Rev. Micah & Robin Wildauer
Togo and West Africa
Greetings to you in our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray that this newsletter reaches you in good health and well-being.
While most of our newsletters address the work which is taking place on the field, we wanted to answer the questions which many have asked in various forms. "Where are you now and how did you get there?" Thus, this newsletter follows our departure from Dapaong to the U.S. due to the pandemic.
Though discussed in the newsletter, this departure will also necessitate a move on the mission field. I'd like to reiterate something here. We are still working with the Office of International Mission (OIM) as a missionary family. Though in the United States due to the virus, we are in conversation with the OIM and considering other options of service abroad. Therefore, we solicit your prayers for discernment and clarity at this time. In the near future, we will update you as a plan is implemented.
I would also like to thank you for the prayers which you have prayed on behalf of my family and for missionaries everywhere. We have been blessed. Also, with many financial gifts, we have been well-supplied during these past few months of waiting and wonder. In a way, the Network Support Model for missionaries has built-in security for situations such as these. I have truly seen the Church in action.
Feel free to pass along this newsletter to others or to have it posted somewhere at your church in total or partial form. You are welcome to take excerpts for your monthly congregational newsletters as well. If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact me.
The Lord's peace be yours in abundance,
Pastor Micah Wildauer & Family
LCMS Missionary for the LCMS--Theological Educator
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.