August 19, 2011
(Jesus said) "And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." Matthew 24:14
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
I was a missionary in Zambia, Africa, working with a small Lutheran church, which had parishes in Zambia and the Congo, which then was known as Zaire. The main task of our missionary organization was -- and still is -- to run the Bible school in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, where we train workers for the church.
During the past two to three decades a lot of people have run away from Zaire because of the unsettled situation of the country. A large percentage of these displaced souls ended up trying to set down roots in neighbouring countries.
We once received a sorrowful letter from Zaire. The epistle told us the mother of one of our students had passed away.
That sadness was doubled by the fact that the mother had died almost a year ago. We knew Zaire was a huge country and -- because of many wars and other problems -- sending a message from one part of the country to another might take time.
But a whole year was too much as the student mourned an event which had long since been past, as he dealt with the knowledge he would never be able to give his mother an earthly farewell, or an "I love you."
At that moment, we all had to deal with the question, "Where can we seek help when a loved one dies?"
The answer is a powerful one, the only one. We receive our comfort and hope from Jesus, who has conquered death.
The knowledge that Jesus died for our sins and rose on the third day so we would be given eternal life is comfort. That is the message which soothed the grieving heart of our student. That is the message we need to spread all over the world.
We need to tell everyone about Jesus, that He loves everyone and wants to bring all of us to heaven.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to do mission work. Help us try to find those who are willing to leave their homeland and go where You send them. Help us support mission work financially so the Gospel will bring the hope of eternal life to many. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's International Daily Devotion was written by Reverend Esa Luomaranta, a pastor in the Lutheran Evangelical Association of Finland; he is a missionary to Zambia.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries