Rev. Micah & Robin Wildauer
Togo and West Africa
Dear Fellow resurrected believers in Christ,
A blessed celebration of our Lord Jesus’ resurrection from our family in Togo to you and your household. We are continuing to enjoy our celebration here with our brothers and sisters in the faith.
Easter here does not borrow the ancient Germanic title "Easter" but instead keeps the Eastern usage of the word "Pascal." Thus the title of our celebration harkens to the Pascal Feast of the Passover now fulfilled in Christ, the day when He passed over from death to life and our sins are passed over on account of His blood.
He is risen indeed! His death and resurrection is the heart of why we serve here in Togo. For if Christ has not been raised, then our mission is in vain, and we would be among all the most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, therefore we have hope of eternal life. The tombs of this world offer death and grief, but His empty tomb grants life and salvation. It is this hope which we joyfully share with you and our brothers and sisters in the faith throughout Francophone Africa. And this word expresses our hope best: Alleluia!
Thank you again for your prayers and support. Christ's peace be yours in abundance,
Rev. Micah Wildauer & Family
LCMS Missionary--Theological Educator, Dapaong, Togo
Rev. Todd Roeske
Coordinator of Ministries:
Alaska Mission for Christ
Learning Native Culture Can be a Bit of a Competition
Aaron Spratt, AMC Missionary, Juneau/Southeast Alaska
It started out as a passing glance as I mindlessly scrolled through my Facebook feed. What caught my eye was the dramatic image of a young man in a dynamic and competitive pose. As if suspended by invisible cables, the man had one foot thrusting high in the air — straining to kick a small ball hanging on a string. The title simply read “Native Youth Olympics” and superimposed on the image was a list of events for the two-day competition.
I quickly checked the dates and discovered that the first day of competition was already passed, but there was still one more day. So I excitedly told my three oldest sons, “Boys, we have plans tomorrow!”
As we entered the local gymnasium, I expected to be greeted with some suspicious apprehension. I wondered if I was welcomed to this traditional competitive events. Was I being rude by bringing my sons to see this spectacle?
My fears were quickly put to rest as we approached the registration table. We were met with big smiles and enthusiastic greetings. What they asked us next caught me completely off guard, “Are you guys here to compete?” Compete? I was just hoping that quietly sitting in the stands wouldn’t cause offense, now you want us to be part or your games?! I quickly and politely responded that we were not familiar with the events and would be declining their gracious offer. They met my humble decline to their invitation with an enthusiastic, “Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to compete!”
I looked at my boys and smiled, “Boys, I guess you guys are going to compete!” Immediately a throng of volunteers gave my boys a crash course on the events. They helped them with technique and explained the rules. And after that, they were off to compete.
What we had initially thought would be a great way to observe native culture quickly turned into participating in native culture. The boys made quick friends with their fellow competitors and that trip has made a lasting impact!
Understanding a different culture can be difficult. That difficulty can be multiplied when we approach these people and their customs with preconceived notions. Being invited into their traditional games was a transformative experience. As we enter into isolated villages and different cultures, may we be open to new experiences and ready to learn and observe.
Serving God consists of serving others. As Christians we engage our community and understand the surrounding culture. The fun and games in that gymnasium serve to build relationships. As we are invited into another culture, may we have eyes and ears focused on service and love — a love centered on Jesus Christ’s love for us.