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Missions -- Keep These Missionaries in your Prayers


Pastor Kaster shared so many inspiring stories from his missionary service in Ghana on Sunday, January 15th, 2017.  Keep him & Suzanne in your prayers. Remember, they could really use some extra funding, too.


Bio

Rev. Dale and Suzanne Kaster serve the Lord as career missionaries through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in Ghana, West Africa. In this role, Dale trains men from the country of Ghana to serve as pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG). Through the relationships that are formed, Dale and Suzanne seek to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the people of Ghana.

Dale was born in Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada. His home congregation is Celebration Lutheran Church, Jacksonville, FL. He graduated from Concordia College, Bronxville, NY, with a bachelor’s degree in Judeo-Christian heritage. He received his Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. 

Before becoming a career missionary, Dale served as a pastor at: 

  • Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Point Pleasant, NJ (1989-1994); 
  • Celebration Lutheran Church, Jacksonville, FL (1994-2010); and 
  • Martin Luther Chapel, Pennsauken, NJ (2010-2013). 

He also served on short-term mission trips to the Ntshongweni Village in South Africa (2007-2011). Dale’s hobbies include cooking, skeet shooting, reading and Civil War history.

 

Suzanne was born in LaGrange, IL, and her home congregation is also Celebration Lutheran Church, Jacksonville, FL. She attended Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Ill. Suzanne’s hobbies include cross-stitching, making crafts, reading and working on genealogy.


Hope you had the chance to meet the Rev. Mark Rabe on the weekend of May 30-31, 2015. 

Pastor Rabe shared about his mission: to help grow Lutheranism in Ethiopia, where the Lutheran faith already has established roots in the hearts of over 3500 local pastors & teachers. 


The Rev. Rabe will be serving in Ethiopia at Mekane Yesus Seminary starting in November 2015; he & his family will likely be there for at least 2 yrs.. His wife Stephanie home schools their children, so they’ve had to learn a new culture and language. 

Please pray for their continued health and safety. If you are led to send notes of encouragement, goodies or to financially support their ministry, the church office can provide you with the Rabe family's contact information &/or you can make online donations at: https://www.lcms.org/givenow/globalmission -- simply be certain to designate your donation is to support the work by the Rabe family in Ethiopia. 


About the Rabe Family

Mark was born in Portland, OR, and his home congregation is Trinity Lutheran Church, Albany, GA. 

  • He received a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Concordia University, Portland, OR, and his Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO. 
  • Before serving in Ethiopia, Mark served as pastor at Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church, Oroville, CA. (2001-2010) 
  • Taught at Atemo Bible College and Matongo Lutheran Theological College, Kenya (2010-2012)
  • Most recently, served as pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Albany, GA.
In his free time, he enjoys traveling, hiking and biking.

 

Stefanie was born in Encino, CA., and was raised in Vernonia, OR. Her home congregation is also Trinity Lutheran Church, Albany, GA. 

  • She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Portland, OR. 
  • Prior to becoming a missionary, Stefanie worked in secretarial and accounts payable positions. 
Stefanie’s hobbies include traveling, hiking, crocheting and reading. 

Mark and Stefanie have four beautiful children – Noah, Gabriella, Julianna and Matthias – who join them on the mission field.




The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod began work in Ethiopia in 2000 as part of a larger East Africa strategy for training leaders among several people groups in East African countries. The LCMS began mercy work in Ethiopia in 2001 by supporting a garden at the Baro Bethel Bible School. Other projects since then have included gardens for Christian schools, a women’s micro-enterprise project, wells, clinic repairs and food assistance.

Because East Africa has been the target of many years of mission work by various evangelical groups, the LCMS strategy has been to provide complementary strategy, resources and personnel to support the work of existing mission partners from other Lutheran groups.


The LCMS works with various synods (which are similar to LCMS districts) of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY). A partnership agreement was signed by the LCMS and the EECMY in January 2010 that formalizes the relationship for mutual mission as church bodies and provides a framework for exploring each other’s understanding of our Lutheran identity.

Because the growth of the East African church has been explosive in recent years, a great need exists to train indigenous leaders who can minister to the large numbers of people who are newly baptized and to many other new villages that have asked for the Gospel

  • Therefore, the main thrust of LCMS work has been to help build regional mission training centers (MTCs), in cooperation with a number of synods of the EECMY, where national leaders can be mentored and trained in evangelism and church planting. 
  • Training seminars for women in these facilities is also a priority. 
  • The LCMS is additionally working in the Kakuma, Hagadera and Ifo refugee camps where more than 150,000 Sudanese, Ethiopian, Somali and Ugandan refugees live.


About the EECMY

The EECMY is one of the largest and fastest-growing Lutheran church bodies in the world. The first congregation of this church body was organized in 1929, and its building was constructed in 1948. By 1959, the EECMY claimed 20,000 members, and today it claims an estimated 5.2 million members, with 2 million children attending Sunday school on any given Sunday. The EECMY is served by more than 2,000 pastors in 20 semi-autonomous synods, and its annual growth rate is estimated at 15 percent.

The LCMS works in mutual mission efforts with leadership in three synods of the EECMY, as well as in coordination with its central office. As with many other Lutheran church bodies in Africa, this mission relationship between the LCMS and the EECMY is helping to convey a confessional Lutheran understanding of Lutheran identity based upon biblical fidelity.

Though Ethiopia is one of the poorest nations in Africa, the church here exists largely within its own capacity at the local level and reaches out into the community with various ministries. When asked why the church has grown so dramatically, one EECMY pastor responded, “Commitment to proclaiming the Gospel from the leadership down, strong commitment to prayer and strong tithing by the people no matter what they have."


Partner Church: 
Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus — EECMY
Central Office

P.O. Box 2087
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia