Friday, May 10, 2019

Troesters to Visit Supporting Congregations in Summer 2019


Map showing the states we will be visiting this summer: Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.


We hope to be meeting many of you in person this summer. We arrive in the U.S. in June and will be returning to Zambia in late August. In between, we will visit many of our sponsoring congregations in Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. We have been in touch with our supporters and many of them have agreed to host us for a worship service or other gathering. Our itinerary is below; however, there are still a few events pending. We are greatly looking forward to meeting new people and greeting old friends.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Joe and Deborah Troester

Troester Itinerary 2019


  • June 16: Christ Community Church in Columbia, Illinois
  • June 22 and 23: St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Illinois
  • July 7: First Presbyterian Church in Carbondale, Illinois
  • July 18: Supper Club at First Presbyterian Church in Carbondale, Illinois
  • July 22 to 26: Summer Missionary Conference near Chicago, Illinois
  • July 27 and 28: St John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oak Harbor, Ohio
  • July 31: Luther Memorial Lutheran Church in North Syracuse, New York
  • August 1: Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fairport, New York
  • August 3 and 4: Trinity Lutheran Church in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
  • August 11 (morning): St Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church in York, Pennsylvania
  • August 11 (evening): St Peter's Lutheran Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Other events pending.


ELCA Global Mission Support and Contact Information

In all of this, we thank God for you—for your prayers and for your financial support. We couldn’t do it without you! If you wish to support us, you can give through your local congregation or through our new ELCA Missionary Sponsorship Page.

For more information on the ELCA’s Campaign to construct a national church office, re-furbish church buildings, and build new churches in Zambia, go to elca.org/globalministries and click on Zambia at the bottom of the page. You can contact us at Joe.Troester@elca.org and Deborah.Troester@elca.org

Joe and Deborah are ELCA missionaries living in Lusaka, Zambia, where they are serving with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia (ELCZa). Their daughter, Christa, is a junior at the University of Southern California, where she is studying French and Film & Television Production.

Happy Mother’s Day!



Happy Mother’s Day from Zambia! Yes, Zambians also celebrate Mother’s Day, although it is a relatively new holiday here. People may give their mother a gift or take her out to eat, just as in the U.S. Traditionally mothers occupy an important place in the family and community here in Zambia. They are the ones responsible for taking care of children and the home, although little by little fathers are taking more of a role, as in other countries. Women also do much of the farming here, as in most African countries. It is estimated that women do 80% of African agricultural work, so women are very important to the economy here in Zambia, although they are not always given credit for it. Mothers often supplement the family income by having a small business on the side, such as selling vegetables, or even dried caterpillars—a favorite treat here in Zambia.
Woman selling dried caterpillars to augment her family income.

As in most of Africa, a brother’s or sister’s children are considered as one’s own children. In the unfortunate case that a parent dies, the rest of the family, especially the siblings or grandparents, are responsible for raising the surviving children. As we visit churches throughout Zambia, we see many children being raised by relatives.
Rev. Mathildah Banda, General Secretary for the ELCZa.



Also, in honor of Mother’s Day, we want to feature the two women pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia (ELCZa), Rev. Mathildah Banda and Rev. Doreen Mwanza. Rev. Banda serves as General Secretary for the ELCZa and Rev. Mwanza is the Lusaka District Pastor, as well as HIV-AIDS Resource Person for the ELCZa. She is parish pastor for Mulimba Congregation, about an hour west of Lusaka. Both are single and are raising their nieces and nephews, orphans of their siblings. Rev. Banda and Rev. Mwanza are both wonderful examples of the African tradition of making sure that all children have a loving upbringing. Please join us in wishing them a Happy Mother’s Day.
Rev. Doreen Mwanza teaching the youth about HIV and AIDS.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

March 2019 Newsletter and Blog

 
Greetings from warm and sunny Lusaka, Zambia, from your ELCZa missionaries, Rev. Deborah and Dr. Joe Troester!

We are happy to announce that we will be in the U.S. this coming summer and are almost ready to start scheduling church visits. Look for an e-mail from us soon with more details.
Typical offering in Zambezi of chickens and bananas.
Our work has kept us busy here, mainly supporting the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia. Rev. Geoffrey Njapau was elected the new senior pastor (similar to a bishop) in May, 2018. He and Deborah, along with other church leaders, have been visiting congregations all over the country to get to know them and to meet local church leaders. This past fall we traveled up to the Copperbelt (Central) Region and to Northwestern Zambia (Zambezi Region), then back to Lusaka, visiting about a dozen congregations in less than two weeks. We were joyfully received, with enthusiastic church services and gifts of bananas, cassava, chickens, and even a goat! To reach one of the congregations, we had to cross a 275-yard pedestrian suspension bridge over the Zambezi River. Thankfully, we did not see any of the crocodiles rumored to live beneath it! Deborah spoke on the Reformation and Martin and Katy Luther at each congregation we visited. Many parishioners commented that they had learned for the first time why the church had the name “Lutheran.” They were proud to learn of their 500-year heritage, and one leader said that he felt the reforming spirit of Martin Luther in their church, encouraging them to greater achievements!
Suspension bridge across the Zambezi River (the fourth-longest river in Africa).
Deborah also spoke at a women’s conference in southern Zambia on the role of women in the church. Spending two nights in a rustic mud-brick sanctuary, with a thatched roof, sleeping on the floor and eating locally prepared nshima (corn meal mush) with chicken or fish was definitely a cultural immersion experience! The highlight of the conference was the baptism of an elderly lady, Martha, whose daughter had brought her to the conference. Rev. Matildah Banda, general secretary of the ELCZa, and Veronica Malakibungu, ELCZa women’s chairperson, were organizers of the conference, along with the local women’s group.

Martha (pictured in the middle with friends and relatives) on her baptism day at the women’s conference in southern Zambia.
The youth are also active in the ELCZa. They requested Deborah to preach at their end of the year conference in Chongwe, about an hour east of Lusaka. The theme was “Using Your Gifts for God.” In Africa, “youth” includes what we in the ELCA would term “young adults.” The youth are eager to plan their own activities and do fund-raising themselves to support their conferences and camps. Deborah will be speaking on the theme of leadership during Youth Sunday celebrations this month.

ELCA Global Mission Support and Contact Information

In all of this, we thank God for you—for your prayers and for your financial support. We couldn’t do it without you! If you wish to support us, you can give through your local congregation or through our new ELCA Missionary Sponsorship Page.

For more information on the ELCA’s Campaign to construct new churches in Zambia, go to elca.org/globalministries and click on Zambia at the bottom of the page. You can contact us at Joe.Troester@elca.org and Deborah.Troester@elca.org

Joe and Deborah are ELCA missionaries living in Lusaka, Zambia, where they are serving with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia (ELCZa). Their daughter, Christa, is a junior at the University of Southern California, where she is studying French and Film & Television Production.