Stories of Faith in Action – Your Offering at Work highlights ELCA ministries that span this country and the globe, some of which illustrate the way challenges can lead to God-given opportunities. You are part of each of these stories – through your faithful, regular offering, a portion of which is used to fund ELCA ministries beyond the congregation, which is called Mission Support. Combined with gifts from other ELCA members, Mission Support advances the work of your congregation, your synod and the work we do as a wider church. Thank you!
Returning Home with a Message of Hope
“The Lutheran church is growing here,” said Mawien Ariik, an ELCA missionary serving in South Sudan. As ethnic conflict abates in the country, ELCA missionaries Ariik and Wal Reat are finding new opportunities to proclaim the gospel.
Getting from place to place is still tough for Reat as he evangelizes in the refugee camps where 1.5 million displaced Sudanese live. Ariik, who facilitates outreach and proclamation in the emerging Lutheran church, encounters many who were wounded by inter-ethnic violence. “It is not bad to have different tribes, but to love others as one body of Christ – it is a big challenge for us to convey that,” he said.
Civil war drove both men to seek asylum in the U.S., where they attended seminary and were ordained as ELCA pastors. After several years pastoring Sudanese congregations in Minnesota, they wanted to share God’s message of grace and forgiveness in their native country. The ELCA called Ariik as a missionary in 2012 and Reat in 2015.
With no worries about their daily living expenses – because ELCA Mission Support covers the majority of their support costs – they can focus more on responding to the gifts and challenges around them. “It is very difficult (work), but I know that the ELCA is my backbone – my prayer support and financial support,” said Reat.
A portion of your offering is used by your synod and the ELCA churchwide organization to support the work of the 240 ELCA missionaries like Ariik and Reat serving in more than 40 countries around the world. For more Stories of Faith in Action, visit www.ELCA.org/Resources/Stories-of-Faith-in-Action