Pastoral training continues in the SELVD as the 3rd group of pastoral candidates came to Negezi training center for the July training classes. This week, Dr. Naomichi Masaki, from Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne (CTSFW), is teaching classes on Christology and the Lord’s Supper for the pastoral and deaconess training programs. This was his fourth time teaching in the SELVD. He was also invited to speak at the Third Annual Theological Symposium where all pastors of the SELVD are gathered at the Bishop Emmanuel Makala Training Center (MTC), that was held last week. The pastors and leaders of the SELVD are so proud and appreciative of the relationship they have with the CTSFW and the solid confessions of the Lord as Lutherans. Dr. Masaki said, “They are consciously convinced of the Book of Concord Lutheranism”!
The first pastors trained at the MTC by professors from Fort Wayne were ordained in 2015 and the second group was ordained in 2017. Dr. Emmanuel Makala, Dr. Daniel Mono, and Rev. Yohana Nzelu have graduated from CTSFW. The training programs at Negezi and Fort Wayne are supported by the Mid-South District, CTSFW, and LCMS. I might add that, Pastor Will Miller from the Mid-South taught the May training at Negezi and later joined the mission team on evangelizing in the SELVD.
Bishop Makala said recently that the main problem of the diocese is how best to cope with the rapid numerical growth. Although the number of pastors in the SELVD has increased from 17 pastors in 2012, to a little more than 60, the number of new Christians has grown at a much faster pace. This diocese continues to reach the many people in this region who have never heard the Gospel.
It is fascinating to observe what a wonderful thing that the Lord is continuing here. It is also amazing how appreciative the pastors are for the work of the CTSFW and the Mid-South District.