Training leaders to share God’s ‘ai’

Posted on June 18, 2011 by Global Mission Support

Ted and Janey Zimmerman are ELCA missionaries in Hong Kong.

"Ai" is the Chinese character for "love."

"Ai" is the Chinese character for "love."

Dear friends,

“Ai” is the Chinese character for God’s love. I hear seminary graduates preach about God’s love when I attend Forever Grace Lutheran Church on the second floor of a crowded building. I hear about “ai” when I attend Abundant Grace Lutheran Church on the fourth floor of a huge apartment complex. I hear about “ai” again in the Sunday school lessons at Peace Lutheran Church up on the third floor of an old, weary apartment building.

It does not matter where one meets to worship; the message of God’s amazing love surrounds action and relationships. I think if Miss Hui and her sister, who are rearing their 7-year-old nephew plus working full time. They always bring their elderly mother to church and spend their Sundays with their church fellowship. I think of Mr. Tang who works at Hong Kong’s water facility and was the lay leader of the congregation during some difficult transitions. I think of Ms. Leung, who was in tears on Mother’s Day because her child had been taken from her many years ago. I think of Mrs. Jung, who at 88 is the best-dressed person at church and a leader of the congregation. She and family members were on the front page of the newspaper a couple months ago because of their caring contributions to the community. The list continues as it does in your own congregations among those whom we grow to love.

Ted and I feel blessed to see seminary graduates in action leading congregations like the three just mentioned. Plus, Ted has the joyful call to participate at the seminary’s preparation of others called to the ministry and church service in Hong Kong and other parts of the world. This year, about 80 students  graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary (LTS) and 14 from the evening lay person’s school on June 5.

Thank you for your encouragement as Ted continues to teach New Testament at LTS and helps develop church leaders to share “ai,” God’s amazing love for us.

Janey and Ted Zimmerman