“I never realized 1 John was so rich,” observed Ezra Ngirimo, a fourth-year student at Matongo from South Sudan. Just a few days later, his classmate Benard Mwesigwa from Uganda echoed the sentiment: “I never knew 1 John was so rich.”
It’s little comments like these that make my day as a teacher. I love to hear God’s words as He speaks through the Holy Scriptures, and it brings me great joy when students are touched by these words as I have been, especially when I know that as pastors they will take these joy-filled words and share them enthusiastically in their churches and communities. This is the heart of mission work – sharing the Word of God with people, because it is through the saving news of Jesus Christ that God draws people to Himself.
We’ve recently been studying 1 John in my Catholic Epistles class, and rich is an apt descriptor for the letter. As when a miner first notices a few precious stones on the ground and then discovers a magnificent treasure upon digging deeper, 1 John offers up many memorable jewels in simple words even upon a first reading (“We love because he first loved us.” “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves.” “Whoever has the Son has life.”). As we read the text more carefully and “dig deeper”, however, we discover a wealth of connections to the Gospel of John and the rest of Sacred Scripture, and at the center of it all is always the same thing: Jesus Christ crucified to save sinners.
I realize that it’s not particularly sensational for me to write a newsletter about Bible study, and my photo of a few guys in the midst of such study (see the following page) is probably not going to make the front page news. Nevertheless, God promises that through such lowly, daily activity His kingdom advances. Pastors are trained, they go out and proclaim the Gospel, and the angels rejoice and the devils tremble every time another soul hears and believes. It is a privilege for me to have a part to play in this work; and I am grateful that you have sent me here to do it.
Here is a list of all the speaking engagements we currently have planned for our home service tour this summer. If you are in the area of one of my speaking engagements, please come and visit us!
Clausing Home Service Tour
St. John, Geneseo IL May 22 1:30pm
Zion, Bunker Hill IL May 23 evening
Trinity, Orchard Farm MO May 24 6:30pm
Zion, Harvester MO May 26 5:00pm
Our Savior, St. Charles MO May 27 8:15am
Breeze Park, St. Charles MO May 29 10:00am
Immanuel, St. Charles MO May 30 TBD
Mission Central, Mapleton IA June 2 1:00pm
Redeemer, Sioux City IA June 3 8:15am
St. John, Lincolnville KS June 10 9:45am
Our Redeemer, Herrington KS June 10 5:00pm
Zion, Stillwater OK June 12 6:00pm
Trinity, Cole Camp MO June 14 evening
Trinity, Burlington KS June 17 9:00am
St. John, Aliceville KS June 17 6:00pm
Faith, Warsaw MO June 18 evening
First St. Paul’s, Chicago IL June 20 12:00pm
Holy Cross, O’Fallon MO June 23 5:00pm
Chapel of the Cross, St. Peters MO June 24 8:00am
Chapel of the Cross, St. Peters MO June 25 7:00pm
St. John’s, Peru IN June 27 TBD
Peace, Winghaven MO June 28 7:00pm
Zion, Crosstown MO July 1 7:30am
Salem, Farrar MO July 1 9:00am
Resurrection, Louisville KY July 3 TBD
Peace, Sussex WI July 5 9:00am
St. Paul, Hamel IL July 7 6:00pm
St. Paul, Hamel IL July 8 7:45am
Immanuel, Belvidere IL July 14 6:00pm
Immanuel, Belvidere IL July 15 8:00am
Memorial, Ames IA July 18 6:00pm
Redeemer, Lincoln NE July 21 6:00pm
Redeemer, Lincoln NE July 22 8:30am
St. Johns, Ord NE July 23 6:00pm
Zion, Kearney NE July 24 TBD
Trinity, Blue Hill NE July 25 evening
Faith, Woodland Park CO July 29 9:00am
Our Savior, Pagosa Springs CO Aug 15 evening
Cross, Yorkville IL Aug 18 5:00pm
Cross, Yorkville IL Aug 19 7:45am
TBD: exact time to be determined
Prayer Requests, Praises, and Thanks
Thank God that our oldest son Emil has been accepted and has officially decided to attend Concordia University, Chicago this fall, pursuing a major in animation.
Pray for Emil’s studies and his readjustment to American culture in his new home.
Ask God’s blessing upon all of our family as we travel in the U.S. during the coming months, and as we prepare for transition to a new place upon our return to Africa in August.
Pray for the faithful service of the pastors and deaconesses who are soon to graduate from Neema Lutheran College at Matongo.