Rev. David & Joyce Erber
Pastor David and Joyce Erber live in Accra, Ghana. They serve the Lord as missionaries with LCMS International Mission.
As theological educator, David teaches residential and non-residential seminary classes at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Sasaabi (Accra), Ghana. David also coordinates a joint effort of LCMS International Mission and Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis to offer the Master of Arts in Theology degree to pastors in Africa. This new initiative includes pastors from Ghana, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda. The goal is to help these men address their mission and ministry challenges through the study of God’s Word and the Lutheran Confessions.
As Business Manager, Joyce is responsible for the accounting and financial dynamics of LCMS work in Africa. Joyce and her team support our missionaries and have a role in every mission endeavor across 25+ countries in Africa.
The Michigan District has supported the Erbers since they began mission service in 1986.
Dr. Jim and Susan Kaiser
Missionaries Dr. Jim and Susan Kaiser are excited to be part of a partnership between Lutheran Bible Translators and the Ethiopian Evangelical Church. This church is Mekane Yesus (EECMY), which is the largest Lutheran church in Africa. They are helping make the Good News of God’s Word available to the people of Ethiopia in their heart languages.
Rev. Steven and Martha Mahlburg
Rev. Steven and Martha Mahlburg serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as career missionaries in Sri Lanka. Steven seeks to build and maintain relationships with the Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sri Lanka. He provides support for raising up pastors and grounding congregations in Lutheran doctrine and practice. He works with other LCMS personnel to provide pre-seminary training. In addition, Steven serves as a pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran Mission Church in Sri Lanka’s capital city of Colombo.
James and Christel Neuendorf
Rev. James and Deaconess Christel Neuendorf serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as missionaries in Puerto Rico. Both have served as missionaries in this region since 2008, based in Panama and then in the Dominican Republic.
James serves as a church planter and pastor in the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico. His focus is to establish a strong Lutheran presence in this city which will boldly proclaim the Gospel and meet the physical and spiritual needs of a community that is hungry for the Gospel and for hope. As pastor, James engages daily with Ponce community members to share in their lives and to bring them into the life-giving presence of Jesus in Word and Sacrament. He is also working to create a generation of local leaders and well-grounded laity and future pastors who will be able to continue to spread the Gospel throughout Puerto Rico, around the Latin America region, and the world.
As a deaconess, Christel is involved in the long-term disaster relief efforts at the mission’s various Casa de Amparo y Respuesta al Desastre (House of Refuge and Disaster Response) mercy houses. From these places, LCMS missionaries and Puerto Rican Lutherans offer food, water and other basic necessities to community members affected by the hurricane. She is also engaged in assessing needs in the community and coordinating efforts to meet those needs as a congregation and mission.
Rev. Chuck and Karen Tessaro
Missionaries Rev. Chuck and Karen Tessaro first set foot in Nigeria in 1985. Since then, they’ve been helping to get God’s Word out. They have been doing this by getting the Word into people’s hands and hearts by working with local people to successfully translate the New Testament into the Eleme language. They serve with multiple local translation teams including the Old Testament teams for the Yala, Kukele and Gokana languages.
Caitlin Worden de Ramirez
Deaconess Caitlin Worden de Ramírez serves the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as a deaconess missionary in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. She works as a congregational deaconess alongside the pastors. She serves as mentor for the formation of Dominican deaconesses and works alongside the seminary in the Dominican Republic to train them on a congregational level. She also supports the work of the mercy houses in this country and seeks to strengthen the relationships between them and the congregations. She specifically works with the program Amigos de Jesus, “Friends of Jesus,” which is a disabilities outreach ministry. In addition, Caitlin supports the women and youth of missionary families in this country through emotional and spiritual care.
Becky began serving with Lutheran Bible Translators in 1985 as an assistant to the language program manager in Liberia, West Africa. She then became the manager for a short time before being assigned as translation advisor to the Bandi people of Liberia in 1989. The civil war in Liberia delayed the project several times as Becky evacuated for lengthy periods. However, she was eventually able to return to Liberia and the translation was completed in 1996. After several years in the U.S., Becky’s LBT service resumed in July 2012. She is currently involved with various translation projects in Liberia, particularly for the Gola, Dan, and Maan people. Becky assists translators via internet communications and teleconferencing, with periodic in-person visits to Liberia.