For our May/June Mission Update, we have asked Pastor Micah Wildauer to share some of what he does on behalf of LCMS Missions in Togo, for the Lutheran Church in Africa. Pastor Wildauer, his wife Robin and their family are currently on furlough, and rejoice in God's blessing at the recent birth of their new daughter, Lydia!
Rev. Micah Wildauer
"Au Nom du Père et du Fils et du Saint-Esprit" (Matthew 28:19b). In March of this year, I had the privilege of baptizing a child by the name of Christ Immanuel in the small town of Dapaong, Togo. His parents are Ivorian and they currently live in Togo as the father studies for three years at the seminary. He is preparing to serve in the Lutheran Church in Africa-Synod of Ivory Coast. On May 11, I baptized my daughter at Mount Olive Lutheran, Milwaukee. The water combined with God's Word and included in God's command has brought these two children into the one baptism of Jesus Christ, even though they are thousands of miles apart and different languages were spoken in the rite.
Along with the bold confession of the Creeds themselves, the Reformers teach us of God's mission when they declare how the righteousness of Christ, established in His death and resurrection nearly 2000 years ago, comes to us today: "That we may obtain this faith, the Ministry of Teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted" (Augsburg Confession, Art. 5). It is here in the ministry that the Holy Spirit works faith in them that hear the Gospel, the very heart of all mission work.
One can ask the simple question, however did the Gospel make it to southern Wisconsin? We are, after all, pretty much considered the ends of the earth in comparison to Jerusalem. Since the days of the Apostles, there have been periods of persecution, monarchies, dictatorships, the rise of Islam, the rise of popery, and the like, all which have attacked the Truth of Jesus Christ.
Yet this working of faith which the Holy Spirit began on Pentecost through the Apostles continues even to this day. They were witnesses of Jesus and proclaimed His salvation even to the point of death (Luke 24:46-48). You have heard their proclamation and believe in His Word. Through the Sacraments administered, you are witnesses of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, for you are in the one baptism for the remission of sins.