Orientation equips 18 overseas missionaries for service

New overseas missionaries — who will be serving in 11 countries — pose for a group photo with LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, center, during the June 13-24 orientation at the Synod's International Center in St. Louis. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)

New overseas missionaries — who will be serving in 11 countries — pose for a group photo with LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, center, during the June 13-24 orientation at the Synod’s International Center in St. Louis. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)

By Jane Haas

“God equips the called!”

Jamielynn Tinkey used those words when Reporter asked about her two weeks of orientation for the new, worldwide missionaries at the LCMS International Center June 13-24 here. “Nothing is impossible with God’s help,” she added.

Tinkey is one of 18 missionaries, their five spouses and nine children who spent time with Synod leaders learning more about their upcoming overseas service and building relationships with one another.

“The missionary orientation provided a network of support for each of us that will help in our service wherever we go,” the registered nurse affirmed. She praised the orientation team led by the Rev. Dr. Edward Grimenstein and Christian Boehlke of the LCMS Office of International Mission for providing solid foundations for the group in the areas of theology, communications, mission advancement and women’s care. The new missionaries — who will be relocating to 11 countries — learned about health care, business expenses, fundraising, visual storytelling, cultural adaptation, cross-cultural theology/life/communication, the “mission from the cross” and more.

In his sermon during the June 24 Service of Sending, LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison said the “mission task” of the missionaries is “exactly the same” as John the Baptist: to use their mouths and fingers to speak of — and point to — God’s mercy, going “before the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of the salvation to His people in the forgiveness of their sins.”

Missionaries, Harrison said, “are active. They go. They visit. They take the Gospel. They point people to Jesus. … You go out with the Word of God … and that Word of God will accomplish its purposes as you read it, as you study it, as you preach it, as you speak it to those around you.”

There will be times, Harrison added, that “you will be afraid … as you go far away, to different and challenging places,” but “the Lord knows every hair on your head” and “He will take care of you. You need not fear anything.”

Showing mercy in the Dominican Republic

Tinkey, one of the five newest GEO (Globally Engaged in Outreach) missionaries, will be serving two years as a nurse/health and hygiene care specialist in the Dominican Republic, working alongside the Rev. Ted Krey, regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Deaconess Christel Neuendorf, who has served in the DR for six years.

New missionary Jamielynn Tinkey says she is excited to be serving two years as a nurse in the Dominican Republic. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)

New missionary Jamielynn Tinkey says she is excited to be serving two years as a nurse in the Dominican Republic. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)

“I’m excited about this partnership,” Tinkey said, “as I’ll literally be walking alongside Ted and Christel and other local health-care specialists as a sister in Christ to bring Jesus’ love to the people there.”

One of the six mission priorities of the LCMS Office of International Mission is “mercy work,” which includes medical services such as nursing. Synod and Latin American church leaders share a goal to train pastors, deaconesses, missionaries and lay leaders how to show mercy and share the Good News of Jesus and His love with the people of Latin America.

“I’m excited about this nursing challenge ahead of me,” Tinkey said, “and can’t wait to see what possibilities God has for us to help children and families through local health clinics and health-education events! I look forward to helping children and grownups with disabilities through mercy-centered care, too.”

Tinkey will be based in Santiago, the second-largest city in the DR and the fourth-largest city in the Caribbean.

The LCMS has had a missionary team based in Santiago for 10 years. Three churches in the city partner with the LCMS for worship services, and five more churches are scattered throughout the island. The ministry also includes two schools and a new training center-seminary that prepares pastors and deaconesses.

As she looks forward to going and telling Jesus’ love in the Dominican Republic, Tinkey trusts that “God has already provided what we need, and He is always with us.”

A music ministry in Papua New Guinea

Longtime church musicians Dr. Martin Dicke and his wife, Marie, will serve as musicians/educators in Papua New Guinea, part of the Asia Region of the LCMS.

“The model of using music to teach the faith was set for us by Martin Luther,” Dr. Dicke explained. “After translating the New Testament into German, the language of the people he served, Luther focused on developing worship resources and writing songs and hymns in the vernacular.”

During the Reformation, Luther wrote many hymns — both words and music, all of which point to Jesus and proclaim God’s mercy, and he recruited others to do the same. As in their past service to the church, the Dickes say they will “continue to proclaim God’s Word and Jesus’ redemptive work for us through music — no matter what the language. That is our vocation.”

Dr. Martin and Marie Dicke, right, are congratulated by LCMS Office of International Mission staff during the June 24 Service of Sending for new overseas missionaries. The Dickes will serve as musicians/educators in Papua New Guinea. (LCMS/Frank Kohn)

Dr. Martin and Marie Dicke, right, are congratulated by LCMS Office of International Mission staff during the June 24 Service of Sending for new overseas missionaries. The Dickes will serve as musicians/educators in Papua New Guinea. (LCMS/Frank Kohn)

Martin will teach worship and music at Timothy Lutheran Seminary and help update and develop worship resources in local languages. Together, the couple will lead workshops for musicians of the 500 or so congregations of the Gutnius Lutheran Church and, as time allows, bring more music into the Lutheran schools.

Marie says she is excited to gather together the mothers, grandmothers and children in the remote mountainous area where they will be based to share Jesus’ love through music and educational activities.

“Bonding with the children and their parents will be one of my priorities,” she told Reporter. She has served in the past as a preschool teacher, and most recently as an early childhood music educator.

Martin was born and raised in Papua New Guinea — the son of an LCMS business manager, Edward Dicke, and his wife, Phyllis, a nurse — and returned to the United States at age 16. Now that he is going back, he will seek to better understand the local languages and find ways to clearly share the Gospel through music — a universal language.

“God loves music and uses it throughout Scripture to proclaim what He has done,” Martin says. “Job tells us that right after Creation the morning stars sang together” (Job 38:6-7). “Martin Luther reminds us that the prophets sang their prophecies to the people. The Apostle John reveals that the redeemed will sing the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb eternally” (Revelation 15).

“Let’s join the Eternal Song as we praise and thank God for His marvelous deeds!”

Jane Haas (janehaas7@gmail.com), a retired Lutheran day-school teacher and curriculum editor, is a member of Abiding Savior Lutheran Church in St. Louis.

Posted June 29, 2016

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