Serving the Lord in Asia

The Jastrams

Dear Friends in Christ,

Thank you for your continuing love and encouragement as we work to expand our network of support. We are very thankful for last month’s extra gifts as well as new partners who have joined us. In fact, we are humbled and grateful!  And a special thanks to you pastors and church secretaries who print and distribute our newsletter. Now, on to the news from Dan!


 Our neighborhood 300 year-old Shinto shrine (Tokyo).


Religiously "Non-Religious"––

A Conversation



A polite Japanese passenger of mid-thirties’ age sat in the next reserved seat on an early morning express train. She asked courteously about my trip and background as a foreigner in Japan. Having given the briefest of replies about my early Sunday morning trip to visit a Lutheran church for worship services, I asked about her trip. She was visiting her hometown for a family Buddhist funeral. Hoping to touch sensitively upon, and hear more about, the religious views of this highly—but paradoxically—"non-religious" country of shrines, temples, and Buddhist funerals, I asked whether she thought that all people, regardless of religion, background, or culture, would experience the same—or a different—afterlife, depending on their nationality or religion. After taking a few moments to think about the implications of the question, she surprised me with her intriguing answer: even though most Japanese don’t identify with an organized religion, they do have a "religious" viewpoint of life. They often pray to, and worship, gods and ancestors at shrines, temples, or private altars according to the customary rituals of Japan without any obligation of specific doctrines or membership. Her experience was that Japanese school children aren’t even taught about Japan’s indigenous religion of Shintoism, even though they do learn something about Buddhism and Christianity. Nevertheless, Japan remains a country steeped in tradition and peppered with shrines, temples, and sculptured images around every corner—all of them frequented according to standard Japanese custom and culture—albeit "non-religiously." No wonder then, that in Japan, less than 1% or so identify with Christianity as an organized religion. Pray that we can help God’s light will shine more brightly in Japan. 


Light unto Salvation


Joint catechism project with the Ceylon Ev. Lutheran Publishing House


Inside of a Tamil catechism.


Projects Galore

I am tremendously excited in my work with the nine LCMS missionary colleagues serving on the Asia theological education team. We are now starting to plan this next cycle of theological education projects in our region. More than seventy projects have been submitted to me for consideration!  Not only have our leaders in St. Louis and our Asia office affirmed our emphasis on the need for theological education, but there is strong input from the field that these projects are earnestly needed. Those projects include translation work for bibles, hymnals, catechisms, catechetical helps, doctrinal explanations, theological textbooks, commentaries, OT & NT introductions, church fathers, pastoral continuing education workshops, and support for seminary faculty development. Keep us in your prayers as we prioritize projects and move forward with them!

For A Billion People

As you may have noted, all of our work in some way relates to the preparation of national pastors for our partner church bodies in Asia so that they can preach and teach in their native language. One of these projects is the collaboration being carried out by our theological educator, the Rev. Dr. Edward Naumann, in Sri Lanka with the Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church (shown above): "Catechisms launched for a billion people" is how they describe recently published catechical works in eight languages on their website.  Because of your support, our LCMS missionaries can continue to bring light where there is darkness.


Next stop, Baguio, Philippines!


Cheap, colorful transportation is a blessing indeed!


This Thursday I will be heading to the Philippines again to substitute-teach at their seminary for Rev. Roger James—an LCMS theological educator and professor—while he is in the States working towards completion of his doctorate in Missiology. Our partner church is eager to promote faculty development. Rev. James’ hard work will get them that much closer to it. 


Help keep Dan working on these projects! As I (Joan) mentioned earlier, we are working hard to expand our network. And my (thoroughly unscientific) calculations are that we will meet our needs when we have an additional 20 donations per month along with 25 new monthly “sustaining” mission senders ranging from $25/month to $500+/month (~30% increase). Please prayerfully consider whether you might be one of those people we are looking for!! We’ll keep you posted in this little black box.

OK. Are you ready?
To support the LCMS through the work of Daniel Jastram
use this secure link: 
 or  mail a tax-deductible gift to:

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
P.O. Box 66861
St. Louis, MO 63166-6861

Make checks payable to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod or LCMS. Include “Jastram–Asia” in the memo line.


Connect with us


Rev. Dr. Daniel Jastram





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