Five Nations Under Heaven4 min read

Rev Eyoumoh (left) High School Principal (right)

Community Impact

When the Uquo community in Nigeria received substantial compensation from an oil company for land damage, they decided to build a high school. The community asked the Lutherans to manage it in hopes of getting the best possible education for their children in a Christian environment. Masters of Christian Outreach (MACO) student Rev. Eyoumoh began working with the principal of the school to strengthen its evangelism impact in the community. The evangelism goal was to bring God’s Word into the classroom, which would then be carried into the home, eventually leading people to worship Jesus.

To accomplish this, students take home weekly Bible passages with homework that involves family discussion. Daily questions for discussion are assigned such as: What can our family learn about Jesus from this passage? How does this passage speak to the problems or concerns we are facing in our family? What can we learn from this passage that would be helpful to our neighbors and friends?

The Lord Moving in Africa

Other students (already Lutheran pastors) are working on other evangelism endeavors.

Rev. David Erber and his wife, Joyce, who have served as LCMS missionaries to West Africa since 1986, have been instrumental in the education and spiritual formation of MACO students. These students are enrolled in the national seminaries and offered a Master’s Degree through Concordia University, St. Paul, Minn. by attending intensive classes in African seminaries. Their education is coupled with practical mission initiatives and projects, such as the Uquo Lutheran High School. MACO student Rev. P. T. noticed that very few children come to Sunday worship services. In response, he prepares a two-month “Home Devotion” program to strengthen families and lead more children to worship attendance. Another student observed that when LCMS missionaries left his home area years ago, no further evangelism had taken place. He questions why and how can this change? So he plans an evangelism training workshop to teach a simple method of evangelism.

Reaching Millions for Christ

In addition to his work with MACO students, Erber works with leaders of congregations that experience losing their young people and that want to develop more ways for women to become more involved in evangelism. A great deal of his time is also spent coaching young men in their studies and ministries. Joyce currently serves LCMS International Mission by managing accounting for LCMS work throughout Africa.

Rev. Shauen Trump (East Africa), Rev. Tim Heiney (French West Africa) Mrs. Beth Heiney (Project Coordinator), Dr. Mike Rodewald (Regional Director for Africa), Rev. Fred Reinhardt (Central Africa), Joyce Erber (Business Manager), Rev. David Erber (English West Africa)
Rev. Shauen Trump (East Africa), Rev. Tim Heiney (French West Africa) Mrs. Beth Heiney (Project Coordinator), Dr. Mike Rodewald (Regional Director for Africa), Rev. Fred Reinhardt (Central Africa), Joyce Erber (Business Manager), Rev. David Erber (English West Africa)

During their years of proclaiming the Good News that Jesus saves in the English-speaking countries of The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leon, Rev. Erber has worked with church presidents, national leadership seminaries, and approximately 1,000 congregations to enable these Gospel outposts to train pastors and reach out with the love of Christ to millions of people in each country.

When asked why, Erber writes, “Because 200+ million people in these countries and their children and their grandchildren after that will stand before the Lord Jesus on the Last Day; their eternal destination at stake.” He quotes Romans 10:13-15a, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent” (ESV).

Prayers for Missionary Efforts

There is much work to do in these five nations under heaven, and your prayer and financial support are vital. Please pray for the Erbers in their missionary efforts. Ask the Lord to raise up Christ-centered leaders of West African English-speaking Lutheran congregations. Pray that the Lord would protect the Erbers as they travel and that the Holy Spirit would continue to sustain and grow the Lutheran church bodies in these nations. Keep the Erber children – Luke, Jonathan, and Naomi – in your prayers as they are currently university students and working in the United States.

“We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4 ESV).

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About the Author

Debby Fall serves as Assistant to the President - Communications for the Michigan District, LCMS.

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