our CLC Board of Missions updates us with the latest news from various mission fields.
This past May/June, Board of Missions chairman Joel Krafft and Missionary Todd Ohlmann made a trip to visit Pastor Emmanuel Julien, a man with whom we have been in contact for over four years. Pastor Julien began his contact with the CLC through an email from Haiti in February 2013. From the beginning, Pastor Julien’s desire was to learn and study the Scriptures through whatever means we had available to teach him. He worked through correspondence courses with Pastor Mark Gullerud over the course of several years, though contact was somewhat spotty due to lack of materials and infrastructure on Pastor Julien’s end.
By 2016, the Board of Missions was planning a visit to Haiti to meet and speak with Pastor Julien. He had requested a laptop computer and printer so he could copy and distribute the lessons he had been working on over the years, being convinced that they were a help to him and knowing that this material would assist him in teaching the pastors he was instructing for the work in Haiti. He had never asked for money and always put the learning and studying of God’s Word as his first priority.
The CLC Board of Missions generally follows a five-phase approach to new contacts in foreign fields in the hope of establishing fellowship in the future. The first phase involves lengthy correspondence over email or Skype, followed by a thorough discussion of doctrine through various materials and studies. The third phase is an initial visit to the contact. A six-day trip was planned so we could meet Pastor Julien, observe his work, and also meet some of the men with whom he was working.
While they were there, Mr. Krafft and Missionary Ohlmann visited an orphanage where Pastor Julien cares for approximately twenty-five orphans. They also visited two other locations where Pastor Julien had arranged for some of the pastors in training to meet with them. Missionary Ohlmann conducted the lessons, with six or seven men attending each day. Mr. Krafft wrote, “They all seemed eager to hear the Word and asked questions of Missionary Ohlmann which were translated back and forth between English and French by Pastor Julien.”
Chairman Krafft concludes, “From this point we are continuing to instruct Pastor Julien via correspondence courses. We are hoping to visit again soon in order to strengthen the ties and to provide a laptop and printer. The process of study and being sure of our agreement based on the Word of God takes time. We pray the Lord keeps this door open and allows His Word to reach souls otherwise lost.”
The events in Haiti are another example of the slow but diligent process that we take to follow up with overseas contacts. Many of these contacts do not turn out to be interested in fellowship based on the truth of God’s Word, but some are; and we thank the Lord for the privilege of being used by Him in such a way.
Nathanael Mayhew is pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, and a member of the Board of Missions of the CLC.