Stories from the Global Church

Here you will find stories from the global church by ELCA global missionaries, scholars, and churchwide staff, brought to you by the ELCA Global Church Sponsorship team.

Missionaries reflecting on mission service – Kristopher and Rebecca Hartwig

Posted on January 7, 2012 by Franklin Ishida

Kristopher and Rebecca Hartwig served in Tanzania from 2004 to 2011, though they both had lived there when they were younger. Kristopher is a palliative care/hospice physician by training and Rebecca is a nurse. They both worked with a palliative care home-health team out of Selian Lutheran Hospital, helping terminally ill people with control of their symptoms, emotional and family support, and spiritual care.

To support any of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.

 

Missionaries reflecting on mission service – Marissa and Viking Dietrich

Posted on December 3, 2011 by Franklin Ishida

Viking and Marissa Dietrich served in Senegal from 1992-2009, and Ghana from 2009-2011. Viking’s call to mission service in Senegal was driven by the opportunity to use Christian witness in a Muslim context as a means of fostering community and peaceful relations. He served both international and Senegalese churches, as well as managed a post-literacy project. He also was general secretary for the Joint Christian Ministry in West Africa and later served as Global Mission’s regional representative based in Ghana. Marissa taught in international schools in both countries.

To support any of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.

Missionaries reflecting on mission service – Richard Young

Posted on October 1, 2011 by Franklin Ishida

Prior to becoming a pastor, Richard Young had a full-time private practice of obstetrics and gynecology in Nevada and traveled around the world giving seminars to OB/GYN doctors. After practicing for 14 years, he felt the call to ministry and was ordained. He immediately accepted a call to be a missionary in Guyana as a doctor and a pastor in 2001. Richard is  known for being dedicated to holistic ministry; using health care skills within the context of ministry as a witness and service of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Guyana. He completed service in 2011. 

To support any of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.

Missionaries reflecting on mission service – Bette McCrandall

Posted on September 3, 2011 by Franklin Ishida

Bette McCrandall first went to Liberia in 1973 and later began service as an ELCA missionary in 1984. She was employed as the secretary to the bishop of the Lutheran Church in Liberia and later served as supervisor of schools of the church. She was responsible for up to 46 schools. Bette was in Liberia during the civil war in 1990. At one point, 600 people, who had taken refuge in St Peter’s Lutheran Church in Monrovia, were killed by the armed forces. During this difficult time, Bette endured the same hardships as the Liberian people and supported them through it. Bette retired from mission service in 2011.

To support any of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.

Missionaries reflecting on mission service – Peter Hanson and Sarah Grow

Posted on August 13, 2011 by Franklin Ishida

Sarah and Peter Grow-Hanson’s international service began with Peter’s seminary internship and Sarah’s volunteer service in Morogoro, Tanzania. This experience eventually led them to Senegal in 2001, where Peter was called to serve as the director of the Cultural Center Galle Nanondiral (House of Mutual Understanding), an ELCA-founded center providing a wide variety of community programs to a mostly Muslim population in Dakar. In 2008, Peter began serving directly with the Lutheran Church of Senega as theological advisor for leadership development. Sarah has served as academic coordinator for the School for International Training’s (Vermont) study abroad program in Dakar.

To support any of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.

Missionaries reflecting on mission service – Rebecca Duerst

Posted on March 15, 2011 by Franklin Ishida

Rebecca taught science in Namibia at Oshigambo High School. She did this for a couple years following studies that led to a PhD in molecular biology and immunology as well as a master’s in teaching. For Rebecca, mission service was a way for taking her into the realm of the practical, a way to serving God and church. After her mission service with the ELCA, she began studies in public health in order to further engage in global mission.

Missionaries reflecting on mission service – Paula Powell

Posted on February 15, 2011 by Franklin Ishida

Paula was in South Africa with the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa where she worked with the HIV/AIDS program. She served July 2006 through June 2010. Prior to her service, Paula resided in Greeley, Colorado.

Missionaries reflecting on mission service – Sister Ruth Ellen Rebelein

Posted on January 15, 2011 by Franklin Ishida

Sister Ruth Ellen, an ELCA deaconess, began her service as a teacher in the Senior Flierl Seminary in Logaweng, Papua New Guinea. She has spent the last 12 years as teacher at the Seminary and a voice in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea. Prior to her service with the ELCA Global Mission, Sister Ruth Ellen resided in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania.

Missionaries reflecting on mission service – Benjamin and Margit Coltvet

Posted on December 15, 2010 by Franklin Ishida

The Rev. Dr. Benjamin and Margit were called to served as Pastor of the American Church in Berlin, Germany, in September 2002, where they served until June 2010. Prior to responding to the call to serve in Germany they resided in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Missionaries reflecting on mission service – Marv Kananen and Jean Wahlstrom

Posted on October 25, 2010 by Franklin Ishida

Marv and Jean arrived in Arusha, Tanzania July of 1998. By invitation of the Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, Arusha Diocese, Marv and Jean were called to serve at the Maasae Girl’s Lutheran Secondary School. During Marv and Jean’s 12 years at the school, they served as Teacher and Education Developer and Pastoral Counselor. Prior to heading to Tanzania they resided in Bellevue, Washington.