2021–2023 LWML Mission Grant #25
Missionaries to America Project
Mission Nation Publishing — $88,000
About This Mission Grant
The United States is populated by people from all corners of the world. The purpose of Mission Nation’s “Missionaries to America” project is to help the LCMS strengthen its capacity to share Jesus with people with whom we may be unable to relate because of cultural and language barriers. With this grant, Mission Nation Publishing will be able to provide opportunity and resources for each of us to be better witnesses for Jesus to ethnic groups other than our own, through the publication of the stories of missionaries, who now reside in the United States, and their respective journeys to faith.
Missionary to America Gagan Gurung spent 22 years in a refugee camp in Nepal. Because of ethnic prejudice his family was forced to leave Bhutan. While there a former Hindu priest turned Christian evangelist tried to bring Gagan to Christ, but he ran away, hiding in a Hindu temple in the mountains. He came to Christ after a miracle in his life. Today he is a missionary in St. Louis, where he has brought more than fifty Nepalese refugees to baptism at Timothy and Ascension Lutheran Churches.
Bethany Szobody home schools her four children. At the LWML Carolinas District Convention Bethany bought four biographies. Bethany said "When I brought the books home Myra grabbed the book about the young girl "Victoria" growing up as a Christian girl in Pakistan. She would not put the book down.
Approved Resolution at the LWML Convention
WHEREAS, God created every ethnic group and determined the time and place where they would live (Acts 17:26); and
WHEREAS, the Lord has seen fit to bring people from other countries to America, creating a more diverse population; and
WHEREAS, Mission Nation Publishing and the LCMS Florida-Georgia District want to develop extensive relationships and resources to help churches reach out to ethnic groups different from their own; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the delegates of the 2021 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Convention scheduled for Lexington, Kentucky, vote the sum of $88,000 to help fund Missionaries to America Project.
More Mission Grant Photos
LWML representatives from churches in SW Florida came together to discuss ways to "give a voice to the new missionaries to America." Using the Making of A Missionary book display the churches share true stories of real people and the divine intervention that brought the missionaries to share Jesus in America. Funds raised from congregation members purchasing the books are used for mission projects. Peace Lutheran in Naples sold over $1,000 in books in three months. Money raised so far has gone to hurricane relief efforts in Florida, support of Concordia Irvine's Cross Cultural Ministry Center and medical debt relief.
Yolima Sanabria is building a business with Mary Kay but chiefly as a way to share Jesus with immigrant women. Her family fled the drug wars in her native Columbia. Her husband, brother and father are missionaries in Tampa — where they have begun four new Spanish speaking missions.
Missionary Jason Li was a communist atheist when he came to America to do graduate studies in engineering. His roommate invited him to church. He agreed "just to be polite." The roommate kept inviting and Jason kept going, reluctantly. It was not until he became involved in a Chinese language Bible Study at the college that the Holy Spirit turned his life around. He wanted to tell everyone, especially every Chinese person, about Jesus. When his parents found out he had become a Christian, and wanted to go to seminary, they cut off all funding. Jason's Chinese church raised money for him to go to Concordia Irvine's Center for Cross Cultural Ministry Center. He was ordained and is now working on an advanced degree at Concordia Seminary. Jason is still estranged from his family, but no longer from his Savior.
Missionary Julie Aftab knows what the cost is for being a Christian. Julie grew up as a Christian in Pakistan. While standing up for her faith hostile Muslim men held her down and poured acid on her face and down her throat. It was a miracle she survived. But God healed her soul and today she is able to proclaim forgiveness to immigrants in Texas. Her social work in Houston has turned the hearts of women trying to find their way in a new land. Her Savior has turned the women to faith in God's love and guidance.
Prof Moon was a child in North Korea during WW II. He lived with his grandmother in the North but the rest of his family was in South Korea. When WW II ended his family had to pay to have him go with a guide and other Koreans fleeing Communist oppression. During the late night crossing of the Yalu River the ten year old almost died. Not too long after arriving in South Korea the Korean War began. During a bombing run his whole family except for his toddler nephew and infant niece were killed. Crossing the mountains of Central Korea, in the middle of a snow storm, caught between Chinese soldiers coming from the north and South Korean and American soldiers coming from the south, hiding under a rock, cradling the infant niece to keep her warm, the Lord came to him and brought him on the road to becoming a Christian.