From the Worldwide Faith News archives

LCMS: Team explores possible work in Afghanistan

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Fri, 21 Jun 2002 07:38:35 -0700

The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod
Board for Communication Services

LCMSNews -- No. 35
June 19, 2002

Team explores
possible work
in Afghanistan

On the heels of its two-week fact-finding trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan, 
a missions survey team is suggesting ways The Lutheran Church--Missouri 
Synod can assist the people of those two countries.

The May 10-26 trip was sponsored by LCMS World Mission to 3assess the 
opportunities for establishing mission work2 in the countries, according to 
Dr. Allan Buckman, director for world areas with LCMS World Mission.  The 
three-member team visited schools and refugee camps, among other sites, and 
spoke with representatives of Protestant mission agencies and with 
government officials.

As a result of the on-site survey, Synod mission leaders are discussing how 
the Synod might provide, for example, English-as-a-second-language 
training, school supplies and tuition assistance for those who cannot 
afford to attend Christian schools, job training and equipment, shoes and 
other humanitarian aid, and healthcare and medical services.

Members of the exploratory team were Rev. John Duitsman, area director for 
East Africa with LCMS World Mission; Rev. Bob Smith, an LCMS educator 
serving in Indonesia; and Nazifa Atmar, a former Afghan refugee who is now 
an LCMS member in Nashville, Tenn.

Atmar, who served as translator and spoke to Afghan women and educators 
about their needs, was an invaluable part of the three-member team, 
according to Buckman.

3It enabled us to communicate much more effectively with key information 
sources in Afghanistan than it would have had it been necessary to find an 
interpreter on the spot,2 Buckman said.  3Her understanding of our mission 
and her commitment to our vision was indispensable.2

During a visit to an elementary school in Afghanistan, teachers told 
survey-team members 3just having us there gave them hope,2 said Smith.


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