The heart of global mission is defined by the ELCA’s teaching on accompaniment.
Central’s Global Partnerships
- Wycliffe Bible Translators: Carl and Joy Follingstad and Victor and Sara Gaultney
- Lutheran Health Care Bangladesh
- China Service Ventures
- Bright Stars of Bethlehem
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Africa, South Sudan
- ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission
Lutheran World Relief Quilt Ministry
Victor and Sara Gaultney serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators. They currently reside in England, and are in communication with translation teams around the world. Sara manages finances for translation projects and Victor designs computer fonts for intricate alphabets and writing systems.
Victor grew up in Central’s youth program, alongside Carl Follingstad. A goal of their work is to make the New Testament available to people in the language of their heart.
This summer, several projects have reached fruition, in terms of font development and in terms of providing published New Testaments to people in their mother tongue. It is always inspiring and interesting to learn about Sara and Victor’s work in the world. They have harnessed many opportunities afforded by technology to spread the Good News. Central Lutheran Church is pleased to participate in their ministry with support through prayer and financial contributions.
Missionary Spotlight: Carl and Joy Follingstad
Carl grew up in the CLC Sunday School and Youth program, graduated from Augsburg College, went on to receive his Ph.D. and in 1987 went to the TYAP tribe in Nigeria. They had no written language. Living a very simple lifestyle, Carl and his family learned the language by listening. An alphabet was created and taught to others so they could read in the language of their heart. Then part of the New Testament was translated. Carl trained tribe members to help in the translations. The complete New Testament was distributed at a Dedication Festival, of several days, in December, 2015. Carl, Joy and their daughter Rachel were present for this memorable occasion.
Carl continues to serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators as a supervisor-leader of three other African countries, going therefore, into all nations, spreading the Word of God. And to think this all started in Central Lutheran’s Sunday School! Central continues to support Carl and Joy financially and prayerfully in this Spirit directed ministry.
Missionary Spotlight: China Service Ventures
Central Lutheran Church has a legacy of service and sacrifice in Henan China. Our present support of China Service Ventures (CSV), St. Paul, MN, enables us to support at risk “Left Behind” Students from rural Henan Province through a dedicated staff of Chinese nationals (Mei Wen), who provide educational financial assistance, big brother/big sister after school programs, counseling and social work services, and summer camps for these special children.
Dr. Jeff Nellermoe is the Executive Director of CSV. In partnership with the China-based Mei Wen team, CSV assists to facilitate staffing and organization of the China-based “Bo Ai” (Boundless Love) Summer Camps. Jeff and his wife, Mim, work with the Mei Wen team to recruit U.S. counselors for the summer camps and to recruit certified ESL teachers for the local universities and colleges in Henan. CSV also networks with the China Christian Council to explore areas of mutual cooperation among the churches of Henan and with Henan colleges to promote cross-cultural exchange and understanding.
CSV also offers a Historic Missionary Trail trips to promote the Mei Wen’s work among the Left-Behind Children as well as to see and experience the legacy of early pioneer missionary efforts in China. These adventures demonstrate the joy of living the good news in a communist country. The benefit not only comes from gaining a better understanding of the people of China but also puts our own faith in perspective. Hopefully, members of Central will experience the Historic Missionary Trail.
Missionary Spotlight: Bright Stars of Bethlehem
Bright Stars’ vision is for all people of Palestine to have life in abundance. Its’ mission is to raise awareness and support for Dar al- Kalima (DAK) University of Arts and Culture. Located in Bethlehem, Palestine, DAK opened in 2006 as the first and only university in all of Palestine dedicated to arts and culture. By advancing the values of democracy, freedom of expression, and critical thinking, the university is dedicated to keeping the Palestinian culture alive while building a freer and more just Palestine. This is accomplished by providing for the health, educational, cultural, and spiritual development needs for Palestinians of all ages through the University and its associated programs of the Diyar Academy for Youth and the Ajyal Senior Care Center.
Bright Stars of Bethlehem began with Christian roots. Today, many of the 60,000 Palestinians served by the programs and services Bright Stars sponsor, indeed much of the population of Palestine, is Muslim. Bright Stars believes that helping others, regardless of their religion or worldview, is in the true spirit of Christianity, as Jesus’s own work crossed boundaries of race and beliefs.
To enhance our relationships and as part of the ELCA accompaniment model, 21Central members and guests took a trip to the Holy Land in January 2023. The trip put in context the beloved stories we know from the Bible and presented the complexities of life in the Middle East. We spent much of one day at DAK and saw the value of our financial support and prayers as we interacted with students, staff, and faculty.
Global Mission Team
Bonnie Weisenburger (chair), Lorene Gilliksen, Lynda Minnick, Bill Nicol, Carol Henderson, Erik Kaaya, Harold and Arla Tollefson, Bobbie Spradley, Lloyd Thorson, Mark Holman, and Pastor Peter Nycklemoe.