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Antsirabe Blind School


On Wednesday, 16 October 2013, Drs. Collver and Quill visited the Antsirabe Blind School operated by the Malagasy Lutheran Church (FLM).

The blind boy pictured above is working on arithmetic. The girl in the lower corner when asked the question, “When asked who is Jesus?” She answered, “Jesus is the Son of God.” The school makes a point of teaching the Small Catechism to the children.


This little blind girl is just now learning how to communicate. When she arrived at the school she knew no words. Now she can name the parts of her body: head, ears, mouth, et al., and her ball.


One problem the Antsirabe Blind School is the lack of resources. Formerly the school was supported by the Norwegians, but recently the Norwegian government cut the aid to the school because it teaches Christianity. If the school agrees to stop reaching religion, they could continue to receive aid. Pictured above is maize, which is the food eaten by the poorest of the poor in Madagascar. The children are frequently hungry.


On the left, some boys are washing their hands before lunch. On the right is pictured the kitchen which uses a wood stove to cook the corn.


Our interpreter and sometimes English teacher for the blind school and another teacher at the blind school.


Here is a view of Antsirabe from the hill overlooking the city.

Both Drs. Collver and Quill were moved by seeing the children at the blind school. It was wonderful to see the Malagasy Lutheran Church engaged in caring for children in need. The greatest gift the blind school provides is not the life skills but faith in Jesus!

– Posted by Rev. Dr. Albert Collver on 17 October 2013 using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Làlana Rainitovo,Antananarivo,Madagascar

Pastors Conference in Madagascar


Approximately 35 bishops and pastors gathered for a pastors conference at Faravohitra (“The Last Hill”), a former boarding school for girls, now conference center in Antsirabe, Madagascar.


At the end of the dry season the Jacaranda tree was in bloom on the compound.


Leaders from around Madagascar attended the pastors’ conference which discussed: 1) The Inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible, 2) The effects of post-modernism on the understanding of the Scriptures and on the Church, 3) The current state of World Lutheranism, 4) the work of the LCMS around the world, 5) Possible areas of cooperation between the LCMS and the Malagasy Lutheran Church (FLM).


Bishop David Rakotonirina helped plan the conference themes.


Dr. Harison and his wife Domoina, who host two LCMS Mercy Medical Teams (MMT) a year, made all the local arrangements for the conference.


The Malagasy Lutheran Church (FLM) founded in 1866 by Norwegian Missionaries has approximately 4 million members. The two churches look forward to discussing areas they can work together.

– Posted by Rev Dr Albert Collver on 16 October 2013 using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Antsirabe,Madagascar

Clergy Appreciation Month

October is “Clergy Appreciation Month.” This is the month for congregations and their members to show appreciation to their pastors. And they do so, in various ways: special prayers, card showers, pot lucks, etc. Not many give the pastor the parsonage.

In one of the rural parishes I served, my predecessor retired from the ministry and remained in the parish to serve as organist. Although withdrawn and not very personable, he was also not always a quiet man, known to make outrageous comments. And he was not a very good preacher or teacher by most standards. Unique to say the least, what he sometimes did and said would today prompt a call to the district president. And yet the congregation loved and respected him during his 28 years as their pastor and then gave him the parsonage when he retired.

That was another day, another time–a time when calls to obtain pastors were more prayerful than careful, when pastors were more likely to be accepted with their flaws than expected to be well above average, when congregations saw their pastors as men of God holding a very high office. Our congregations and our Synod would do well to be a little less careful and expecting and a little more prayerful and accepting of the men God provides. They are giving their lives to teach His Word, administer His Sacraments, and shepherd the souls He calls, gathers, and enlightens by the very Gospel they preach.

And, of course, we could also use another month, a “Congregation Appreciation Month,” for pastors to show their love and appreciation for their congregations, the kind of thing C.F.W. Walther spoke of in his twentieth evening lecture on Law and Gospel. That would be the rest of the story. But that would also be another blog.

Ray Hartwig

Lectures: Our Lutheran Heritage in Central Europe


Luther Academy hosted lectures for the 20th Anniversary of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Czech Republic (ECAV v ČR) at Saint Charles University Theological Faculty in Prague on 28 September 2013.


Rev. James Krikava, an ELS missionary to the Czech Republic for 15 years and a Luther Academy Fellow, introduced the lectures: Our Lutheran Heritage in Central Europe.

The theme is: Our Lutheran Heritage in Central Europe


Introduction – The Rev. James Krikava, Luther Academy European Regional Fellow


Lecture 1) Overview of Lutheran Churches in Central Europe – The Rev. Dr. L’ubomír Batka, Dean of the Evangelical Lutheran theological faculty at Comenius University in Bratislava.


Lecture 2) History of Lutherans in Bohemia and Moravia – Dr. Jiří Just, church historian at Charles’ University in Prague and contributing author of “Lutherans in the Czech Lands Through the Centuries,” the most recent work on the subject.


Lecture 3) German Lutherans in Bohemia and Moravia – Professor Dr. Karl Schwarz, church historian from the University of Vienna with expertise in the area of German Lutheranism in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia.


Lecture 4) A Vision for Lutheranism in Central Europe – The Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.


In between lectures, the group went to the coffee shop for further discussion and fellowship. The lectures were well receive. Some were described as provocative. Much discussion ensued, particularly around the topics of the authority of the Scriptures and subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.


When the lectures concluded, the participants went to St Michael’s for a sausage supper. On the next day, on St Michael and All Angels, St Michael’s will celebrate her 20th anniversary in the ECAV v ČR.

– Posted by Rev. Dr. Albert Collver using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Křemencova,Prague,Czech Republic

Ethiopia Update


Mr. Darin Storkson, Dr. Timothy Quill, Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, Rev. Tony Booker, Dr. Albert Collver, Dr. Michael Rodewald visit Guder Waterfall near Ambo, Ethiopia. The purpose of the trip was to become better acquainted with the Mekane Yesus in Ethiopia.


Rainbow over Ambo, Ethiopia.


President Wakseyoum discussing relations between the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) with Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, Executive Director of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) and Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations.


Dr. Carl Rockrohr, Dean of Theology for the Mekane Yesus Seminary (MYS), Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, and Dr. Albert Collver look at the construction of a dinning hall at MYS, being completed with LCMS assistance.


Dr. Michael Rodewald with Kes Abraham introducing Missouri Synod visitors to the Central Ethiopian Synod.


Addis Ababa in the morning.

– Posted on 21 September 2013 by Dr. Albert Collver using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Dejazmach Belay Zeleka St,Addis Ababa,Ethiopia

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