Lutheran Brethren International Mission

Beginning in 1902 with missionaries to China, Lutheran Brethren International Mission has sent hundreds of missionaries to countries in Asia and Africa. The primary focus is taking the Good News of Jesus Christ to unreached people groups who have no indigenous church through which the gospel can be spread. We currently have missionaries in ChadJapan, and Taiwan working among unreached people groups. LBIM is the international mission sphere of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren in North America.

Daily Prayer Note

  • Taiwan

    May 24
    Andrew and Kris Larsen ask prayer for their daughter Noelle's neighbor friend Liyun who has been attending church. Pray for other Christians who are also reaching out to this family. Happy 11th birthday Isaak!

House of Hope

Ishinomaki, Japan

 

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron…

Psalm 107:15-16

 

Following is a general timeline of activities leading up to God’s provision of this house and unexpected parking facilities. The House of Hope will be used as a community center for special events and eventually as a meeting place for the church plant.

  • December 2013 – Dean and Linda Bengtson meet with the owner of a damaged house near them but he said NO religious activities could be held there. A coffee-drinking relationship began.

  • May 2014 – work began on house even though there was no guarantee of reaching an agreement

  • Many delays

  • October-November 2014 – many cups of coffee, raw fish and talking through the rough draft of a rental agreement

  • December 2014 – signed rental agreement
  • December 2014 – the owner of the empty lot across the street is allowing the use of the lot for parking in exchange for maintaining the property
  • January 2015, yet another unexpected provision – one of the neighbors the Bengtsons befriended and helped after the tsunami, moved to Sendai and don’t plan to return to Ishinomaki. Out of the blue they called to tell them that they wanted to donate their land (the size of two house lots). These lots could be used for additional parking.

This has been a long and sometimes discouraging process but God has been faithful. He has sent volunteers to work and to get to know and encourage neighbors in order for them to feel comfortable to come to activites and concerts as tools to draw people to himself.

Dean and Linda write, “God is never too early or too late. And it is ONLY by his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds that stubborn ‘walls’(both literal and figurative) begin to fall.”

 

Continue to pray that this ministry will be a “beacon of hope” to the neighborhood and beyond.

Matthew Rogness

 
Glimpse Project 2.0

November 10-21, 2014 LBIM has provided the Glimpse Project to give individuals and congregations a glimpse into life and ministry in the countries and people groups where we serve. A team, that includes Dan, Micah and Troy, will travel to Chad to film the next installment. We hope to have the finished product in the first quarter of 2015.

  • Micah is a videographer, living and working in New York City. Micah has directed, filmed and produced the Glimpse Project for LBIM in Taiwan, Japan and Chad. He will do the same for us in Chad again.
  • Troy is the Acting Director of Communication and Prayer for the Church of the Lutheran Brethren. It is natural for him to be an integral part of a communication of ministry projects like the one we envision.
  • Dan serves LBIM and the CLB as Mission Mobilizer and Recruiter. He will lead this team to Chad and has done all of the ground work to ensure that this project can be filmed.

Pray for:

  • good interactions with those they visit with and interview.
  • safety in their air travel and protection on the roads.
  • their families back here in the States, especially those with young children.

 

 
Pastoral Care for our Missionaries

We praise God that Randy and Betsy Mortenson have accepted the call as the Pastoral Care Team to Japan and Taiwan and Joel and Marybeth Nordtvedt to Chad. This ministry is part-time in addition to their full-time ministry.

Randy and Betsy have lived in Mayville, ND, since October 2006. Randy serves as pastor at Ebenezer Lutheran Brethren Church. Betsy is involved in music ministry and a moms group and also works part-time at the local elementary school. They have three children: Kyra (11), Colby (8) and Trevor (7).

As a pastor, Randy’s passion is preaching and teaching the Word of God. He loves to see people take root in God’s Word and grow in their knowledge and love of Jesus Christ. Betsy has a heart for nurturing people’s relationships through prayer, especially their primary relationships: with Jesus, with their spouse, with their children and with their brothers and sisters in Christ.

Prior to coming to Mayville, Randy served as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy for almost eight years. His first tour was as a destroyer squadron chaplain in San Diego, during which he deployed for six months to the Persian Gulf. His second tour was in Okinawa, Japan, where he and Betsy lived for three years.

Randy graduated from Lutheran Brethren Seminary in 1996. He and Betsy have enjoyed serving the Lord in ministry and seeing God work through his word and his people throughout the world.

Joel and Marybeth are currently living in the Phoenix, AZ, area where they will work with International Students, Inc. They will be working with international graduate students. For the past five years, Joel has served as the Regional Pastor for the Central Region. Previously he has served as Director of North American Missions and as the President of Lutheran Brethren Seminary.

The Nordtvedts served with LBIM for twenty years in Taiwan where their ministry focus was with the Hakka people. Because of Joel and Marybeth’s love of their Lord and Savior and their faithful full-time involvement in a variety of ministries, they are uniquely gifted for this ministry. Joel and Marybeth have three adult children: Micah, Annalise and David.

Both of these couples are excited to be part of the LBIM team and look forward to supporting our missionaries as they reach out with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Join us in praying for these couples.

Matthew Rogness

 
The Claiming of Ishinomaki

Jesus said in Matthew 28:19 to, “Go and make disciples of all the nations...” Carol and I were to Japan recently and have been honored to be a small part of a unique move of God that is moving through many individuals and ministries in Ishinomaki.

Most notably, Dean and Linda Bengtson have found the center of many hearts that are empty of Jesus’ love, lost in their personal lives of financial and personal ruin, while finding that they have no answers in natural man. In this place of disaster, they are part of a new army of Christians who are bringing Christ's love to them: person to person.

It seems that all the prayers, all the years of consistent and persistent ministry is bearing fruit through the aftermath of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami of 3/11/11. Friendship evangelism at the highest levels are causing the people to say, “We have heart pain,” and to ask, “Why is it just the Christians who are still helping us?” These are openings the faithful have been crying out to the Lord to prepare the Japanese hearts ever since our attention has been on the mission to Japan after WWII.

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