Missions & Missionaries
Here’s a compiled list of resources so that your Lutheran homeschool can be aware and supportive of missions & missionaries.
Prayer for Missionaries
The Pray for Us Calendar is a great and easy way to keep missions and missionaries in family prayers. Each month takes about two pages to list a petition for each day of the month. For example, one month might highlight different Lutheran seminaries around the world.
To learn more in depth, your family (or congregation) can go here to read about LCMS missionaries and their work (Yes, you can support them financially, too!). There are also downloadable prayer cards so you can pray for specific missions & missionaries.
Another neat option is Keep Me and Keep All by Robert W Smith. It’s a book that takes you through every week of the year with a portion of Scripture, a spiritual exercise and a reflection from the wide-ranging ministries of Bob and Alice Smith.
There are a few options for programs or short-term curriculum:
- LCMS International Mission has launched a podcast titled “5 Minutes with a Missionary.” The podcast is described as “an unfiltered take on life abroad for the sake of the Gospel in the time it takes to pick up your drive-thru order or empty the dishwasher. It’s fun. It’s personal. It’s real. And it’s always an adventure.” Go here to access it on Apple, Google, Spotify, or KFUO archives.
- The LCMS has a free online program called Mission Friends. There are coloring pages and an almost magazine-like volume you can access as a PDF. You can sign up or just navigate around to find geographical places of interest paired with a Bible version, section of the Catechism, and a “Mission Moment.” You learn a little about the place, get a few fun activities, have gain access to a devotion with prayers.
- Lutheran Hour Ministry also has all sorts of resources, including Gospel Adventures, a free, interactive curriculum for grade school or middle school students. The 2021 adventure centers around Thailand. Previous adventures revolve around Mongolia (2020) and Peru (2019). (Before that, it was Online Mission Trips (OMT)). This is available & free to Christian schools across the US, including homeschool families.
There are several organizations to know about:
- LCMS Missions and Outreach oversees mission and outreach for the LCMS.
- WELS Missions oversees missions for the WELS.
- ELS Board for World Outreach, etc.
- Concordia Lutheran Mission Society is an auxilliary of Lutheran Church–Canada.
- Concordia Mission Society publishes GOOD NEWS, a Lutheran theological journal. Domestic subscriptions support translation and distribution costs around the world. It’s a great magazine & a great cause. (Various issues are available in something like 19 different languages!)
- Lutheran Heritage Foundation is a great organization that translates Lutheran material and distributes them around the world. One of their most popular programs translates and delivers A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories, so it is always neat when children can imagine others reading the same book! LHF also offers a VBS program and a printable children’s project list on their resource page. LHF also has a Youtube page you can check out.
- Mission Nation Publishing is a partnership between Peace Lutheran (an LCMS congregation) and the LCMS Florida/Georgia District that publishes biographies about Lutheran missionaries who went overseas. Their books are appropriate for junior high schoolers and older, and they specifically recommend The Bulletproof Missionary and The Despicable Missionary for teenagers. Both of these have study guides you can download from here, their homeschooling page. Because they are supportive of homeschoolers! Yay!
(In no particular order)
A Peek into the Parsonage is a winsome book by Elaine Wolters about her life as a pastor’s wife, including many anecdotes from their time spent as missionaries in Canada.
For missions & missionaries from Lutheran history, here is a page with “Faces of Lutheran Missions in India.”
Also, The Apostolic Church: One, Holy, Catholic and Missionary, by Lutheran Rev. Robert Scudieri, traces the history of the phrase “apostolic church” in the third article of the Nicene Creed to demonstrate the mission emphasis of apostolic. Neat!
- Dear Mr. Missionary by E. H. Wendland can be hard to find. There are a few sequels, also, originally published by Northwestern Publishing House. Here is a list of his books according to GoodReads.
- The Reluctant Companion by Ruth Boettcher
- One Cup of Water: Five True Stories of Missionary Women in China
- “My God told me to stay here”: The Life and Work of Missionary Ludwig Ingwer Nommensen (1834-1918), the “Apostle of the Bataks” (Sumatra, Indonesia): An English Translation with Notes and Commentary Paperback by Johannes Warneck, William Nommensen (Translator)
- God in My Life: A Life of Flaws and Blessings by Rev. Dr. LeRoy Hass, who served in China, Japan, and the United States.
- A Rainbow of Saris: Four True Stories of Missionary Women in India, edited by Janice Kerper Bauer
Australia or Oceania
- New Guinea Experiences: Living Among People Untouched by Time: Missionaries Serve in a Foreign Land by Merlyn Wagner and set in the Maramuni Valley in Papua New Guinea during 1962-1970.
- From Ghosts to God in Enga Land: Planting His Church Among the Enga People of Central Papua New Guinea by Otto C. Hintze Jr & Cheryl Naumann.
- Johann Flierl: My life and God’s mission, though it looks like this one is pretty hard to find. It’s about a missionary and field inspector in New Guinea.
Within the Lands of the United States
- Hero of Faith: Rosa Young for mission work among the poorest, most rural regions of the American south.
- Light in the Dark Belt by Rosa Young
- Roses and Thorns: The centennial edition of Black Lutheran mission and ministry in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod by Richard Dickinson
- Hero of Faith: Dorothea Craemer lets children around 8 to 10 read of the challenging journey to America for mission work among the Chippewa people in Michigan.
- In the Wilderness with the Red Indians: German Missionary to the Michigan Indians, 1847–1853, features E. R. Baierlein giving a sensitive and respectful portrayal of Native American life as he serves as a missionary in Michigan.
- The Open Eyed Missionary: The true story of how the Word removed the scales from the eyes of a believer in Saudi Arabia. (Today there are 30 missionaries in the mission society begun by Rev. Farrukh Khan, extending God’s love to Muslims in America.)
- The Despicable Missionary: How a young Christian girl in Pakistan learned to defend her faith and love Muslims
- The Resilient Missionary: The Life Story of Yohannes Mengsteab, A Missionary to America
- No Accidental Missionary: How an enemy of the faith became a Christian in Saudi Arabia: Biography of Dr. Tesfai Tesema
- The Bulletproof Missionary, the story of Professor Shang Ik Moon
- The Unexpected Missionary: The true story of Gagan Gurung, who ran away from his baptism, but became a Christian Missionary to America
I have also heard, from a non-Lutheran perspective, that the more broadly Christian series Christian Heroes: Then & Now can be pretty good.