Darin Storkson and the Rev. Dr. Timothy Quill began serving July 1 in new positions with the Synod’s Office of International Mission.
Storkson, 45, who has served since 2005 with LCMS World Relief and Human Care — most recently as Asia director — is now regional director for South Asia. In the new position, he will develop and oversee plans and priorities for LCMS activities and ministries in the region, which includes Australia, Bangladesh, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Other duties include leading and managing all LCMS and locally recruited personnel, maintaining positive relationships with mission partners, and preparing and managing an annual budget to support Lutheran ministries in South Asia.
Storkson called the new post “a challenging and exciting opportunity to be part of the new expansion of LCMS international mission work — an expansion that is welcomed by our partners and that I believe will be enthusiastically supported by our congregations and members.
“It’s always such a privilege to serve our beloved church, and it’s an honor to follow in the footsteps of the great, dedicated LCMS missionaries who have served in years past,” he told Reporter. “I remain in awe of their sacrifices, and I pray that God would grant me the strength and wisdom to overcome my weaknesses in order to serve boldly and selflessly.
“There is such a tremendous need and thirst for the pure Gospel in the region, and the LCMS is well-positioned to apply its wonderful and beautiful confessional theology to the task in partnership with dedicated Lutherans everywhere,” Storkson added. “Churches in the region are looking to us for leadership, and we must respond. This is an exciting time for Lutheranism.”
With the creation of the new position, the Rev. John Mehl, former regional director for Asia, became regional director for East Asia. Mehl will continue to have responsibility for LCMS ministries in Cambodia, China, Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Laos, Macau, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
In addition to Storkson and Mehl, the international mission team includes Dr. Michael Rodewald, regional director for Africa; the Rev. Dr. Brent Smith, regional director for Eurasia; and the Rev. Ted Krey, regional director for Latin America.
Prior to his work with the LCMS, Storkson served as executive director of the Bali Tourism Board, as a delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and as a business-development consultant. While in Bali, he conducted educational and medical ministries in remote villages.
Quill, dean of International Studies and associate professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., also serves as director of Theological Education in a cooperative arrangement with the LCMS Office of International Mission and Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Quill, 61, serves in the new role half-time, while he continues his duties at the seminary half-time — teaching liturgics, homiletics and pastoral theology.
His new responsibilities include working with LCMS partner churches — and with LCMS mission personnel — worldwide to identify ways in which the Synod can contribute to the theological education of partner-church pastors and lay workers.
He also will work with both LCMS seminaries to arrange for the short-term deployment of professors and seminarians to assist overseas church bodies.
“Theological education is indispensable for the church — whether here in America or abroad,” Quill told Reporter. “Lutheran missions must lead to Lutheran churches. Lutheran churches need well-trained pastors who are thoroughly Lutheran in both doctrine and practice. A strong pastorate leads to a strong laity.
“The Apostle Paul makes this point in Eph. 4:12, where he tells us that the ascended Lord Jesus gives the gifts of pastors to His church to ‘build up the body of Christ.’”
God has given the LCMS many gifts, Quill added, “which makes this an opportune time to be involved in theological education around the world.”
Quill received M.Div. and S.T.M. degrees from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1980 and 1993, respectively. In 1996, he received a Masters of Philosophy from Drew University, Madison, N.J., followed by a Ph.D. in 2002.
As director of the Russian Project at Concordia Theological Seminary (CTS) since 1996, Quill has traveled extensively to Russia and the former nations of the Soviet Union; overseen the recruitment of some 40 international students to study at CTS; assisted in the establishment of Lutheran Theological Seminary in Novosibirsk, Siberia; and organized Lutheran seminars in Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Lithuania.
The Rev. Dr. David Birner, interim co-director of the Office of International Mission, said both Quill’s and Storkson’s positions “represent an expansion of our ability to connect the resources of the LCMS to mission opportunities around the world.
“With the addition of the South Asia region, we will build and further extend the global reach of our church body,” Birner said. “Through the addition of an international theological education director, we will be able to offer consistent, high-quality expertise and consultation to both newly formed and well-established Lutheran theological education programs around the world.”
Posted Aug. 11, 2011/Updated Aug. 25, 2011