Photo: Deborah overlooks the Akaki River in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. About 1 mile downstream from this bridge the river runs alongside Mekane Yesus Seminary where we live and work.
Our February newsletter is available for download.
Photo is of meeting between LCMS President Matthew Harrison and Dr. Al Collver (Assistant to the President for Church Relations) and the Management Committee of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus. Carl and Deborah were able to attend the meetings.
Rebecca and Scott are now together in the Ft.Wayne, Indiana area. Rebecca is in her deaconess internship year serving at a Lutheran camp and also at a Lutheran congregation. Scott is continuing his education at Concordia Theological Seminary in the S.T.M. program while also serving as the student editor of Concordia Theological Quarterly journal.
Many thanks to all family who helped us, and especially to Pastor Wieting, the ladies and youth group of Luther Memorial who helped with planning, setup and take-down for two receptions and the dance in the gym. It was a very blessed event! May God bless Rebecca and Scott!
The Monday after the wedding (Aug. 12) Carl, Deborah and Ted drove to Missouri to spend the night with Grandparents David and Carol Roth, and see Uncle Jim Roth in Jackson, Missouri. Brother Dan Roth and children Kenny and Karma were already there. We enjoyed a nice evening together. After getting Ted a smartphone for communication on Tuesday, we traveled to Concordia, Missouri where Ted would start boarding high school at St. Paul Lutheran High School. That week in Concordia included sports physical, dentist and orthodontist appointments for Ted. We were blessed with great and quick care. In fact, the orthodontist (Ted’s third) saw that the work had progressed far enough to remove the dental appliances and finish with only a retainer. Ted is thrilled! Ted is doing cross-country as a sport and taking the standard freshman courses.
After all these exciting events, another one occurred on August 31. Our son James asked Miss Megan Frisque to marry him. She accepted and we look forward to adding another daughter-in-law. Megan just graduated from the Lutheran Teacher Program of Concordia University Wisconsin and she is starting her first year as a called LCMS Lutheran teacher in Milwaukee. James continues his training in Virginia. They have yet to set a date for their wedding.
So within the span of Easter 2012 when Paul and Stacy got engaged (married December 16, 2012) through the engagement of Rebecca and Scott (in April 2013) and their marriage on August 10, 2013 to now the engagement of Megan and Jim, we have added three more children to our family. We thank the Lord and ask Him to guide and protect them.
Higher Education Leadership and Management from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virgina. So proud of you, Deb! Carl
(Photo from is from a restaurant in Milwaukee, WI while we were in the U.S. in August.)
2nd Largest Lutheran Church In World Asks LCMS for Pastoral Training Assistance to Help Reach 30 Million People (updated with video)
In our last newsletter (May 2013) I mentioned that our work was changing from work at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Pretoria, South Africa to work in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Many details are becoming more clear and I would like to share some.
The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY – “Mekane Yesus” means “Place of Jesus”) is a church with an estimated 6 million members. It is the 2nd largest Lutheran church in the world, after the Church of Sweden, and growing by leaps and bounds – several 100,000 new members for a number of years in a row.
Historically the church was not planted by LCMS missionaries, but by missionaries from various European Lutheran churches as well as from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. However, the theological position of sanctioning and promoting same-sex marriage of some of its historic partners have caused EECMY to break fellowship, specifically with the Church of Sweden and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. EECMY contacted the LCMS to invite us to assist them in reaching the goal of training 12,000 more pastors in the next five years, 2013-2018.
The EECMY trains pastors at a number of levels at a number of institutions. There is one central seminary in the capital, Mekane Yesus Seminary (MYS). It has about 600 residential students and many more non-resident students. Some are in pastoral training in the School of Theology, some in musical training in the School of Jazz, and some in leadership training in the College of Leadership and Management. MYS is accredited at the bachelor’s level for theology and for its leadership and management programs. In addition, it has a bachelor’s degree program in Christian-Muslim relations. MYS also has about 1500 students in its TEE pastoral training program in many groups around the country. There is also a newly started distance education program with about 1000 students throughout the country.
LCMS Asked to Assist EECMY in Its Outreach Ministry
Some pundits have suggested that mission work is no longer happening in the LCMS or in other Biblical churches, but this is certainly not the case in Africa. Mission work may be changing from how some Americans sometimes think of mission work, but mission is certainly happening now in the LCMS. Fellow Lutherans around the world who have a high view of Scripture desire mutual encouragement and ministry. Graduate and post-graduate levels of training for pastors and other church workers is highly valued. Some can be trained in our LCMS seminaries in the US, but not all. And why should all be trained in the US? With Africa now having over 20 million Lutheran church members, African Lutherans are saying they need training in their own countries so that they can be leaders in their own churches and around the world. We thank the Lord!
Not all details of our work are clearly known at this point. Visas and work permits must be obtained. Learning about a Lutheran church we have previously had little contact with is very interesting, but also complex. (For example, the LCMS has 2.4 million members, the EECMY has 6 million members. The LCMS has 2 seminaries, the EECMY has six seminaries!) The EECMY does have some doctrinal differences with the LCMS – we are not in pulpit and altar fellowship at this time – but these brothers and sisters in Christ have asked our assistance in training their pastors and church workers, and the Lord Jesus is opening doors.
Please pray for continued resources for LCMS missionaries and professors from both LCMS seminaries (St. Louis and Ft. Wayne) to assist the EECMY. Please pray that the openness, wisdom and foresight of leaders in the synod including President Harrison, other synodical officials, district presidents and LCMS Office of International Missions continue as they have with the power of the Holy Spirit.
In future posts and newsletters, I will give more details as I learn them and understand them better. Keep us in your prayers, that the Lord give us His wisdom, patience and strength. His is a mighty salvation in Christ Jesus, we all are His servants.
Photos from April 2013 Visit to Mekane Yesus Seminary
Our April-May newsletters is available. Download directly here or go to our Newsletter Page. (If you have not signed up for automatic notification of our newsletter, you are invited to sign up on our newsletter page.)
- Deaconess class visits Lutheran Hour Ministry in South Africa and their prison ministry; teach Sunday School and other activities.
- Rockrohrs to start work in Ethiopia.
Thanks for your interest and support!
ALSO, rockrohr.net is now “mobile friendly.” The site automatically detects whether a smart phone (iOS, Android, etc.) is using the site and gives a simplified touch interface. Email us easily from it. Let me know how it works for you! Carl