), it has reached the point of oversaturation, and nominalism plays a large role. The variance in denominations creates competition among churches, and believers are pulled away, often seeking the church they believe will benefit them the most rather than looking for the part they can play in God’s kingdom. Many believers look for value in good works rather than God and the Bible. Tonga has the highest national percentage of Mormons. As the nation’s largest employers are Mormon, there are financial perks to switch to the religion. May the Tongan people find freedom in Christ and reclaim the dynamic faith of their forefathers, as they see the prayer for protection from their national song answered by God.
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.