The Epiphany season celebrates Jesus as the Light to the nations, beginning with the celebration of the magi, wise men from afar who followed the star to find the Christ child.
Many of us use this season to focus on how the Light of the world is reflected in and through our global work. As a new ELCA missionary, this global work together as a church is now my passion and calling.
My work in the Central African Republic includes developing educational programs for Sunday schools and new elementary schools in remote villages. These programs existed before I arrived two months ago, but the Lutheran church in the Central African Republic asked for an educational adviser to help these pro¬grams improve and better serve the people. They recognize, as we do, the importance of education — not only to build leaders within the church, but also to have a better life overall.
In my work, I recently visited one of our newest schools, the Peouri School, which was just built as a permanent structure. It also has three open-air, straw-roof structures and is building one more. The school, first built 10 miles away, had to be moved because of civil unrest seven years ago. The people had fled to town, but insisted that their Lutheran school follow them! After the doors re-opened, others in town are now taking advantage of the Lutheran school’s reputation for good teaching. It has become the largest of the 20 village schools supported by the church, with 720 students enrolled.
My work with this school and others happens only because of people like you. You make it possible for people like me to preach, teach, build, grow, heal and strengthen the global church in over 40 countries. Thank you for the support.
Your undesignated gift helps to support me plus our 240 missionaries around the world — where it’s needed most.
In these challenging economic times, we missionaries rely heavily on your generous gifts to help keep our global mission programs running to share God’s grace and blessings with all.
We are a church that believes Jesus is God’s “Yes” to us. Our lives can be a “Yes” to others. Will you join us in sharing the Light of the world through our global work? Please give today!
Hand in hand with you,
Susan Smith, ELCA Missionary, Central African Republic