Thursday, January 7, 2010

meyer mission news

#1: Pastor John Lebbie and family in Boindu, Sierra Leon

#2 Village women cooking rice in Boindu

#3Tombodu school children and adults in a training session

#4Daniel Yarjah, Delano & Alex Lansana teaching “Changes in the
Environment”. Both Daniel & Alex taught this session with a bit of
coaching in following sessions.

#5 Pastor Daniel showing us the field of rice that the Gbandakadu
congregation has given to him and the two assistant pastors for the
support of their families. While some sit and cry for help, others
serve, work and sweat along side their people.

#6: Pastor John Lebbie and family in Boindu, Sierra Leone

Different Kinds of Gifts
January 2010
Dear Friends:
2010 is here! Certainly we each might reflect upon what has happened
in the last year or two and ask, “What will happen in 2010?” Many
changes seem to be coming and we older folks possibly wish things
were more like they used to be. Among the uncertainties, we can be
confident. As St. Paul writes in Romans 8: 38-39, “For I am
convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height nor
depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Rewards at the end of the road In December 09 we were anxious to
make our last visit to the Kono District of Sierra Leone where we
planned to do agricultural training in 4 locations. There was joy and
a bit of anxiety for us in the opportunity to teach in Boindu, a new
location for us in the extreme eastern edge of Sierra Leone next to
the Guinea border. An older lady in Boindu said through an
interpreter that Linda and I were the second white people she had
ever seen in her village. The first white person she had ever seen
was Rev. Tim Heiney, who is a fellow LCMS missionary.

Heading for Boindu we carried with us leaders of the Christ
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sierra Leone (CELCSL). Leadership
planned to use our trip to carry some key leaders to Boindu who could
help organize the Boindu area churches and bring them into better
communication with CELCSL.

Boindu is isolated from the rest of Sierra Leone by a difficult
mountain road. The 34 miles took us 5 ½ hours, an average speed of
6.2 miles per hour; most of the time we were in four wheel drive and
shifted into low range. We have a high/low transfer case on our
little Ford Ranger. As we felt some anxiety it was a good time to
recall advice from Phil. 4: 6-7. “Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present
your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all
understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Reception in Boindu was very warm and hospitable with the first
morning training session on Management of the Harvest drawing more
than 100 people from Boindu and surrounding villages. There were 70
people present for the second day of training.

The reason there are Lutheran Churches in the Boindu area is because
Rev. Heiney trained a layman by the name of John Lebbie during the
Sierra Leone civil war. John Lebbie and many others came to know
about Jesus Christ while in refugee camps in Guinea. What a joy to
see that God’s Word is spreading into areas of Sierra Leone.

Reflecting upon how our Lord builds His Church, we are reminded of 1
Corinthians 12: 4&5, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the
same Spirit. There are different kinds of service; but the same
Lord.” We saw churches established by those trained by missionaries,
leaders who faithfully continued serving the Lord and teaching what
they knew, members opened their homes for us, others fed us,
leadership went to encourage and reinforce the local church
leadership. We certainly saw the church body at work. 1 Corinthians
12:12, “The body is a unit made up of many parts; and though its
parts are many, they form one body.” 1 Corinthians 12: 27, “Now you
are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” Even
as we report to you about what we saw others doing and our small part
in being there too, Linda and I want to encourage each of you to see
your part in “The Body of Christ” and seek ways to serve Him in 2010.

Encouragement at Gbandakudu Part of what we as agricultural
missionaries work toward is financial independence of the national
churches. When mission churches start under missionaries, there is a
tendency to rely upon the mission for everything including money.

After completing our second day of training at Gbandakudu in the
Gbensi Chiefdom, Pastor Daniel Yarjah said that they wanted to show
us their rice swamp. The fields were ripening, and the rice
generally looked very good. Daniel explained that the congregation
had given him that plot of land to have as his own and thus be able
to support himself and his family. I asked, “Do you also work in the
rice fields?” His reply brought joy to my heart!! “Yes”, he said,
“We all work on the fields together.” Here was proof that the
members of national churches are able to support their pastors.
Pastors and members sweating together as they till, plant and harvest
in a rice field is a God-pleasing activity!

Daniel went on to explain that the congregation has also given fields
to two assistant pastors. They also work side by side in these
fields. Is there some symbolism in this picture as we consider our
Lord’s Harvest Fields?

Mentoring leaders Another important focus of our work has been
mentoring leaders to take over teaching in agricultural training that
is still very much needed in Africa. We have been very blessed to
have a few gifted and dedicated men working with us over the years.
During our sessions in Kono, we were thankful to have two men, Daniel
Yarjah and Alex Lansana work with us and be able to actually take
over the training sessions with just a little coaching from us.
Truly a joy for us to see, as we realize, with retirement getting
nearer, we may not be going back to the Kono District again.
Ephesians 4:11-13, “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to
be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and
teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service…”

Thank God for positive support of national pastors by their members.
Thank God for leaders who are willing trainers of their own members.
Pray for safety, strength and health during our teaching trip to
Uganda in mid January.

Thank you to all who have contributed gifts “for the support of
Delano and Linda Meyer.” Address (without our name on envelope) to:
LCMS World Mission, 1333 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63122-7295.
Inside the envelope designate your gift for us on the check or in a

To contribute to our LCMS World Relief & Human Care project,
“Agricultural Training in West Africa”, designate & send checks to
LCMS World Relief and Human Care, 1333 S. Kirkwood Rd, St. Louis, MO

We wish you a blessing filled 2010!
Delano and Linda Meyer

C/O Travis Torblaa, LCMS World Mission, 1333 S. Kirkwood Road, St.
Louis, MO 63122-7295

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