Nearly 200 people gathered at Our Savior, Lansing, for a multi-cultural celebration and prayer that was quite unprecedented. Rev. Mandla J. Khumalo, pastor and bishop of St. Peter Confessional Lutheran Church, Middelburg, South Africa, has been invited by the Michigan District, LCMS as a visiting missionary and evangelist for a two-year stay. He, his wife Lindiwe, and grandson Nhlaka (nickname NK) have moved to Lansing where they will be sharing the Gospel and traveling around the state. Pastor Khumalo’s message is one that encourages us in evangelism, racial reconciliation through the power of the Gospel, and furthers the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations.
Pastor Khumalo studied at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Ind., and was ordained by the bishop of our partner church in South Africa, David Tswaedi, in 1989 before founding St. Peter Confessional Lutheran Church in Mhluzi, Middelburg, South Africa. Today, St. Peter has a worship attendance of nearly 1,000 each weekend and has 10 satellite congregations and preaching stations. The church also operates a Lutheran preschool (Bethel Preschool) and grade school (St. Peter Christian College) which has over 600 students.
A service of welcome and blessing was held in the afternoon of March 3 at Our Savior in Lansing. Rev. Zerit Yohannes (St. Luke, Lansing) preached the sermon and President David Maier gave the blessing and welcome on behalf of the Michigan District, LCMS. Special music was provided by musicians of Our Savior as well as the Congolese Choir of Lansing. About half of those gathered were from the Lutheran Sudanese, Congolese, and other African immigrant groups in the area. A dozen LCMS pastors vested for the service, traveling from Rochester, Grand Blanc, and Ann Arbor to participate.
A member of my congregation made the comment, “I remember the days when we used to send missionaries TO Africa.” That’s exactly right. We are the mission field now. And we have much to learn from our brothers and sisters in Christ in places where Christianity is growing exponentially.
Our Savior is serving as a “church home away from home” for the Khumalos, and their grandson is enrolled in our school ministry. The Kindergarten teacher just happens to be the teacher we have sent for the past three years to Middelburg as part of our partnership program. From this central location, Pastor Khumalo will be traveling to churches, schools, and conferences around the state and even around the country.
Through congregation and school visits, Pastor Khumalo will help build a passion for being the “salt and light” Jesus has called them to be in their communities. He is available to help them identify where they can engage in multi-cultural outreach to African, Hispanic, and other ethnic communities in and around their parish. Pastor Khumalo is available to speak, lead Bible class, and share his story in congregations and schools especially as it relates to Apartheid in South Africa and how they can be aware of, and guard against, those tenets today.
Pastor Khumalo will work with Rev. Todd Jones, Assistant to the President – Mission Education and Support for the Michigan District. They will plan and implement evangelism/mission workshops in Michigan. As time allows, Pastor Khumalo will work to cultivate Gospel-centered ministry throughout the LCMS but in particular on the campuses of the Concordia University System and seminaries.
If you would like to invite Pastor Khumalo to speak at your church or school, inquiries can be made to Linda Glenn, firstname.lastname@example.org. Churches are asked to plan well in advance and provide transportation for Pastor Khumalo.
May God bless the ministry of Pastor Khumalo among us as the Lord spurs us all on to greater missionary zeal and a fervent desire to proclaim Christ to all nations!
Photos courtesy of Our Savior, Lansing
Related Stories and Video:
Christian Outreach Born from Struggle https://michigandistrict.org/commission/christian-outreach-born-struggle/.
Capturing God’s Work in South Africa https://michigandistrict.org/commission/capturing-gods-work-south-africa/.
2012 Convention Essay Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UC-jquzwsAM
2012 Convention Essay Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwEwovkD2_Y
2012 Convention Essay Part 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WBK4v4U0ks