Category Archives: Missionary Videos

Missionaries to America have been sharing the gospel, starting new mission fields and new churches – but not many appreciate that they are gifts from God. These are true stories of real people and the divine intervention that brought them to bring Christ to America. View each one prayerfully and with thanksgiving.

An African Moses In America

An African Moses
Missionary to America Moses Dangba

Moses Dangba remembers a beautiful place in his native South Sudan. This “place’ appeared regularly even during civil unrest, famine and war – things Moses experienced as a child in his small town of Maridi, near the border

with Zaire. This “place” appeared  when the Christians in his town came to worship. People from different ethnic groups singing the same hymn in different languages brought a transcendent joy, reminding him of the worship St. John described in Revelations 7:9, “I looked and saw a multitude too large to count, from every nation and tribe and people and tongue, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”

Moses was one of eleven children – certainly a challenge to provide for in war-torn South Sudan. It is not unusual for a relative to offer to take and raise a child, lessening the burden. When he was nine years old his pastor grandfather took the boy under his wing- and changed his African name to “Moses,” because, he said, “This Moses will bring his people to a different life.” This began the boy’s preparation to become a missionary.

“I was following him around, learning from him.” He was taught Bible stories and hymns. As he grew he not only went on pastoral calls with his Pastor grandfather but was supervised to pray in public, to teach and to preach. As a teenager his grandfather sent Moses to Khartoum, North Sudan, to a preparatory boarding school. Only when he graduated from this school would he be allowed to go to college.

When he arrived in Khartoum police in what was then the Northern part of a united Sudan confiscated his Bible. “I never thought they would take my Bible. We needed the Bible for school. When we entered the school each of us had to choose studying Islam or Christianity. While there were books and teachers for the classes in Islam there were no Bibles or teachers for us. So, I led the fifteen Christians who chose not to study Islam. With no Bibles we taught ourselves, sharing what we had remembered. We sang the hymns we learned as children. We had no time during regular school hours for our Christian classes; our ‘classes’ were late in the afternoon and at night. But with God’s help  every one of us passed the exam for Christians.”

His grandfather’s preparation had been a blessing. Then the stakes increased.

Having graduated from the boarding school he was qualified to fulfill his grandfather’s dream – he could attend college, earn a degree and a better life for the family he had left behind. But now the rules had changed. Civil war had broken out. First he and the others would have to agree to join the army of North Sudan to fight the Christians of South Sudan. Some agreed to join; Moses and several others refused, and were detained by the police. There was a good chance they would be shot.

Moses continued to lead the prisoners, as it turned out, to Egypt. He led preaching and teaching the Bible in prison. The hymns and prayers of the former boarding school students were a witness to those around them.  By God’s grace their jail door was opened – the United Nations intervened and took custody of the young men. Fearful the Christians might not remain free Moses and the others were smuggled into Egypt –  left in Egypt to fend for themselves. They had no protection, no funds and no work. Then in 1998 a door opened – to Lebanon. In Lebanon for two years he found work, attended a Christian college, and married a wonderful young  woman he had met in Khartoum. In 2000  America’s door opened, and welcomed the refugees. They found a new home in Lansing, Michigan.

Rev. David Theile, a Lutheran pastor in East Lansing had an opportunity which was turning into a frustration. Young men from Sudan, some of the “lost boys,” had found refuge near his church. They had escaped the murderous civil war in South Sudan to come to a new country that cared for them. Christ Lutheran welcomed the young men, many of whom did not speak English. Pr. Theile needed someone who knew their language and culture, someone from South Sudan who could lead them to Jesus. That is when he met a Christian evangelist from South Sudan, Moses Dangba.

 Moses became the church’s missionary to lead African immigrants from several countries to Jesus. When the Africans worship together, each using their own language to sing praises to God, it is something beautiful. Moses’ grandfather’s prophecy was realized.

Martin Luther in “Admonition to Prayer,”( Luther’s Works, V. 43, p.239) has something to say to Moses’ grandfather, and to you and me. “I strongly urge that children be taught the Catechism. Should they be taken captive in an invasion, they will at least take something of the Christian faith with them. Who knows what God might be able to accomplish through them?”

To see an introduction video click here.

To see the full video interview, click here.

To purchase a biography of a missionary to America, click here.

To donate to support giving a voice to the new missionaries, click here. 

 

“Moving from Homogeneity to Diversity”: Dan Gilbert and Terry Chan

How To Move from Homogeneity to Diversity In A Christian Congregation. Pres. Dan Gilbert Interviews Rev. Terry Chan.

What is the most diverse city you know? It is not New York.

The BBC says Toronto is the most ethnically diverse city in the world. Stockton, Ca. comes up as the most diverse city in America. New York City is said to have the most number of different ethnic groups, and one of the largest number of citizens with a Chinese background.

The town in New York City with the largest Chinese community is Flushing, Queens. It was established in 1683 as a colony of the Dutch. Flushing is where I grew up. (The Dutch named it “Vlissingen” but the English not able to pronounce it called the town “Flushing.”) 

When I was growing up in Flushing a mixed marriage was a German marrying an Italian. Things have changed. The ethnic makeup of my hometown has changed – probably yours as well. The ethnic diversity of schools and colleges has changed. As has diversity in the workplace. But not much has changed in Lutheran Churches. Every study shows Lutherans are 95% white English speaking. 

Terry Chan is an LCMS missionary to America in San Francisco. His congregation includes Asians and Hispanics, African Americans and European Americans. Terry was born in Hong Kong, his father was from Hong Kong but his mother was American.  His mother’s family first came to the United States from China in 1879. 

Terry has been a leader in Asian missions in the LCMS; he was the first chairman of the Chinese Ministry Conference. He is currently a member of the board of Mission Nation Publishing. Recently the missionary entered a doctoral program to answer the question how LCMS churches can move from homogeneity to ethnic diversity. Mission Nation intends to publish a book of his findings to help churches reach an ethnic group different from their own. 

President Emeritus Dan Gilbert sat down with Terry to find out what he has discovered. You can see the edited video interview below. Dan’s and Terry’s desire is that the LCMS will someday look like the picture in Revelations 7:9.

I will end with the question at the beginning of this blog: what is the most diverse city of all? In fact John gives us the answer in his Revelations, chapters 21 and 7. 

“I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes,’and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,for the former things have passed away.”

After this I looked and saw a multitude too large to count, from every nation and tribe and people and tongue, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice, “Salvation to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

It is the only eternal city. You became a citizen when you were baptized.

To view the one minute intro to the interview with missionary Chan about how to reach an ethnic group different from your own,click here

To view the full twenty minute video of how to reach an ethnic group different from your own, click here

You can find resources to reach an ethnic group different from your own by clicking here

To donate to help us continue our research, click here

To see more ideas for reaching a new ethnic group, click here.