Groh, Mehl begin work as missions directors

LCMS World Mission has filled two of its four new regional director positions.
Dr. Jorge Groh and Rev. John Mehl began work in January as regional directors for Latin America and Eurasia, respectively.  Their responsibilities include working with LCMS mission partners and partner church bodies to set mission priorities, develop strategies and evaluate the Synod’s mission work and involvement in those world areas.

The mission board is still seeking regional directors for Africa and Asia.  In the meantime, Rev. Kenneth Greinke, who was the board’s area secretary for Africa and the Middle East from 1996 until his retirement in 2002, is serving as interim regional director for Africa, and Rev. David Birner, associate executive director of the board’s international mission team, is overseeing work in Asia.

Groh, a native of Argentina, most recently served as associate pastor of St.groh Luke Lutheran Church in Ottawa, Ontario, working with Spanish-speaking people.  He received a doctorate in cross-cultural missions from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, in 1989, and served 10 years as a professor at Concordia Seminary in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  He also served as the seminary’s president from 1992 to 1994.

Mehl, a native of Lexington, Mo., has served LCMS World Mission since 1993, first, as an evangelistic missionary and church planter in Moscow, Rumehlssia, and most recently, as area director for the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltics.  He is a 1985 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and former pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lincoln, Kan.

Groh and Mehl “bring a wealth of missionary experience to the regional director positions and a sensitivity to relationships with partner churches,” said Birner.  “We give thanks to God for their willingness to accept this challenge to serve as regional directors, and we pray that God will bless their work among us.”

Posted Jan. 30, 2004

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