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.

Fall 2011 ‘Hand in Hand’ newsletter

Posted on September 10, 2011 by Hand In Hand

The fall 2011 edition of the Global Mission Support quarterly newsletter, “Hand in Hand,” is now available to download.

It contains the inspiring story of Fatimata, a young woman in Linguere, Senegal. Fatimata is one of the Fulani people who traditionally identify with Islam.

Bulletin inserts make a handy congregational resource.

Bulletin inserts make a handy congregational resource.

The fall newsletter is now available to download.

The fall newsletter is now available to download.

Through the witness of Senegalese Christians, she became interested in Christianity and attended services, Bible study and baptismal classes. Pastor Dirk Stadlander, an ELCA missionary working with the Lutheran Church of Senegal, eventually baptized Fatimata during Pentecost worship.

The newsletter includes information on the upcoming 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. ELCA missionary Pastor Arden Haug,  directing the ELCA Wittenberg Center, will help to create a welcoming place for Lutherans from around the world in Wittenberg, Germany.  The Wittenberg Center assists visitors in renewing their faith through fellowship, study and worship.

Barbara Hinderlie also reflects on her service in Madagascar. She and her husband, Pastor  Andrew Hinderlie, have recently moved to Tanzania where they are ELCA regional representatives of Eastern Africa.

The individual stories are also available separately as bulletin inserts.

Go to for more information, to read the complete stories and to download your copies of the newsletter and bulletin inserts. For printed copies of the newsletter, contact

To support any of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to




Please remember those suffering in Japan

Posted on March 17, 2011 by Hand In Hand
Nathan and Sharonette Bowman

Nathan and Sharonette Bowman

A message and plea from Nathan and Sharonette Bowman in Japan:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We ask you to join with us in prayer for the many who have suffered loss of loved ones, property and their livelihood as a result of the massive
earthquake that has devastated northern Japan and has left its print on the life of all Japanese.

For Japan, this follows the tragedy of the
Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand, where many Japanese were among the victims.

Please pray for wisdom for the leaders, who will strive to bring the infrastructure back into function.

Please pray for a new longing for God, as people come face to face with their own powerlessness.

Please pray for a compassionate response of neighbor to neighbor, that even through this devastation, relationships could find new meaning, be restored and new relationships built.

We would like to assure you that we are well. We were not directly affected by the terrible earthquake and tsunami. We are on the southern island. Kumamoto faces the East China Sea. We have had some small earthquakes, usually about once or twice a month, and this one was mildly felt here.

We look forward to meeting with as many of you as we are able this summer. May God give you strength as you serve Him faithfully in your community.

In Christ,
Nathan & Sharonette Bowman

Fall 2010 Hand in Hand newsletter online and in print

Posted on July 26, 2010 by Hand In Hand

Find the issue and its related bulletin inserts online at E-mail to request distribution copies.

The Fall 2010 issue of the Hand in Hand newsletter is here!  Visit to find the issue and the related bulletin inserts, just right to reproduce in newsletters and bulletins.  To request a single copy for yourself or multiple copies to distribute, send your address to  

Side A 

Jesus said, “Let the little children come unto me,” is a reflection by ELCA missionary Mary Kuck (Jamaica).  Bulletin insert available

Meet Richard Young: ELCA Missionary, Pastor, Physician (Guyana). Bulletin insert available

Side B

“I need to polish the swan!”  Pastor Twila Shock’s column takes us to Suriname, introduces us to Helloues Aveloo’s congregation revitalization contribution, and invites us to “do one thing” that will make a world of difference:  become an ELCA missionary covenant sponsorBulletin insert available

Learn how to participate in Operation Thanks-Giving (OT-G2) and offer your own “random acts of thanks-giving.”  Two bulletin inserts are available, including a “handy”  thanks-giving card pattern.  Visit to find OT-G2 stories, pictures, and how-to information.

Summer HiH, cont.

Posted on March 23, 2010 by Hand In Hand

E-mail to request copies of the newsletter to distribute.

  The flip side of the Summer 2010 issue of the Hand in Hand newsletter continues in the Pentecost spirit:

**The Rev. Twila Schock, ELCA Global Mission Support director and student pilot, gives thanks for “lift and grounding” (Acts 2:2).

**We’re seeking sponsors for Dr. Ruth Goehle, missionary physician and international health consultant, who is returning to service to assist the Lutheran Churches of Southern Africa (LUCSA) provide health programs.  Sponsors are especially needed from Arkansas-Oklahoma, Northwest Synod of Wisconsin, and Upstate New York.  Learn more about ELCA Missionary Sponsorship at

**Two photos are featured on this side:  the group picture of the 2009-2010 Young Adults in Global Mission and a photo by ELCA missionary Sarah Stadtlander of women in Senegal preparing their evening meal.

Find the complete Summer 2010 issue and related bulletin inserts online at or call 800-638-3522, ext. 2969 to request one or many copies.

Spring is here

Posted on February 15, 2010 by Hand In Hand

The Spring 2010 issue of the Hand in Hand newsletter is off press and online.   Request copies of the one-page newsletter to distribute in your congregation, at synod assemblies, and for other events (, 800-638-3522, ext. 2657).  Two of the articles are available in reproducible formats to share in Sunday bulletins and newsletters; find them at  

In this issue

  • ELCA missionary Patricia Bentsen offers a devotion on Matthew 25:36 that lifts up the Tsiafahy prison ministry in Madagascar (available as a bulletin insert).
  • Questions such as “How is ELCA Global Mission funded?” and “When will the new Global Mission Annual be available?” are answered in “101 long-term missionaries and other answers” (available as a bulletin insert).
  • In her director’s column, the Rev. Twila Schock highlights ELCA missionary the Rev. John Lunn and his medical ministries in Liberia and Southern India.

Coming up 

The Summer 2010 issue of the Hand in Hand newsletter is scheduled to be “in hand” on April 24.