On 14 July 2012, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lithuania dedicated the recently completed church in Palanga, Lithuania. Nearly seven years ago, on 30 July 2005, the corner stone for the Palanga Lutheran church was laid, after the Iowa East District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod formed a partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lithuania. The Lutheran Church in Palanga burned down in 1938, and during Soviet times the congregation disbanded with her members relocating to other cities. The Lutheran church returned to Palanga just 15 years ago, after the Lutheran church had been persecuted, deported, and exterminated in Lithuania. During the time of communism, only 6 Lutheran pastors remained in Lithuania. There new Bishop Sabitus gave thanks to the Lord who is merciful and to all the people both in Lithuania and in the United States who made it possible for the construction of the church in Palanga. He gave special thanks to the people of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, especially to the Iowa East District. We are seeing the fruition of an idea started in 2003 of “partnering” Districts and various mission fields to do witness and mercy work. The idea of partnering the North Dakota District with Kenya started in 2003 and is bearing fruit today.
About The Author
Rev. Bernhard Seter has been a Pastor in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod for over 42 years. He served on the Board of LCMS World Relief and Human Care for ten years and is now the Chairman of the Board of International Missions. He has been privileged to travel around the world and see the churches' mercy work in action. He is convinced it is not only what we are "compelled" to do because of Christ; it is what we have been baptized for. Christ's love compels us, constrains us, and sends us forth.