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In this series, those involved with CLC foreign missions profile one aspect of our overseas endeavors.

The Mission Development Fund (MDF) provides money for many of the tools we use to train pastors around the world. For example, in 2018 the MDF helped a pastor who is one of our seminary instructors in India replace the laptop and video projector he uses to teach seminary. They were stolen at knifepoint by Hindu radicals who stopped a pastoral training seminar he was conducting in a village. The MDF has also helped purchase laptops, video projectors, and printers for other places, like the Martin Luther Bible School (seminary) in India, and for Pastor Jacques Pondi Lumiangu in Kinshasa, D.R.Congo. Pastor Lumiangu’s daughter helps him print and reply to the correspondence course lessons I send him, which he then uses to teach the three men from his congregation whom he is training to be pastors.

The video projectors purchased through the MDF are used not only to train pastors, but also to spread the Good News of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus through film and evangelism programs.

The MDF has also funded the building of seminaries around the world, most recently in Nepal and in Togo. Here in Togo, we have built a small classroom/church building and a teacherage. The seminary here is out in the country, a ninety-minute drive north of the capital of Lomé where I live. We stay in the teacherage one or two nights a week while teaching classes. The classroom here has no electricity, so I do not use a video projector in class, but the MDF has enabled us to install a solar panel system in the teacherage, so I can have light in the evening to correct the student’s homework and a fan to help me work and sleep in the 75-102º weather.

The MDF has also helped Pastor Blewu purchase a vehicle to drive us to the seminary each week. This not only gives us more freedom and flexibility in our travels, but it was actually cheaper in the long run than hiring a shared vehicle each week. The MDF has also provided vehicles and motorbikes in India so that the head pastors can travel to train and encourage the pastors under their care.

Catechisms and Bibles are other tools funded by the MDF. Luther’s Small Catechism is an invaluable resource, as it gives the local pastors a way to teach the major truths of the Bible simply and clearly in their native language.

Inside a Togo classroom

While the MDF provides important tools to train pastors, it is the CLC general budget that funds the work of your full-time missionaries. Recently both the CLC general fund and the MDF have faced shortfalls. God has given us many opportunities to spread the Gospel, but the laborers are few. We look to Him to continue to provide the funds we need to equip the saints with tools and training for the work of the ministry.

Peter Evensen is a full-time foreign missionary for the CLC.